Paris Grocery News 6/4 Saturday, Jun 4 2011 

Cocchi Americano, Bonal, and Cardamaro: We've got a lot of drinking to do.

Aperitifs @ PG

Now at the shop: some of the latest must-have sippers. Check out this great New York Times article about the aperitif- and wine-based cocktails served at an East Village restaurant.

Cocchi Americano

Bon Appetit declared this to be the summer of Cocchi (pronounced “co-key”), and it’s popping up more frequently in local restaurants. You’ll need a bottle (or two) if you want to maintain your status as a Person of Good Living.

From yet another NYT article:  “This aperitivo – something along the lines of a vermouth – has been made since 1891 from moscato d’asti, a sweet white wine fortified with a touch of brandy, then flavored with gentian, cinchona bark and other bittering aromatics, along with orange peels and herbs. There are any number of similar products on the market, but what has cocktail enthusiasts excited about Cocchi is that it is secretly acknowledged to be the most similar product in existence to the old-formula Kina Lillet.”

The original Kina Lillet had more quinine, so it was more bitter than today’s Lillet, making it much more punchy and interesting when used in cocktails such as the Vesper and the Corpse Reviver. You can also do like the Italians and drink it on ice, with a dash of soda water and an orange slice. ($18.99)

Bonal

The bottles of this apéritif wine feature a picture of a key and the tagline “ouvre l’appétit,” or, open the appetite, which we love. It’s made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it neat, on the rocks with a twist, or use in place of sweet vermouth in cocktails, such as a Negroni, for an extra bitter oomph. There’s also a great cocktail out of Dalva in San Francisco (featured here in the SF Gate) that mixes it with rye and plenty of orange flavors. Yum! ($18.99)

Cardamaro

This Amaro from Piedmont is made with wine infused with cardoon (a relative of the artichoke), blessed thistle (a delightful weed once used to treat bubonic plague; now one of the flavors found in Benedictine liqueur), and other botanicals found on the Bosca estate. It’s reportedly less bitter than many other amaros (“amari”?), with a nutty, spicy, almost wintery quality to it. Try it neat or on the rocks. Showed up this past winter in an incredible cocktail at Poppy; look for it to start popping up on shelves of the more imaginative restaurants and bars. ($20.99)

Dolin vermouth, available in blanc, dry, or sweet.

As usual: We’re stocked with plenty of Dubonnet, Lillet Blanc and Rouge, and Dolin vermouths. Viva l’apéritif!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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Paris Grocery News 9/30 Friday, Oct 1 2010 

While she's certainly learning a valuable skill, I suggest: let's be our own Sally Drapers.

Cocktails @ PG

The few flavors of bitters that we carried in the shop were in such demand that we decided to bring in the complete line of bitters from Fee Brothers. We don’t think the fun-at-home-with-cocktails trend is going anywhere (not with la Niña on the loose again this winter), and we’ve got some great ideas for how to try these bitters in your cocktails, along with our fantastic vermouths, aperitif wines, and garnishes.

These guys know their bitters.

Try all 8 Flavors!

Old Fashioned

For use in Manhattans and Champagne Cocktails.

Orange

Try a “Classic” Martini (2 oz gin and 1/2 oz dry vermouth, dash of orange bitters).

Mint

For use in Mojitos and Mint Juleps.

Grapefruit

An excellent match in cocktails based with Cynar or Campari.

Cherry

Sweeter than the other flavors, this will deliver pure fruitiness to brandy-based cocktails.

Lemon

Promises to add a “snappy citrus taste with a hint of lemongrass” to drinks. Yum.

Cranberry

This newest flavor may take some experimentation. We think its tartness may be an excellent counterpoint to gin.

Rhubarb

The internet has turned up some interesting ideas; they apparently work in cocktails featuring tequila. Here’s one from Portland mixologist Jacob Grier’s blog, Liquidity Preference.

Mexican Martinez

2.25 oz reposado tequila (Chamucos)
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 bar spoon maraschino
2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a slice of orange zest.

And finally, try Fee Brothers Orgeat Syrup (pronounced Or-SHOT): For use in Mai-Tais and Momisettes.

Dolin Vermouths

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation. Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. Excellent both as a mixer and as an apéritif. In Sweet, Dry, and Blanc. $13.99/each

Bonal

This aperitif wine is made from a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp your classic Negroni cocktail.  $18.99/each

And don’t forget, a customer favorite:

Griottines

Famous throughout the world for their freshness and refined taste, these delicious Morello cherries have been pitted and prepared in a Kirsch liqueur. Add to desserts, aperitifs, and cocktails like the perfect Manhattan. We pack them out into 4-ounce containers so you get just the right amount.

Craves @ PG

Paysan Breton butter

I once enjoyed an extremely memorable dinner on a cold dark night in Brittany with an American, a Corsican, and our host, a Spaniard. Go figure. But our meal was very French and très Breton. Along with salmon and whiskey and individual tarts for dessert, the most life changing item on the table was a hunk of buttercup-yellow butter, chock full of crunchy sea salt crystals. We served it up on slice after slice of substantial loaf of rustic brown bread. This stuff slays me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Mini-Cocotte by Lissa Streeter

I don’t even know what more I need to say. Mini-cocottes could not be any cuter or more comforting. Recipes include Spinach Soufflés, Cherry Tomato Tatin, Cherry Raspberry Clafoutis, and Almond Milk Pudding.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/22 Friday, Jul 23 2010 

"Quoi de neuf, docteur?" was the French title of sitcom "Growing Pains". Impress your Friends.

Quoi de Neuf?
Or, “What’s new?” at Paris Grocery

This week we’re really excited to have some amazing new products in the store. Of course, we love everything we already have (even you, hearts of palm who languished all winter just dreaming of being in summer salads!). But it’s thrilling to search through packing peanuts like kids at Noel, to see our purveyors dropping by with new products, and to have our importers sourcing some random hard-to-find item for us. This week we’re celebrating the spirit of the new. We hope you’ll come down to Western Avenue and see us!


Aperitifs @ PG

Ouvre l’appetit!

Bonal

We at Paris Grocery are strong proponents of the aperitif. Delicate, herbal, and thirst-quenching drinks to begin an evening is so ingenious and, well, civilized. We’ve become somewhat obsessed with bringing into the shop ever more obscure varieties of aperitifs on the market (it’s sort of nerdy, we know). The same gentleman who brings us Dolin vermouths brought in some Bonal for us. This aperitif wine is made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp up your classic Negroni cocktail.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!

After whetting the appetite with an aperitif, move on to dinner with one of these delicious new wines.

2008 Chateau d’Orschwihr “Bollenburg” Gewurztraminer Alsace ($17.99)

An attractive Gewurztraminer, with aromas of lychee, rose, and pear. The palate is silky and soft, with savory spice notes lingering on in the lush, off-dry finish. It is concentrated and well-balanced, thanks to the estate’s practices. Yields are limited and no sugar is added back to the fermenting wine despite the cooler growing climate of Alsace. Gewurztraminer is known for its versatility; this wine will pair well with anything from a cheese platter to spicy Thai dishes.

2009 Chidaine Touraine ($16.99)

Not a day goes by that we don’t recommend this wine to one of our customers. It is a perfectly executed and endlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Very aromatic, with fresh citrus notes, it has a chalky texture and a brilliant minerality. It drinks well above its mid-teen price point, rivaling some Sancerres. We’ll be drinking this wine for the rest of the summer, and after you try it we bet you will be, too.

Domaine Huet Vouvray


2007 Domaine Le Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
($31.99)

Like the Chidaine, this single-vineyard bottling also comes from the Loire Valley. But the two wines couldn’t be more different! Domaine Le Huet is a legendary estate, and this dry Chenin Blanc is an impressive bottling. A gorgeous buttercup shade, exotic fruits dominate on the nose and the palate, and the slightly oily texture of a good Vouvray is balanced by a core of minerality. A truly beautiful wine, to linger over with a loved one.

“Pale gold. An expressive, mineral-laced bouquet displays lemon and lime zest, passion fruit, pungent herbs and talc. Juicy but taut, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors, with a strong mineral spine adding lift. Becomes weightier and spicier with air, finishing on a juicy note of yellow plum, with strong sappy, stony persistence. This is still a baby.” 92(+?) points Stephen Tanzer

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own).

2004 Philippe Mur “Clos Basté” Madiran ($29.99)

Like any Madiran, this wine is hefty, with a purple-ink robe and lingering, sandy finish. Nevertheless, it is balanced with robust dark fruit showing through, against a backdrop of earthy, smoke-laced notes.  Philippe Mur worked at the most prominent winery in this appellation before striking out on his own with a tiny organic plot of vines. Fierce and beautiful, this wine reflects its rugged terroir. With 100% Tannat, it is aged 18 months in large barrels. It can age for several more years. Phenomenal with grilled lamb.

Food @ PG
Long summer days require protein and sugar.

Charlie, charcuterie Zen master and co-founder of Zoe’s Meats, dropped by the store today with our usual delivery of salami, finocchiona, spicy coppa, and ham. But he also brought a new product for us to try: Salami De Cacao. This salami is yet another masterpiece. It’s made with cocoa powder, chilis, and garlic for a deliciously complex flavor. Rich, earthy, and almost sweet, with a delicately spicy kick on the finish, this salami will slay you. Amazing! $4.99/quarter lb

Crossings Delivers the Sweet Stuff!

Another beautiful delivery from Crossings Imports arrived on Monday. They’ve become one of our favorite resources for incredible French sweets. Roll call, sweets:

Goat Milk Buckwheat Caramels come in a sweet little “cheesebox” with nine toothsome caramels made with goat milk and buckwheat. Tangy and textured, they make a great gift. $7.99/box

Goat Milk and Buckwheat Caramels

Individually-wrapped caramels are placed at the counter because we are evil geniuses. We have Fig & Walnut and Fleur de Sel flavors. 99 cents/each

Calissons are a traditional treat from Aix-en-Provence. A chewy paste of almonds, sugar, and Cavaillon melon with a touch of orange rind and just the right amount of royal icing. 99 cents/each

Madeleines are available for your Proustian pleasure individually-wrapped. 99 cents/each

Gavottes cookies are crunchy cookies of many many thin layers. Try original ($4.99/box) and coeur de praline ($3.99/box).

Marshmallow Ropes
are what all the cool enfants like to snack on. We’re thinking you should try roasting them, too. Try all three flavors: lemon, raspberry, and violet. $1.99/each

Craves @ PG

Le Provencal

A Provençal specialty, this two-tiered goat cheese is a summery delicacy. A layer of fresh chèvre is “frosted” with tapenade, and a second layer, flavored with herbes de Provence, is set on top. With a creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture and a mild flavor, this cheese is perfect for a sunny day and a light Rosé! $8.99/ea


Feed your Mind @ PG

Corkscrewed by Robert V. Camuto

An odyssey into the brave new world of French wines, this book is a celebration of the diversity that makes French wine more than a mere commodity. Camuto’s work is a delightful look beyond the supermarket to the various flavors offered by the true vintners of France.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery