Paris Grocery News, 6/17 Saturday, Jun 19 2010 

Things Your Dad Likes

Lambic and Orval Goblets, so dad can drink like a (Belgian) king!

Maybe your dad has been glued to the TV at odd hours this past week, watching the World Cup. Or maybe he’s been rushing to the golf course as soon as the sun peeps out from under the June cloud cover. Or maybe he’s been working his way through a new favorite cookbook. Whatever he’s been up to lately, we can assure you he does NOT want to be forgotten this Sunday. So show him love, get him something he pretends he doesn’t want, but will be so happy when he gets it.

Shameless Promotion Alert: Our friend Mike Force, a talented jack-of-all-arts in Brooklyn, created this hilarious site. Check out this field guide to the rare species of American Dad!

Blockbuster Wines

Summer is the time to let your dad indulge in the “bigger is better” mantra. Let him have (or think he has) the biggest grill with the biggest rack of ribs on the block, and give him a blockbuster wine to go with it!

2007 Domaine de la Charbonnière Vacqueyras ($29.99)
The 2007 vintage was seminal in the Rhône, with a warm, dry summer marked by strong winds that preserved that crucial acidity in the grapes. The fruit was ripe, concentrated, and balanced, and resulted in exceptional rich, layered wines, like this Vacqueyras. The estate’s 4ha are lovingly tended by Michel Maret and his two daughters, who harvest by hand. The wine is Syrah (60%) and Grenache (40%), aged in large oak casks for 6-8 months. The father-daughter team triumphed in this vintage, with a smoky, full-bodied wine with flavors of blackberry, mineral, and licorice fusing into a finish that is pure velvet.

“Vivid red. Powerfully scented nose displays fresh raspberry, flowers and minerals. Light in body and refined, with sweet red fruit and candied floral flavors and a silky texture. Fine-grained tannins arrive on the long, sappy finish. This elegant wine is balanced to age but you could drink it now for its sexy fruit and floral qualities.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer


2005 Ferraton et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Le Parvis”
($34.00)
Before 2007, there were the 2005s. This vintage was lauded for producing extremely well-structured wines suitable for aging, and luckily, it is now time to test out those promises. Father and son Ferraton give the Marets a run for their barrels with this elegant Grenache. The wine is blended with small percentages of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and aged for 12-18 month in oak casks. Their biodynamic farming practices reflect their passion for the terroir and uncompromising standards.

“Nice garrigue-driven style, with tobacco, loam, mesquite and plum sauce flavors pushed by a ripe, tarry, mouthfilling finish. Drink now through 2016.” 90 points Wine Spectator

2007 Domaine des Soulanes VdP Côtes Catalanes “Cuvée Jean Pull” ($19.99)
This is another estate that has been handed down from father to son, until Jean Pull sold it to his friends and co-vitners Daniel Laffite and Laffite’s stepfather. Today, young Daniel Laffite and his wife, Cathy, run the estate located near the border of Spain. Carignan thrives in the arid, rocky soil of “Les Fenouillèdes”. This blend of Grenache and Carignan is a plucky charmer, with ripe fruit balances by spicy tannins. Delicious with grilled and barbecued meats, sheep’s cheese, and peppery saucisson and paté.

“Intense kirsch, red plum and raspberry flavors give this southern French red real character and power. The finish is spicy, with plenty of finesse to the black licorice notes. Grenache and Carignane. Drink now through 2012.” 89 point Wine Spectator

2005 Chateau Preuillac Médoc
($19.99)
In Bordeaux, 2005 was also kind to winemakers. This 75-acre estate extends over the excellent gravelly soil of the Médoc appellation in Bordeaux. The Mau family acquired the 200-year old estate a little over a decade ago, driven by the desire to bring the well-placed vineyard up to its full potential. Their hard work and investment is apparent in this under-priced wine, which is one of the best the estate has ever made. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (54%) with Merlot (44%) and Cabernet Franc (4%).

“A classic, balanced wine, with a twist of richness. The black currant flavors are almost jelly-like in their sweetness, although these flavors are well balanced with acidity and a firm layer of dry tannins.”
90 points Wine Enthusiast

Other 90+ notables in stock and previously reviewed: 2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99), 2007 Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sabliers Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($14.99), 2008 Terres Dorées Beaujolais “L’Ancien” ($16.99), 2005 Château Bibian Listrac-Médoc ($24.99), 2007 Domaine des Domaine des Ouleb Thaleb Syrocco ($17.99), 2005 Vieux Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($32.00), 2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV ($16.99).

Cheese @ PG
We Want The Funk

Everyone knows and loves the blockbuster cheeses, such as Brie, Roquefort, or Comté. But there’s a great big world out there (of cheese), and lately I’ve been wanting to talk about some less well-known or understood categories of cheese. Since we’re talking about Father’s Day this week (um, call your dad/stepdad/grandfather/mentor who’s like a dad to you, please), I thought I’d discuss washed rind cheeses. These are the dudes of cheese: they pack a powerful punch, they’re funky, and yes, they’re often stinky. Yet the aromatic exterior often belies a creamy, mild interior: really, they’re teddy bears. Aww.

Washed rind cheeses can be made from any type of milk; most of the famous ones are made with cow milk , but we have some amazing goat milk options, too. The rinds are washed throughout the aging process in any combination of brine, herbs, wine, or spirits, giving the cheese a pungent aroma. Washed rind cheeses present a wide range of textures, from dense to spongy to creamy to pure ooze. I love these cheeses because they offer a complex mix of flavors; they’re fruity, meaty, and tangy, yet tempered with earthy and nutty notes.

Here are some of our favorite funky cheeses, along with some beer pairing ideas. Beer and cheese go naturally together; both have their origins in grains and grasses. You can match complexity with complexity, or mix-and-match for some flavor juxtapositions. Also, the carbonation in beer refreshes the palate.

Munster d’Alsace
A dense, washed rind cow’s milk cheese with a creamy texture and a fried-egg aroma. The flavor is sharp, beefy, and nutty.
$6.25/quarter lb
Try it with: Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic

Pont l’Evêque

A creamy, washed rind cow’s milk cheese made in Normandy. The flavor is buttery, milky, and savory with a long finish of tangy and fruity undercurrents.
$5.49/quarter lb
Try it with: Lindeman’s Faro Lambic

Abbaye Ste-Mère
This traditional monastery cheese from Normandy has a creamy yet firm texture. Made with raw milk and washed in brine, it has a fruity, mild, and slightly sweet flavor. A sure crowd-pleaser.
$3.99/quarter lb
Try it with: Chimay Red

Morbier
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a famous line of ash in the center, historically to separate the morning and evening milkings. This washed rind cheese has aromas of freshly mown grass and appealing flavors of fruits and nuts. An intensely earthy and meaty cheese– a classic.
$4.49/quarter lb
Try it with: St Landelin La Divine (bière de garde farmhouse ale)

Bethmale
Louis VI’s favorite cheese. This luscious cow’s and goat’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees has been in production since the 12th century. Smooth and buttery, with flavors of grass and mushroom with a mild washed rind tang. Try it with a snack plate of ham, olives, and rustic bread.
$6.99/quarter lb
Try it with: Orval Trappist Ale

Tête de Moine

A washed rind cow’s milk cheese with a milky, beefy, and nutty flavor. Invented over 800 years ago by the monks of the Jura region in Switzerland, this dense yet creamy cheese has an excellent melting capacity.
$7.25/quarter lb
Try it with: Brasserie Lebbe L’Amalthée (Belgian wheat beer)

Feed your Mind @ PG

Pork & Sons by Stephane Reynaud

A third generation butcher and pork-lover delves into his family’s and village’s history to bring you the recipes and lore of France’s love affair with porcine creatures.

Craves @ PG

Fee Brothers Bitters

Don’t make your dad drink a Manhattan or Martini without Fee Bros. Bitters!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News, 6/11 Saturday, Jun 12 2010 

They smile because they're thinking about all the delicious cheese at Paris Grocery!

Show your colors

Since Steve and Sharon are carousing around Spain and Portugal, some of us have (maybe) been using the computers to sneak in glances at the FIFA matches. We’re just trying to create an authentic atmosphere. Isaac even said he’d buy us a round if France beats Mexico next week. To lend some snazz to your festivities, we have stickers and French flags large and small. Don’t forget that le foot is always more fun with cheese, charcuterie, and a few glasses of wine! And yes, we have some recommendations for you.

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

2006 Mas de la Dame Les Baux de Provence “La Gourmande” ($15.99)
Mas de la Dame is a certified organic estate on the rocky slopes of the Alpilles mountains. The Faye family has been growing grapes and olives there for four generations, committed to preserving the natural beauty of the estate using techniques such as hand-harvesting. Equal parts Grenache and Syrah, “La Gourmande” is a full-bodied, rich, and layered wine. Smooth raspberry, blackberry, and vanilla flavors are anchored by tones of scorched earth and licorice. The finish displays delicious notes of cherry skin and spice. Mas de la Dame wines have become part of France’s cultural landscape, distinctive in their squat Calvados bottles, and mentioned by Simone de Beauvoir in her memoirs.

2009 Domaine Sorin “Terra Amata” Côtes-de-Provence Rosé ($10.99)
Robert Parker called winemaker Luc Sorin one of the most exciting in the South of France, and his wines are served at some of the finest restaurants in the Côte-d’Azur. They have gained a reputation for being smooth and appealing, excellent matches for many styles of cuisine. The Côtes-de-Provence rosé is their best-known wine, a lovely, dusky salmon colored wine. It is a blend of both red and white grapes, primarily Grenache (40%), with the five Southern Rhône reds and two local whites, Rolle (5%)and Orgi (5%). It is rich and fruit forward, full of strawberry and raspberry, with nice acidity and a hint of spice on the finish. Pour yourself a glass and you will feel like you’re on the Riviera!

2009 Domaine Sorin Bandol Rosé ($17.99)
Bandol, located right along the Mediterranean between Marseille and Toulon, is the spiritual home of Mourvèdre. The rosés from this tiny AOC have been lauded by the likes of Alice Waters and Kermit Lynch, and with Domaine Sorin’s blend of Mourvèdre (60%) and Grenache (40%), you’ll join in the chorus of praise. Produced in a much more limited quantity than the “Terra Amata”, this rosé is floral and peachy, with great verve and a seamless finish. It is perfect with summer fare such as seafood pastas, grilled fish with fennel seed and herbs, or vegetables with pistou.

2007 Domaine Sorin Bandol ($24.99)
A voluptuous red wine, the Bandol from Domaine Sorin is 85% Mourvedre, with Syrah (10%) and Carignan (5%). It is fermented in huge oak casks, and then transferred to barrels for a 16-month aging period. Blackberry, tobacco, and dark fruit are fused with earthy notes of leather, cedar, and a chewy finish. Spectacular with lamb and red meats, this wine is a favorite at Campagne Restaurant.

Cheese @ PG

Swiss, Swiss, French: three new cheeses we love.

Scharfe Maxx
A slightly smoky, deeply beefy, and immensely tangy cheese from Switzerland. Aged for 6 months, this thermalized cow’s milk cheese is washed with brine and herbs, giving it a powerful and sharp (scharfe) flavor and a dense, creamy texture. A fantastic melting cheese! $6.75/quarter lb

Moser Brie
From the Swiss cheesemaker Moser in Switzerland. This bloomy rind cow’s milk cheese is washed with riesling-sylvaner wine, imparting notes of flowers and apples. Creamy, sweet, and earthy: you’ll love this little brie! $11.99/each

Bucherondin
This tangy and slightly savory cheese from the Loire Valley is like two cheeses in one: next to the rind it’s buttery and smooth, while in the center it’s light and creamy. Amazing with Loire whites and delicious as is or melted. Try thin slices layered on top of a summer vegetable tart and bake to toasty perfection. Bonus: check out the price! $3.99/quarter lb

Food @ PG

Cheese’s favorite cracker.

Feeling the need for a cracker that would make for delicious pairings with our wide range of cheeses, we looked around and finally chose the 34 Degree Crispbreads from Colorado. They’re baked without oil, delivering a light and airy cracker with delicate flavor. We’ve got tons of ideas for each flavor:

Natural: This neutral cracker is a pure flavor vehicle. Try it with sharp or pungent cheeses, such as Munster, Scharfe Maxx, and earthy blues such as Fourme D’Ambert. Also great for pâtés.

Sesame
: Adds a touch of nuttiness to buttery bries and triple creams, such as Fromager d’Affinois. Also great with semi-soft cow’s milk cheeses like St. Nectaire or Le Somport.

Cracked Pepper: Delicious with young and aged goat cheeses such as Pave de Jadis and Bucherondin. Also fantastic with our salami from Zoe’s Meats.

Rosemary: Calls out for fresh chèvre, such as Le Picandou or the herb-coated Fleur Verte. Would also bring out the grassy notes in one of our Basque sheep’s milk cheeses, such as Abbaye de Belloc.

Lemon Zest: Try it with Saveur de Maquis, a Corsican sheep’s milk cheese with a ricotta-like texture, or Tome Jacquin, a fudgy goat cheese with great complexity. Great with fresh berries.

Feed your Mind @ PG

Merde: The real French you were never taught at school

You’ll be able to properly insult your rivals and brag about your team with this book and its sequel, “Merde Encore”. They are the ultimate guides to French slang in all its colloquial glory.

Craves @ PG

Fentiman's Curiosity Cola

A naturally fermented soda, with ginger and herbal extracts.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery