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

Paris Grocery News 5/6 Thursday, May 6 2010 

By any other name

My mother has had many gardens, being transplanted across the country more than once after marrying my father. In every garden, she would plant a rosebed, with creamy yellows, peaches, striped belles, and peony pink petals. As soon as it was warm enough for blooming, a vase of roses would sit at our kitchen table, their fragile scent mixing in with whatever my mom was cooking. When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, it is only natural that I think of sweet-smelling roses, and by extension, rosé wines. They may be so named because of their color, but I think the name fits in so many dimensions. Their delicate fragrance, often floral as well as fruity, and their sheer beauty in a glass, are just some of the traits they share with their botanical homonyms. France accords rosé wines as much respect as the reds and whites, and if you taste some of our selections, it is easy to see why. Their brightness and lovely aromatic mixture of fruit and minerality makes them excellent wines for the dinner table. Refreshing, elegant, and interesting, they are no wallflowers in the world of wine. They remind us, with every sip, that a great wine is, first and foremost, a pleasure to drink. Treat a loved one to this delight!

Shades of Rosé

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We have two sparkling rosés! The dry and seductive Rosé d’Orfeuilles ($14.99) from Touraine, and FRV 100 (muster all your high-school French and say it aloud. Get it? There’s some brilliant word-play going on), an off-dry Gamay made in the ancestral method, with the delicious, bright red fruit of the appellation ($21.99).

2009 Triennes Rosé ($15.99) – Primarily Cinsault, the juice for this Provençal rosé spent only a couple of hours in contact with the skins, resulting in a very pale color and delicate texture. It was bottled early to maintain its vibrant freshness.

2009 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé ($13.99) – Deep blush, the Syrah-Grenache blend is round and fruit forward, with crushed fruit and the slightest hint of spice.

2009 Cape Bleue Rosé ($10.99) – From top Rhône producer Jean-Luc Colombo comes an intoxicating rosé made from Syrah (40%), Mourvèdre (40%), and Counoise (20%). Perfumed and fresh, with notes of peach, raspberries and white pepper.

Cheese @ PG

If you’re planning a special meal for Mother’s Day, be sure to look in the cheese case! Rachel will help you put together a balanced cheese plate, whether you’re a fan of floral, springy cheeses like the Fleur Verte and the Olivade Violet, or are drawn to the pungent depths of the Bethmale. We’re gearing up for the Seattle Cheese Festival and have stocked the case with some hard-to-find cheeses (Herve Mons’ Cone de Port Aubry, Roquefort Coulet, Tomme du Berger), so there’s never been a better time come over and try some unusual cheeses!

Charcuterie @ PG
It rhymes!

Meat pile at a French market.

It may not be cassoulet season anymore, but it is always a good time for Duck Confit! Try shredding it and tossing it into a green salad with string beans, or sprinkle it over a thin, crispy pizza crust with figs, arugula, and Le Somport cheese.

We also have two kinds of Duck Salami, from Fabrique Delices and Savory Farms.

Finally, don’t forget about our Goose Mousse Supreme! Delicate, creamy, this delectable pâté is the perfect indulgence on special occasions.

Gifts & Goodies

Mothers have so many names: travel buddy, role model, cheerleader, coach, nurse, drill sergeant, chef, confidant, comforter, comedian, housekeeper, driver, and so the list goes on. In honor of all those facets, we have a list of gifts, sure to make her smile.

For the cheesehead
: A 3-piece knife set made with eco-friendly materials from cutlery expert Languiole, and an olive-wood cutting board.

For the memory-keeper: From Yellow Owl Co., a stamp set with the Eiffel tower, or a package of hand-pressed French postcards.

For the one whose hands are always busy: Our hands are always chapped from scrubbing and washing, so we know how much she’ll appreciate 80 Acres soaps and lotions. From natural, organic ingredients, these elegantly scented products are heaven on tired skin.

For the storyteller: “Gourmet Rhapsody” by bestselling author Muriél Barbery. A sensuous and witty novel written from the perspective of a grumpy food critic searching for a forgotten flavor, before it is too late.

For the queen of tea time: A ceramic teapot, in classic black-and-white Victoriana, or in one of our colorful Tunisian patterns.

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Paris Grocery News 4/22 Friday, Apr 23 2010 

A new home.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue….

Setting up a new store is a little bit like making a home, and for an auspicious beginning, so the adage goes, you need things old, new, borrowed, and blue. We had plenty of new (cheeses, meat, and wines), lots of blue (checkered butcher paper and sky blue cutting boards), and we borrowed The Spanish Table’s newsletter for a while. But now, we have something old as well: a resurrected wine rack that until 2001 displayed French wines at former restaurant Brie and Bordeaux. After opening Eva Restaurant in the Brie and Bordeaux location, James Hondros tucked the rack away in his garage, where it collected a herd of dust bunnies for nine years. Housing French wines, not dust bunnies, seems to be its true destiny however, as the towering rack is once again filled with wines. Inspired by their road trip from Avignon to Beaune, Steve and Sharon brought it out of James’ garage and gave it a home at Paris Grocery. The wines that grace its shelves come from the countryside of France and have been selected for their quality, value and reflection of the terroir. Sharon and Steve even picked up some cute little metal signs when they were in Burgundy over Easter weekend that direct you to the major French wine regions. By the way, having stopped in the major towns along the Rhone, including Châteauneuf-de-Pape, Gigondas, and Crozes-Hermitage to taste wines (and cheeses), they promise that you will be swept away by the 2007 Rhones.

Wines @ PG

Raise a glass with us and some of our favorite 2007 Rhônes!

Brigitte, the friendly beetle, makes this label easy to remember! (And trust us, you'll want to come back for more.)

2007 Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sabliers Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($14.99)

Domaine des Escaravailles is known for its fine Rasteau. But Giles Ferran, grandson of founder Jean-Louis Ferran, gives a treat with this affordable and delicious Cotes-du-Rhone. Mostly Grenache blended with 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan, this wine is a lovely addition to any dinner party and will complement grilled or braised meats, roasted root vegetables and hearty stews.
“Shows the richness of the vintage with crushed plum and macerated cherry fruit, with fresh acidity carrying additional notes of mesquite, black tea and mulled spice through the lengthy finish. Grenache and Syrah. Drink now through 2010. 3,000 cases made.”
90 points Wine Spectator

2007 Domaine Alary Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($27.99)
“A brilliant blockbuster … Composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, all from a vineyard planted in 1961, this amazing wine possesses an inky/ruby/purple color in addition to a sweet perfume of black and blue fruits, kirsch, lavender, licorice, spice box, and earth. Transcending its appellation and price point, this is a superb wine that should drink beautifully for 10-15+ years.”
93 points Wine Spectator

Cheeses @ PG

We have fresh wheels of customer favorites: Bleu de Bocage, 1 yr Aged Comte, and Le Somport!

A young Bleu de Bocage, in full beauty.

Thanks for reading, we’ll see you soon!D

Paris Grocery News 3/26 Friday, Mar 26 2010 

Bonne Pâques !

Whether you are celebrating Easter or simply welcoming spring, it’s always fun to do brunch. The ritual of a late morning feast is something we can all share. In case you need a little inspiration, here is a recipe featuring some of our favorite ingredients.

Nuts for chestnuts.

Chestnut Flour Crêpes with Chanterelles

For Crêpes
yields 18-24 crêpes

1 1/2 cups sifted chestnut flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Sift the chestnut flour into a bowl. Add the milk and beat to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the eggs and 1 tbsp butter until smooth. Pour 2 tbsp batter in the center of pan and swirl until the batter covers the entire surface. Cook until almost dry on top and bottom is golden, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook about 30 seconds more. Transfer to platter and repeat until batter is used.

For Chanterelle Filling

1 1/2 cups dry chanterelles
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 cup crême fraîche
3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
white truffle honey, for drizzling

Rehydrate the mushrooms, soaking them in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain off the water.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions, sautéing until soft and beginning to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms, and sauté for 4 additional minutes. Add the crême fraîche, mix thoroughly, and take off heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fold into the crepes, and drizzle with the truffle honey.

Raindrops on roses, wiskers on kitten, these are a few of our favorite sweets!

If you’ll be too busy hiding eggs to watch over a hot stove, set out a continental spread: baguette and a bowl of yogurt with sweet and savory accompaniments. We love L’Epicurien 3 Citrus Jam, Confitures à l’Ancienne Mirabelle Plum Marmalade, Boat Street Kitchen Pickled Figs, and mild cow’s milk cheeses such as St. Nectaire and Le Somport. We’ll slice off some of Zoe’s Artisanal Ham and Rosette de Lyon to round out the spread. As a treat for the kids, we’ve made bundles of sweets. For the adults, we suggest Marquis de Perlade Brut Blanc de Blancs, great for mimosas and a steal at $9.99!

Paris Grocery News 1/22 Friday, Jan 22 2010 

Steve and Sharon have been playing hooky at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, charged with the unenviable task of sampling hundreds of gourmet products to bring you the best of the fanciest food. While they recover from this backbreaking work, we at Paris Grocery have stepped in to show you some of our latest and greatest. But, ne vous inquietez pas (don’t worry), The Spanish Table portion will be back in full force next week.

For more Paris Grocery news, find us on Facebook. We heart our fans!

Pyrenées dreamin’

The Thursday afternoon hustle and bustle at Paris Grocery was pleasantly interrupted by Olivier, from Corsican Cheese Cellars, who came bearing gifts. The gift was in the form of Carine, a Pyrennoise by origin, who is dedicated to helping international markets discover regional artisans. Though many know the Pyrenées region as the rugged backdrop for some of the Tour de France’s most vicious ascents, fewer people have discovered the profound gastronomical heritage of the region. The convergence of French, Mediterranean, Basque, Occitan and Catalan cultures result in a rich and varied cuisine de terroir. Because this region is often overlooked, there is still a handcrafted ethos behind each wheel of cheese that comes our way. As we’ve sampled cheeses, chocolates and wines from all over France, we find ourselves drawn to the subtle depth of these Pyrenean treasures. The clean mountain flavors bring to mind the farmer who crafted them, and we can easily imagine how these cheeses are a daily presence on the tables of their communities. We are thrilled to have three new cheeses from this region and hope they will become a part of your daily table, as they have become of ours.

PARIS GROCERY CHEESES

Valle d’Aspe, Chevre

This aged goat cheese epitomizes an authentic chèvre from the French Pyrenees. Complex and delicate nuances: fruity, tangy, and a little salty. It finishes with an irresistible caramelized nuttiness.

Le Somport

A deliciously mild and creamy raw cow’s milk cheese from a cooperative of small producers in the French Pyrenees. The cheese is not pressed, allowing for a rustic, non-uniform texture. Nutty flavors with hints of fruit on the lush finish.

Ossau-Iraty

A classic! A raw sheep’s milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. Hints of mingling herbs and fruit, with mellow nutty undertones and a creamy, buttery finish. Excellent with a black cherry confit.

Back in stock: Truffle Salt and individually-wrapped salted butter caramels from Brittany!

NEW FRENCH WINES

2007 Chateau Picau-Perna St-Emilion

Recently designated as the #1 Bordeaux under $20 by The New York Times, this St-Emilion is an exceptional value in French wines. Equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and spiced with 18% Cabernet Franc, this wine is refreshingly fragrant and balanced, with the ability to age for several years. Juicy and with appealing earthy notes and hints of wet stone, it pairs beautifully with braised meats and lentils.

Domaine des Gatinauds Pineau des Charentes Blanc

Charente, the region where Cognac is produced, is also the home of a delicious fortified wine known as Pineau de Charentes. The Rivière family has been producing Cognac and Pineau on their estate since 1804, and have received many awards. Made from a blend of unfermented grape must and young Cognac, it is light and sweet with pleasing notes of nuts, dried fruits and oak spice.