Paris Grocery News 5/13 Friday, May 14 2010 

Ready, set, fromage!

I’ve been hungry all morning. Rachel has been unwrapping, cutting, rearranging cheeses all day, forcing samples into my not-so-unwilling hand every so often. There is a cacophony of aromas billowing behind the cheese counter: piquant bleu notes; musty, earthy, straw-laced pitches; and diva-like, nutty sopranos. As we taste through some of our special orders in honor of the Seattle Cheese Festival, we marvel at how interesting and delicious these cheese are, even though we’ve had hundred of cheeses, hundreds of times. We are lucky to be omnivores, says Rachel, and I couldn’t agree more. What would life be without the astounding complexity of the Tête de Moine, herb-and-nut of the Tomme de Hyelzas at its peak, or the unadulterated creaminess against the spicy-salty bleu of the Roquefort Coulet? We’re glad we don’t have to know. We hope you enjoy the buzz of the Seattle Cheese Festival, and when you’re ready for a break from the crowds and other kinds of cacophony, come down to Western Avenue and see us. We’re here 360 days a year, happy to let you taste anything and to talk about the good things in life.

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

A French Six-Pack!

At Paris Grocery, we always offer a discount on six or more bottles of wine. Since you might get thirsty tasting cheeses galore this weekend, I’ve put together a cheese-friendly six pack of wine for you!

2008 J. Lourat Collection Blanc VdP Loire ($12.99)
A beautiful blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. With vibrant white fruit aromas, a silky mouth feel, and a crisp, mineral-accented finish, this wine is perfect with just about any cheese.

2008 Lucien Albrecht “Cuvée Balthazar” Alsace ($13.99)
This unoaked Pinot Blanc comes from a family owned winery in Alsace. The excellence of their vineyards is immediately apparent. Rich, harmonious fruit and ripe apple notes, with a lively finesse. Well-suited for washed-rind, creamy cheeses such as Munster or Tomme du Berger.

2005 Chateau Saint-Sauveur Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise ($26.99)
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is an AOC used exclusively for sweet, fortified Muscat wine, a wine that has been praised since the time of Pliny the Elder! Unctuous, with fig, almond, candied citrus, and a stylish balance. Particularly good with bleu cheese. 90 points Wine Spectator

2008 Antech “Émotion” Cremant de Limoux Rosé ($14.99)
Made in the traditional method from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, and a touch of Pinot Noir, this rosé sparkler is aged for 15 months before release. Incredibly elegant, with a delicate pink hue and a fine, firm mousse. Rose petals, white flowers, and strawberry on the nose, followed by cherry and a subtle nuttiness on the palate. The finish is fresh and utterly delightful. Excellent with triple-creams, bries, and other rich cheeses.

2006 Albert Bichot Savigny-les-Beaune ($29.99)
With warm aromas of pie cherry, this Burgundy Pinot Noir has heft on the palate. Black cherry flavors accented with pepper fill the mid-palate. An elegant and dry Pinot Noir, it is a great wine for semi-firm to firm cheeses, such as Comté and Tomme d’Aquitaine.

2007 Yannick Pelletier “L’Oiselet” St. Chinian ($15.99)
From a small appellation in the Languedoc, this is an unoakedblend of Cinsault and Grenache Noir, with little bit of Syrah and Carignan. The producer works biodynamically and ages the l’Oiselet for 10 months in vats before bottling, allowing all the flavors to come together. Fruit-forward, juicy, and smoky, it’s a full-bodied wine for full-bodied cheese. Try it with Abondance, Tomme Corse, or Cantal.

Cheese @ PG

The most difficult question for a cheesemonger is, “what’s your favorite?” It’s impossible to answer, and my usual response is just to open the cheese case and start cutting samples, trying to find your new favorite. After a marathon cheese case stock-and-spruce-up this morning, I am even more excited for the Cheese Festival this weekend so I can share all my new favorites.

Tomme de Hyelzas

Olivier brings us stunning cheeses from all over France, but the cheeses from Corsica and from southwestern France thrill me with their herbaceous vivacity, clean acidity, and rustic textures. Just back in stock is Tomme Corse de Chèvre, a goat’s milk tomme with a dreamy snow-white interior and a herbal, goaty tang. Saveur de Maquis is a classic Corsican sheep’s milk cheese; it’s covered in a wild smattering of herbs and has a creamy, ricotta-like texture. New to the store is a young Tomme de Hyelzas from the Causses: raw sheep’s milk, full of flavors from the limestone plateaus of juniper, lavender, and blue grass. Tomme Haut Barry, a sheep’s milk cheese from Larzac, is at a great stage– the bright flavors and floral aromas have had some time to age and get super earthy. Olivier chooses his cheeses and has relationships with the cooperatives, so I always know I’m getting a great wheel.

Cone du Port Aubry

Olivier’s cheeses have a special place in my heart (and belly), but we also have many great cheeses from other sources that have reached go-to status. If you love raw goat’s milk flavor, you have to try Cone du Port Aubry, a Herve Mons cheese from the Loire Valley– I’ll tell you the story of how it got its name if you can’t figure it out from its distinctive shape. Fleur Verte is a fresh chèvre dressed in fresh tarragon and pink peppercorns. The texture is unbelievable; I’d recommend this beautiful cheese for a wedding cake. Tête de Moine is from Switzerland- not French, we know- but this dense, nutty cow’s milk cheese has to be tried for your next fondue. Lately, my suggestion for a great “snack” cheese has been Bethmale, a cow’s and goat’s milk washed-rind cheese that is delicious with a plate of olives and charcuterie. Finally, we can’t forget our blues, which may sound too intense for the approaching spring. But Bleu des Basques, a sheep’s milk blue with a nutty sweetness and a clean finish, really sings with a dollop of orange marmalade: I swear, you’ve got to try this!

I could go on and on about our cheeses. Come taste, savor, and learn this weekend at Paris Grocery!

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.

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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.


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.


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!


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.