Category Archives: Events

Sensational Flavors

As a youngster I grew up eating home-grown vegetables and home-cooked meals. Fortunately my mother, grandmother and sisters were all excellent cooks and my father’s garden was so bountiful that even our neighbors had enough fresh vegetables to stock their freezers. My fascination with flavors and quality ingredients sprang from these roots and even today, I eagerly await every meal!  With travel came discoveries of astonishing new ingredients and my palate began to yearn for more than fried chicken and tuna noodle casserole. Now that our stores have extensive selections of inspiring cookbooks, there’s no reason to cook the same dishes over and over!   (Paella excepted.)

Last night Steve turned to Joyce Goldstein’s cookbook “Saffron Shores” ($12.99) for a sensational Tunisian Fish Ball Tagine. The fish balls were light, delicately flavored and satiating on a chilly night. Give them a try!


3 liters El Toro Pure Olive Oil $9.99

Miguel & Valentino brand Guindilla Peppers $.99 

Ferrer Dried Wild Mushrooms $4.99/ 15 gram jar

 Golden Peppadew Peppers $.99/14 oz 

Ferrer White Gazpacho $.99/24 oz


2009 Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta ($11.99) This crisp white has notes of chalk and crushed seashell with a zesty citrus finish. “Laid-back aromas of yellow apple, pear, melon and lemon thyme. Silky and modestly concentrated, with fine-grained honeydew and pear flavors and a light kiss of herbs. Tightly wound for the variety, finishing with good bite and lingering herbacity.” 88 points Stephen Tanzer

2000 Bodegas Lopez Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva ($22.99) This spectacular rosé is excellent all year long but perhaps best in the cooler season when its savoriness is a divine match for rich meat or poultry dishes. In yesterday’s New York Times, Eric Asimov describes Viña Tondonia Rosé as “pale, coppery, complex wine that compels you to smack your lips at the tactile pleasure of rolling it around in your mouth. Jamon Iberico please!”

2009 Tapiz Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) Tapiz has inviting aromas of violets which compliment smoke, raspberry and plum cake notes. Hints of vanilla, menthol and incense give added complexity on the palate. Elegant with a velvety, persistent finish, it is also a terrific value!

2008 El Pecado, Ribera Sacra ($84.00) The 2008 El Pecado is produced by winemaker Raul Perez, who makes some of Spain’s most prized wines in the cool, green D.O. Ribeira Sacra of Galicia. His reds, made from the Mencia grape are reminiscent of top shelf Burgundy. The precision and elegance of these wines is astounding. Prized for their quality as well as their rarity: 115 cases of 2008 El Pecado were produced and only 16 cases were sent to the U.S. “The 2008 El Pecado is 100% Mencia from Ribera Sacra and offers up exotic, kinky aromas of mineral, incense, Asian spices, lavender, boysenberry, cranberry, and black raspberry. On the palate it is satin-textured, intense, complex, and stylish.” 95 points Wine Advocate

2006 Alion, Ribera del Duero ($90.00) The latest release of Vega Sicilia’s Alion has just arrived! “Intensely perfumed, mineral-driven scents of redcurrant, raspberry, spicecake and dried rose, with a smoky overlay. Juicy and precise, offering lively red fruit flavors and a suave floral pastille quality with aeration. Weightier on the finish, where the floral note lingers with authority and persistent spiciness.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer, 94 points Wine Advocate


Zoe Meats Chorizo: A perfect balance of pork, fat and pimenton, it contains no nitrates/nitrites. This überlicious chorizo is a favorite of our Spanish customers. We carry a small 8oz version or you may buy it sliced, but we recommend the larger chorizo for the best value. $25.99/lb

Lomo Embuchado – This domestic lomo is a dry-cured pork loin that is very popular in Spain as part of a traditional tapas course. Always extremely lean, this cured meat is marinated before aging with an array of spices including garlic and paprika bringing out the full flavor of the pork. $34.99/lb

Upcoming Flamenco shows: This Friday and Saturday evening at Taberna del Alabardero: Don’t miss Manolo Leiva. Click here for details.


In Spain, Sephardic fish balls, (called albondigas) were seasoned simply with parsley and maybe a little cheese, then fried and served with tomato sauce. Tunisian Jewish fish balls are more highly seasoned. To hold the fish together, most cooks use fresh bread crumbs. The fish balls may be fried or poached, then simmered in fish broth flavored with tomato puree, and served with couscous. Some recipes use chopped tomatoes and peppers in the broth.

Serves 6 TO 8


1½ lbs mild white fish, such as cod, sole, sn apper or bass

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 onions, finely chopped

½ Teaspoons kosher salt

½ Teaspoon harissa (try the rose petal harissa)

2 Teaspoons ground cumin

4 Slices stale bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry, or 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

Olive oil for frying


3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Cloves garlic, minced

6 Tablespoons tomate frito, or 4 tomatoes, chopped

2 Cups fish broth or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Couscous for serving

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

To make the fish balls, bone and finely chop the fish. In a food processor or large bowl, combine the fish with all the remaining ingredients except the egg and oil. Mix well, Add the egg and mix until smooth. Dipping a spoon and your fingers in cold water, remove a sample of fish paste and roll into a ball. Fry in a little olive oil and taste and adjust the seasoning. Form the rest of the fish paste into I-inch balls. Either fry now, or place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat ½ inch oil over medium-high heat and fry a few fish balls at a time until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

To make the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the fish balls and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over couscous, sprinkled with parsley.

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Filed under Books, Events, Fish, Recepies, Red Wine, Rose

Epiphany & Collector Wines

Today is Epiphany.  In Spain there are fabulous parades and processions on the night of the 5th, with the three kings leading their gift-laden camels through the streets and showering the crowds with candy. Afterwards there’s one last big holiday meal before everyone finally goes to bed. The next morning the kids check their shoes and everyone feasts on the round, fruit-rich, pannettone-like roscón de reyes, or Three Kings Cake.  We’ve had many requests for Three Kings Cake and all I can say is… hopefully we’ll have it next year!

The beginning of January also brings resolutions, football playoffs and Saveur Magazine’s Top 100 issue of the year.  This year is the Chef’s Edition, a round up of culinary professionals’ favorite tools, ingredients, restaurants and more.

San Sebastian’s Juan Mari Arzak is number 26 on the list and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.  Juan Mari brought international acclaim to Basque cuisine with his experimental dishes featuring the finest local ingredients.  A dinner at his three star Michelin restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian is an unforgettable experience.

Among the Chef Edition’s choice ingredients, we’re proud to have some of the best in stock.  These stellar products are a must for any serious cook!  Number 64 is Miguel & Valentino pine-cone smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil.    It is incredible drizzled over seafood, and adds a depth of flavor to pasta or grilled vegetable dishes.   Number 76 is Aji Amarillo Chile, which is essential to many Peruvian potato or shrimp recipes. Number 82 is chef Paul Bertolli and his toothsome Fra’Mani line of cured meats.   We stock the Salametto Piccante which is a Spanish-style dry chorizo made with Pimenton de la Vera.   Just slice it and make one of the best boccadillos you’ve had in a long time!

El Campero Restaurant in Barbate is number 36 on the list.  As a tuna aficionado, I am mad about this famous tuna-fishing village in southern Spain.  We stumbled upon Barbate in 2001 and two things made a big impression:  this no-frills fishing town had fresh, to-die-for tuna on every block.   I only wish we had discovered El Campero Restaurant with its 50 different tuna dishes!   Barbate’s flamenco scene was also amazing and worth a trip even without the tuna.  Macarena de Jerez and Ezequiel Benitez from Jerez de la Frontera were performing and the flamenco peña was bursting at the seams.  And incredibly, copas of Campo Viejo Rioja were only 80¢ each!


Bethmale Chèvre – This delicious washed-rind cheese from the Pyrenees is made exclusively with goat milk. It has a semi-firm texture with tiny eyes throughout, offering an airy delicate feel on the palate. Mildly goaty, nutty, slightly sweet and mushroomy.

Canzona Danablu – This one is for serious blue lovers! Pasteurized cows milk from Denmark. Piquant and tangy with a strong blue finish. Crumbles perfectly for salads and melts well over steaks and hamburgers. This is a stellar cheese for the price at $8.99/LB.

Torta de Oveja Caprichos de la Pastora – This limited production sheeps milk torta from Zamora is a rare and new addition to our extensive stock of Spanish Cheeses. In the same tradition as La Serena and Torta del Casar, this organic queso  is packed with a meadow of flavor.  Cut off the top and spoon out the über soft and gooey center. Rich, buttery, nutty, herbaceously sweet with a long piquant finish, Torta de Oveja Caprichos de la Pastora is perfectly complex;  the more you enjoy, the more nuances you discover!

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Filed under Cheese, Events, Food, Spain, Travel


This is just a sample of our Christmas cookie selection that arrived last night

Fresh off the truck, we’ve been pricing and stacking Mantecados, Polvorones, Hojaldradas, Roscos de Vino, Alfajores de Almendra, E. Moreno Turron, Lacasa Turrones “con imaginacion”… you get the idea.   You’ve been asking when these will be here.   Come down now while we have the greatest assortment!


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Filed under Events, Food, Spain

Frango Assado


Frango Assado in Oporto

One of our favorite meals in Portugal is Frango Assado.   We’ve never been disappointed by one of these  platters of marinated and grilled chicken, served with fries and mixed green salad, washed down with a cold Sagres beer.  (Of course, eating this on a hot sunny day just doubles the pleasure!!)  Portuguese birds are smaller than their American counterparts, and grill up to a succulent finish like nobody’s business.   Don’t leave Portugal without stopping in at one of these humble establishments; look for a hand painted sign reading ‘Frango Assado’ or ‘Churrecaria’.  Inside will be a huge grill covered with sizzling chickens cooking over flames. Here, you’ll be rewarded with great flavor and very cheap prices.

If you’re not traveling to Portugal in the near future, you can replicate Frango Assado at home.   We carry Sagres Portuguese beer ($10.99 per six pack) and now have Sagres beer steins ($6.99) and schooners ($4.99).

Here is our recipe for Frango Assado, from The Spanish Table Cookbook:   (Serves 4)

Each bird is butterflied and marinated in piri piri pepper sauce, then roasted over coals that crisp the sauce-saturated skin while leaving the meat moist and succulent.  It is appropriate that we associate this dish so closely with Portugal because the folk art symbol of Portugal is a rooster and gallo logos are everywhere.

1                                 Chicken, cut into halves or quarters

1 tablespoon                 Course sea salt

4 cloves                        Garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon                 Hot smoked pimentón

¼ cup                           Piri piri Sauce

¼ cup                           Olive oil

Put the salt in a mortar and add garlic.  Mash together, then grind in pimentón.

Smoosh in the piri piri followed by the olive oil.  You should now have a nice paste.

Using a brush, coat chicken on all sides.   Refrigerate for 24 hours then grill or bake at 450º for 45 minutes to one hour.


2007 Calma Rioja ($14.99)   Calma Rioja reveals spice, cherry and cigar box aromas on the nose.  Made in a traditional Rioja style, it displays tasty cherry and berry fruit, mixed with spice and dusty earth.  With silky, ripe tannins and excellent persistence, this food friendly red is a great match for cured meats or rice dishes.

2008 Valle Azul Cabernet Sauvignon, Rio Negro Patagonia ($14.99)  Cabernet is the second most widely planted grape in Argentina, after Malbec.    Valle Azul Cabernet from Patagonia has a delicious  dusty edge to its ripe black and red fruit and a lengthy finish with minerals.  Winemaker Hans Vindig-Diers produces Noemia (the 2008 vintage received a 95 point score from Wine Spectator and sells for $105.00 if you can find it); Hans trained in Bordeaux and a group of Rio Negro vintners asked him to turn their fruit into wines that would show all of its potential.   “A floral-style Cab, with bright cherry and red plum notes laced with hints of violet and roasted vanilla. Nice supple finish. Drink now. 250 cases made.”   87 points Wine Spectator

2007 Viña Sastre Crianza, Ribera del Duero ($35.00) From the highest elevation vineyards in Ribera del Duero, this vineyard sometimes supplies fruit to Vega Sicilia.   Fermented with native yeast and aged 12 months in new French oak, this is a harmonious wine with elegance and nuance.   “Complex, seductively perfumed nose melds raspberry, cherry-cola, Asian spices and dark chocolate. Dense, sappy and focused, with allspice, vanilla and mineral tones to go with the powerful red fruit. Finishes with broad, palate-dusting tannins and excellent persistence. Owner Jesus Sastre told me that he wasn’t crazy for 2007 so [he made only] one wine: all the Pago de Santa Cruz and Pesus juice is in here. It shows.”  92 points Stephen Tanzer

2007 Marc Ripoll Sans Black Slate Gratallops, Priorat ($19.99) “A village appellation wine from Priorat, the 2007 Black Slate is a blend of 46% Garnacha, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Carinena, Merlot and Syrah aged for 12 months in French and American oak. Purple-colored with an expressive bouquet of slate/mineral, Asian spices, mocha, and black cherry, on the palate it is loaded with succulent fruit, has superb concentration, and exceptional length. It has the structure to evolve for 1-2 years although it can be enjoyed now. It may be the finest value in quality Priorat in the market.”  91 points Wine Advocate

2007 Roquers de Porrera Priorat  ($40.00)  rice!  “The 2007 Roquers de Porrera is composed of 80% Garnacha and Carinena with the balance Merlot and Syrah aged for 16 months in 50% new French oak. Aromas of wet stone, licorice, underbrush, black cherry and plum lead to a silky-textured, elegant yet powerful expression of Priorat.  Incipiently complex, it will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle age and offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2022.”  93 points Wine Advocate


A steady stream of new products have been rolling in the door for the last couple of weeks!     OCTWe’ve restocked the round wooden plates used for serving Pulpo A La Gallego (stewed octopus served on slices of boiled potato with paprika).  VUV We’ve had many requests for the “Vuelve Tortilla” pedestal plates – now we have them in wood, 20 cm and 30 cm size.  Handmade potholders from Panama, made by Kuna Indians in colorful bird and flower patterns.  Great for housewarming gifts or just to brighten up your own kitchen!

Our first shipment of Turron is now in!  We’ve got Casa Real, Delaviuda, 1880, and El Lobo brands; Blando, duro and Yema Tostada styles.   More is on the way…

Hand painted ceramic Portuguese rooster bottle stoppers and large boxes of Maria crackers are back in stock.

We still have Padron Peppers – a fresh shipment arrived yesterday.   Sadly, with colder weather, the pepper season will not last much longer, so get them while you can!

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the performers from Madrid’s Casa Patas flamenco tablao.  They performed in Benaroya Hall last weekend, and will be at Taberna del Alarbardero for four nights starting today.    They are absolutely phenomenal!   Contact Taberna del Alarbardero for information:  206.448.8884.

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Filed under Events, Food, Portugal, Recepies, Red Wine, Travel

Gonzalez Byass Tasting & More

Anyone interested in the different styles of sherry and Spanish wines will not want to miss next Wednesday’s Gonzalez Byass tasting at the Harvest Vine from 6 to 8 pm.  Fifth generation family member, Felipe Gonzalez will lead us through four flights of wines from their portfolio for a total of twelve samples, each flight paired with a tapa specially prepared by The Harvest Vine.

Gonzalez Byass, established in 1835, celebrates its 175th anniversary of family ownership this year and is one of Spain’s most historic and important family owned wine producers.  Combining a balance of tradition with modern innovation, their portfolio of sherry, sparkling and still wines include Gonzalez Byass Sherries, iconic Tio Pepe Fino (which holds Spain’s first registered trademark), valued priced Altozano (Castilla-LaMancha), classical Beronia (Rioja), Finca Moncloa (Cadiz), Villarnau (Cava) wines and Vinas del Vero from the Somontano region of Northern Spain. Gonzalez Byass is committed to traditional styles of Spanish winemaking with sustainable production.

Perhaps best of all, the cost is only $25.00! The tasting line up includes samples of two very old sherries, including one of my favorites, the incredible Noe Pedro Ximenez.  Don’t miss this rare and unique opportunity to taste through an exceptional array of Spanish wines, guided by one of the owners of this historic firm.  Seats are limited and are booking quickly.   For reservations, call The Harvest Vine at 206.320.9771.

This is what we’ll be tasting:

Flight 1: – Sparklers and White

Vilarnau Brut Cava

Vilarnau Brut Vintage Reserve Cava

Vinas Del Vero Garnacha Blanca – Somontano

Flight 2: – Old vines/ New vines

Vinas del Vero Garnacha Tinto – Somontano

Vinas del Vero “Secastilla” Garnacha – Somontano

Finca Constancia Red Blend – Castilla-La Mancha

Flight 3: – Rioja

Beronia Crianza

Beronia Reserva

Beronia Gran Reserva

Flight 4: – Sherries

Tio Pepe – Fino

Del Duque – Rare Amontillado

Solera 1847 – Oloroso Dulce

Noe – Rare Old Pedro Ximenez


2008 Zaumau, Priorat ($17.99)  A blend of Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and Pedro Ximenez,  Zaumau is a white wine from the Priorat with aromas of flint and white flowers.  Very dry, it is round on the palate with notes of beeswax, subdued stone fruit flavors, nuts and a refreshing minerality.  This graceful white is unoaked which allows the pure expression of Priorat’s terrunyo.   This is excellent with the Catalan cheese Garroxta.

2008 Valera Monastrell, Bullas ($10.99) Rich, structured and bold, this wine has aromas of smoke, blackberries and exotic spices.  Wonderfully complex with notes of dust and olive, it finishes long and dry.

2008 Mas dels Frares Priorat ($17.99) Accessible and balanced with notes of graphite and mineral, Mas dels Frares is structured with a persistent red fruit finish.  “The 2008 Mas del Frares is an unoaked blend of 50% Carinena, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Garnacha. The nose gives up earth notes, mineral, lavender, and black cherry. Substantial on the palate with good density and ripe flavors, this friendly effort is a good introduction to the region and an outstanding value.”  89 points Wine Advocate

2005 Lopez Cristobal Crianza, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) Fresh, balanced and structured with notes of coconut, blackberry and minerals, the winemaker is a former bullfighter who used to sell his grapes to Pingus.   Lopez Cristobal Crianza was a New York Times’ favorite in the September 15, 2010 article “From Spain, Big Reds, Well Tuned”  where it is described as “sleek and balanced with plummy, floral aromas and flavors.”


1954 Barbeito Malvasia Reserva Velha, Madeira ($261.00) “The 1954 Barbeito Malvasia Reserva Velha reveals stunning balance between the elements of sweetness and acidity, both of which are integrated with notable balance. This dark-hued wine possesses gorgeous aromatics that lead to intriguing notes of worn-in leather, baking spices, toffee, roasted coffee beans and dark plums. This is an unctuous, full-bodied style of Madeira that is simply breathtaking. The wine’s haunting perfume lingers on the long, seductive finish.”  95 points Wine Advocate


Molcajetes:    We’ve been trying to bring these in for months and finally have them.   Made of stone, they grind anything to a pulp in just a few turns of the wrist.   I grind spices and make guacamole with mine.

More cazuelas, including a larger selection of the bright red color!

A new shipment of paella pans, burners, leg sets, and hoses just arrived.  This may be our last shipment before the holidays so if you’re thinking of gifting a paella set this year get it now while the full selection is available!

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Filed under Cava, Events, Food, Red Wine, Sherry

Segura Viudas Wine Dinner This Week

Bodegas Segura Viudas, Catalonia
Don’t miss this Thursday’s wine dinner at La Taberna del Alabardero, featuring the the cavas of Segura Viudas and the wines of Freixenet. Eva Bertran, a native of Catalonia and V.P. of Wine Education will lead us through the tasting with David Brown, Marketing Director of Freixenet U.S.A. David, formerly in advertising, moved to Spain to learn flamenco guitar and from there had the opportunity to enter the wine industry.   Too bad he won’t be playing his guitar for us, but it will be a  lively and educational evening in any event!

La Taberna del Alabardero has put together an amazing five course menu to pair with the wines for a cost of $75.00.   The menu is shown below; please call La Taberna at 206.448.8884 to make reservations.   The dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday September 23rd.

If you’re unable to attend the dinner, stop by La Taberna that afternoon to sample special pintxos, Freixenet wines and cocktails made with Segura Viudas cavas for $5.00 each.

Segura Viudas Fall Harvest Dinner Menu

Segura Viudas Bubble Cocktail:  Segura Viudas Brut Rva with Saint Germain and Mango “Bubbles”

Duck a L’orange Alabardero Style

Coffee and Foie Gras Bonbon

D.O. Cava-Reserva Heredad (Macabeo, Parellada)

Scallops Over an Edamame Emulsion with a Ñora Pepper Sauce and Wild Rice

D.O. Rias Baixas- Vionta 2009 (Albariño)

Vionta vineyards, Rias Baixas

Red Snapper in a Cava Sauce with a Gnocchi Stew with Onions and Sundried Tomatoes in a Demiglas Sauce

D.O. Penedes- Mas D’aranyo Rva 2003 (Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Beef Sirloin with a Carrot and Cauliflower Faux Cous-Cous, Pedro Ximenez Sauce and Potato Crystal

D.O. Ca. Priorat- Morlanda 2003 (Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Carrot Cake with a Creamy Milk Chocolate Frosting and a Bay Leaf Breton Shortbread

D.O. Cava- Aria Brut Rosé (Pinot Noir)

$75.00  (Tax and Gratuity not included)

Call for reservations: La Taberna del Alabardero, 2328 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (206)448-8884

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Filed under Cava, Events, Food, Red Wine, Spain

This Saturday: Anniversary Celebration & Paella Demo

Paella Demo on Saturday, September 11th at noon
See how to make Paella for 50 people.  Try a sample!

September is our January, our season of new beginnings.    Our wedding was in September, 23 years ago.  We’ve opened three of our stores in September:    Paris Grocery launched a year ago in September 2009.  The Spanish Table in Berkeley CA kicked off operations on September 11, 2001.   The mother ship Spanish Table Seattle opened its doors in September 1995, making this our 15th year in business! Back in 1995, most people were unfamiliar with Iberian cuisine and, wanting to introduce these unique flavors that so influenced our cooking, we were the first to offer only authentic Spanish and Portuguese products.   Way ahead of the curve, business languished until Saveur Magazine listed us in their first “Top 100″ issue in January 1998.   Soon writers like Robert Parker were giving top scores to Spanish wines, restaurants began introducing Spanish flavors in their recipes, and our idea was vindicated.   We could finally pay some bills! On Saturday, September 11 at noon, in celebration of our 15th Anniversary, Steve Winston will be cooking a 50 person paella in front of the shop. Come early to watch him cook and enjoy a complimentary sample.   Also on Saturday, we’ll be extending our 10% case discount on wine purchases of six bottles or more.


Our new favorite cheese at the Spanish Table is Izarou, a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees. Izarou is deliciously buttery, creamy, and mildly sweet; it pairs perfectly with summer fruits. This cheese is made by acclaimed cheese maker Gabiel Coulet, who also produces the best Roquefort cheese on the planet, “Cosse Noir” Roquefort, which is available at our sister store, Paris Grocery.New to the shop are the incredible ChocoLate Orgániko bars from Madrid, available in three flavors:   Dark Chocolate Bar– Soft, delicate, and very aromatic, 56% Trinitario Cocoa Bean.  Dark Chocolate Bar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil– soft and creamy black chocolate, enriched with extra virgin olive oil. A contrast of tartly bitter and fruity flavors.  Dark Chocolate Bar with Ibiza Sea Sal– My favorite sweet with small chunks of my favorite salt: a perfect balance. Skull Candy! Try one of these skull lollipops to get you thinking about fall and your Día de los Muertos celebrations! Available in two flavors: strawberry cream and grape. We have a new organic smoked peppercorn blend: black, white, and green peppercorns. Look for it in our spice section; it’s packed out in convenient 8-ounce containers. Most of you are familiar with our Peruvian dried Aji Panka and Aji Amarello pods. We now carry Aji Limo pods, similar to Rocotto peppers. These chiles will add a flavorful kick to many of your favorite dishes, especially ceviche. Mexican Duraznos are small peaches in syrup that taste somewhere between a peach and an apricot. Delicious on their own and impossible not to eat the entire jar after opening.

2009 Con Class Rueda ($11.99)   “The 2009 Con Class is composed of 60% Verdejo, 25% Viura, and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. Light straw-colored, it has an expressive perfume of baking spices, spring flowers, and tropical aromas. Dry, crisp, and with excellent volume on the palate, this tasty effort will provide much pleasure over the next 12-18 months. It is another example of how special 2009 is in Rueda.”  88 points Wine Advocate

2008 Shaya Habis, Rueda  ($29.99) “The 2008 Shaya Habis is a special selection that is barrel-fermented and aged on its lees in large oak. It displays a nose of toasty baking spices, nutmeg, spring flowers, marzipan, and pit fruits. A bit richer and more complex on the palate than the “regular” cuvee, this vibrant effort could evolve for 1-2 years but is drinking well now.”  92 points Wine Advocate

2008 Cantiga Rioja ($9.99) Made of 100% Tempranillo and aged five months in neutral oak, Cantiga delivers a lot of  complexity for $9.99.  Bright fruit flavors are balanced by balsamic and mineral notes.  Notes of raspberries and violets gain depth from the toasted spice flavors of coffee and pepper.  The finish is incredibly long for a young wine.  Great with tapas or paella.

2007 AR Guentota Old Vine Malbec, Mendoza ($19.99) Produced from 100 year old vines using native yeast and aged in French oak for 12 months.  ” Reticent aromas and flavors of dark berries, licorice, bitter chocolate and spicy oak. Juicy, supple and fruit-driven, with a pliant texture, a restrained sweetness and good depth to the middle palate. Finishes with good lingering fruit and sweet tannins. A very suave malbec bottling.”  90 points Stephen Tanzer 2007 Prazo de Roriz, Douro ($15.99) “Prazo de Roriz….has knit together as well as I thought it would from my first look-and quite a bit better, in fact. I fear I underrated it the first time around. Bright and silky, it seems a little harsh on opening, as it did initially, but that does not last long now and it evolves beautifully. It is never going to be a wine that impresses with its depth-it is certainly well on the elegant side in the mid-palate-but it proves to be an impeccably balanced wine, graceful and sunny, with more structure than is apparent at first. Although I think this will hold a reasonable time, it will probably show best in the short to mid-term, now to the next few years.”  89 points Wine Advocate   89 points Wine Spectator


On Thursday September 23rd, join us at La Taberna del Alabardero for a five course wine dinner featuring the wines of Freixenet and Segura Viudas.    A leading cava producer, Freixenet also produces red wines in Ribera del Duero, Penedes and Priorat.  The dinner will pair both bubbly and red wines with amazing cuisine, all for $75.00.   Click menu for details and call 206.448.8884 to make reservations.

All day on September 23rd, La Taberna’s bar is featuring special pintxos and cocktails made with Segura Viudas wines and cavas for $5.00 each.

Taberna del Alarbardero has declared September to be Paella Month and they’ve put together a fantastic menu of 12 different paellas.  Click paella to view the choices. The Harvest Vine is now serving paella on Tuesdays beginning September 14th. Each month will feature a different recipe; Paella Valenciano is the September offering.   Must call ahead to reserve:  206.320.9771.

I love special occasions!   Firstly, they’re a great excuse to open that tempting but too-special-for-tonight bottle of wine.   Last Friday was our 23rd wedding anniversary and after considerable debate, we decided to stay in and cook ourselves an over-the top meal.   It didn’t hurt that at the last minute, our good  friends invited us to their house and they cooked.   Our first course was all seafood:   Delicate  crab cakes, lightly sauteéd; fresh clams cooked with Palacios Chorizo; and grilled fat sea scallops wrapped in bacon.   A bottle of 2009 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé was superb with the shellfish.  Crisp, minerally, rich and complex, this was one of the best rosés I’ve ever tasted. Our main course of veal chops cooked on the grill had sides of fresh garden tomatoes and arugula.  We served a 2005 Pingus from Ribera del Duero which was amazing with the meat course.  The Pingus was astonishing in its powerful concentration while simultaneously displaying a suave elegance.   Incredibly complex with layers of fruit, graphite notes and smoke, the silky tannins wrapped around a one minute finish with notes of minerals.    A bottle of Pingus would make any evening a special occasion!

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Cheese Festival & New Products

The biggest cheese party of the year is converging in Seattle this weekend! The American Cheese Society has chosen Seattle to host its annual Cheese Conference and Competition. With seminars being held at the Seattle Aquarium, Benaroya Hall and the Convention Center, The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery are at the epicenter of this Seattle Queso Quake. CheeseTo celebrate this event we’ve pulled out all the stops and we are carrying every rare delicious cheese we are able to get our hands on.   Stop by this weekend and taste some of these incredible quesos.  Some of the rare cheeses we’re featuring include:

Torta del Casar:  A staff favorite!  This famous Spanish cheese is so well-loved, only 10% of it is exported. Rich, buttery, nutty, herbaceously sweet with a long, piquant finish.  This raw sheep’s milk, washed-rind cheese from Extremadura takes 20 sheep milked twice daily to create one wheel of cheese.  Serve by cutting off the top and spooning out the delightfully oozy center.  This cheese is perfectly balanced and complex; the more you enjoy, the more nuances you discover!

Buenalba Iberico Reserve: This cheese combines the creaminess of cows’ milk, the tanginess of a sheeps’ milk and the kick that goats’ milk offers and combines them into a symphony of flavors that explode on the palate. Alfonzo Álvarz Valera, maker of 1yr. Artequeso Manchego, perfectly blends this unique Iberico with raw milk from his own herds at Finca La Prudenciana. The wheels are aged one year to allow this savory blend to fully develop. Wonderfully balanced, nutty and grassy with notes of sweet honey, a goat tang and a clean finish on the palate.

Picon Azul Deliciously blue and wonderfully spreadable! This creamy Asturian cheese starts out strong but ends with a soft and subtle salty finish. This cheese makes a perfect toasted baguette and grilled beef tenderloin sandwich. Give it a try; you know you’ll like it…



We will be holding a demo with Fromage Diva Extraordinaire, Raquel Danes from Forever Cheese at the Spanish Table on Saturday August 28th between 11:00 A.M. and 2:30pm. Raquel, a native of Vic, Catalunya will be coming from NYC to sample:


Azeitão – A small concentrated round of pasteurized sheeps milk cheese from Portugal. 

Abrigo – A 5-month-aged goat’s milk cheese in the format of Tronchón from the town of Catί in the region of Valencia.

Mitica® Apple Paste. This wonderful fruit pastes comes from our Membrillo producer in Valencia, Spain. They are completely natural, refreshing and flavorful. Apple Paste is perfect accoutrement for your cheese plate.


2007 Pago de Valdoneje Mencia, Bierzo (ON SALE AT $10.99 – REGULAR PRICE $13.99) Produced from a tiny 5 hectare family estate from 60 to 100 year old vines, Pago de Valdoneje is a superb expression of the Mencia grape.  Black currant and savory red fruit flavors mingle in this full-bodied red.   With excellent balance and lively minerality, this vibrant red has a persistent finish.   For 3 generations, the Garcia family has been making wine for friends and family.  In 2001, they decided to begin exporting their wine as its reputation grew.  The winemaking is overseen by renowned  local enologist Raul Garcia.   Excellent with the earthy goat cheese Ibores.

2007 Almirez, Toro ($27.99)  The Eguren family, renowned winemakers of  Numanthia, sold that estate in 2006 and began producing Almirez from a new property. Made from 30 year old vines and aged 12 months in used French oak barrels, “…it displays an expressive nose of spice box, espresso, plum, and blackberry compote. Full-bodied on the palate with layers of savory black fruits, lots of spice, and enough fine-grained tannin to evolve for 1-2 years, it will drink beautifully from 2011 to 2019. It is an excellent value that over-delivers in a big way.”

91 points Wine Advocate Superb with Rosemary Manchego cheese.

2008 Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero ($80.00)  “The 2008 Flor de Pingus …offers up an enticing nose of smoke, Asian spices, incense, espresso, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it displays outstanding volume, intensity, and balance. Rich, dense, and succulent, it has enough structure to evolve for 4-5 years and will offer prime drinking from 2015 to 2028.
Owner/winemaker, Peter Sisseck, an oenologist originally from Denmark, started the estate in 1995; the flagship wine is Pingus. The vines for Flor de Pingus are all over 35 years of age and have been farmed biodynamically since 2005… Flor de Pingus is a very close approximation of Pingus at a fraction of the price. The wine is 100% Tempranillo typically aged for 14 months in new French barriques.”  96 points Wine Advocate Pairing Flor de Pingus with the incredible Serra da Estrella cheese is a hedonistic experience.


Trabanco cider from Asturias arrived yesterday! $11.99/700ml.Cheese

Another container arrived this week.  We now have Duc de Foix Extra Virgin Olive Oil back in stock.  Also we’ve restocked clay cazuelas in many sizes; and have a new shipment of our value-priced Zaitum extra virgin olive oil ($10.99/750 ml), and the Zaitum EVOO in the ceramic container ($14.99/500 ml).

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Filed under Cheese, Events, Recepies, Red Wine


The Spanish Table Seattle
July 9, 2010

Spanish football fans are overjoyed about Spain’s World Cup Final match this Sunday, July 11 at 11:30 A.M. Called “The best team in the world to never win a World Cup”, Spain is favored to win and make history. To take your game spirit up a notch, we’ve got Spain stickers, small flags and Spanish soccer balls. We’ve got plenty of Spanish beer on hand: Estrella Damm, Estrella Galicia, and Alhambra Negro. We also just brought in Portuguese beer Mikate which is a tasty, full flavored lager style beer.

Grilled Provoleta

SATURDAY PROVOLETA GRILLING DEMO: Stop by the store on Saturday July 10 to sample some grilled Provoleta and take some home to serve during the World Cup game! Our Argentine importer will be here from 1 pm until about 3 pm, grilling and serving this delicious cheese. Generally topped with oregano and hot pepper flakes, it is a salty, spicy, herbal slice of deliciousness. There will also be samples of Estancia Lucia Argentine olives.

Easy World Cup Menu: Start with a cup of Gazpacho and follow with sauteéd fresh Padron Peppers, Grilled Provoleta and Despaña Morcilla sausage. (Despaña brand Morcilla is Manager Isaac Rivera’s favorite!)

This is our favorite Gazpacho recipe; feel free to vary the quantity of ingredients to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Salt
½ Sweet Onion (optional)
1 Red pepper
1 Green pepper (optional)
1 Cucumber, peeled
4-5 Ripe tomatoes
¼ cup Sherry vinegar
cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups Stale bread cubes, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes, then drained
Drop garlic into blender while running, then add ingredients one by one and puree.
Add cold water if needed to blend thoroughly. As blender fills, dump half the contents into bowl or pitcher, watching for lumps. Stir and taste; if needed, add more salt. If too sweet, add vinegar. Add a pinch of sugar if too acidic. Add more bread if too thin; add water if too thick. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving.


It’s definitely rosé season when the temperature tops 80 degrees! Some of the best values are almost sold out – we’ve just got a few bottles left of 2009 Espelt Coralí from Empordá ($10.99); 2009 Olivares from Jumilla ($8.99); 2009 El Coto from Rioja ($9.99). We’ve still got several cases of our favorite rosé in stock — 2009 Muga from Rioja ($11.99). Muga has flavors of wild berries, minerals, and a persistent, crisp finish. So delicious!

2009 Protos Verdejo, Rueda ($11.99) We tasted several Verdejo wines from the Rueda region yesterday, and Protos was our top choice. With notes of pine and grapefruit, it is vibrant with a noticable weight on the palate. Hints of mineral and dust lead into a refreshing and crisp finish. This would be excellent with any shellfish.

2006 Weinert Carrascal, Mendoza ($11.99)
A blend of 45% Malbec, 35% Merlot and 20% Cabernet, aged for two years in French oak casks. Its bouquet is well developed, with ripe red fruits and a hint of oak. Round and graceful, 2006 Weinert Carrascal has an old-world elegance with its lively, well developed plum and black cherry fruit and notes of cigar box. Harmonious and smooth, it’s polished tannins lead into a persistent finish. Serve with grilled vegetables or meats.

2007 Solnia Rioja
We served this easy drinking red to a group of friends last weekend over dinner. Fruity and straightforward, we all agreed that it was great with our assortment of foods which included Roast Chicken rubbed in hot Piri Piri sauce, grilled Rabbit and Prune Sausage, steamed asparagus, and Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in olive oil and garlic). Medium bodied, juicy and clean, this is an excellent wine to serve around the deck on a hot night.

: Our sister store two doors down from Spanish Table has a 10% discount for a six pack of French Roses and a free PG wine carrier bag, through July 14th.

See the June 2010 Sunset Magazine for ideas on having a “Paella Potluck” (page 110-113). is listed as THE source for ingredients.

VISIT US ON LINE! Shop our wine website at Spanish Table Wines. For food, cookbooks, paella pans and all non-wine items, go to The Spanish Table website. For the latest product news from Paris Grocery, visit the PG Facebook page.

Thank you for being our customer!


Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table
1426 Western Avenue
Seattle WA 98101
SUMMER HOURS: Mon-Sat 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM.

Paris Grocery
1418 Western Avenue
Seattle WA 98101
HOURS: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

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Filed under Cheese, Events, Recepies, Spain

Padron Plants are Here!

Our sunny winter weather has us thinking of gardening, and how great it was to fry up all of those Padron Peppers last summer! We’ve now got Padron plants for sale at Spanish Table for $4.99 each. Don’t plant them outside yet; keep them indoors in a sunny window and let them grow until it’s consistently above 45 degrees at night, (mid-May or early June).

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

March 19, 2010


With St. Patrick’s Day over and the craving for green beer satisfied, we’re turning our attention back to wine. Here are some great finds, all for under $20.00!

2008 Los Bayos Joven, El Bierzo ($7.99) It’s rare to find a wine from the El Bierzo region for this price, especially one produced from 40 year old vines. Made of 100% Mencia, Los Bayos displays all of the minerality and black fruit flavors typical of this grape. With aromatics of earth, ripe berries and leather, the body is rich with concentrated notes of boysenberry liqueur and hints of chocolate. It’s got impressive length, and is an all around excellent wine for this price!

2008 Benaza Mencia, El Bierzo ($13.99) This Burgundian-style Mencia is loaded with black fruit, notes of earth and abundant minerality. “Bright ruby. Black raspberry and cherry on the nose, with notes of cracked pepper, licorice and violet adding complexity. Refreshingly bitter dark berry flavors are given spine by a tangy mineral quality and betray no rough edges. Finishes with mouthwatering acidity and a bitter cherry skin quality. This will be very flexible at the table.” Stephen Tanzer 2007

Emilio Moro Finca Resalso, Ribera del Duero ($13.99) “The 2007 Finca Resalso was sourced from younger vines and aged in French oak for four months. Dark ruby-colored, it emits an enticing perfume of mineral, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it reveals an elegant personality, savory, spicy flavors, good depth, and a fruit-filled finish. Drink this tasty effort over the next four years. The Moro family has been making wine in Ribera del Duero for over 120 years.” 90 points Wine Advocate 2007

D’Este Vinos El Molinet, Valencia ($14.99) “80% tempranillo and 20% cabernet sauvignon. Deep, bright red. Fresh red berry and baking spice aromas are strikingly brisk and focused. Racy, light-bodied raspberry and cherry flavors are unencumbered by tannins but nicely framed by juicy acidity. Pinot-like in its vivacious, red-fruit expression and firm finishing cut. This is really delicious.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer 2007

Volver La Mancha ($15.99) “…(100% tempranillo). Bright purple. Sexy aromas of blackberry, incense and cocoa powder are complemented by a suave smoky quality. Plush, creamy dark berry flavors possess plenty of weight but are energized by racy minerality. Chewy tannins arrive with air, adding grip to the broad, sappy, persistent finish. Complex enough to enjoy now.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer


Bacalao (salt cod) fillets and pieces; Greek Olive Mix: Mt. Athos Green, Chalkididi, Kalamata and black oil cured olives finished with a sprinkle of wild herbs; Pirámides de sal: Coarse sea salt flakes in the shape of pyramids; Revilla Chorizo Español: Stop by and try a sample this weekend. We’ll cut pieces to order. Pitted Dates: Stuff with Cabrales blue cheese and wrap them in bacon as a tapa. Sweet, savory, and delicious!

Arriving this afternoon: Paella Pans of all sizes!


Tomorrow is the first official day of spring, and we at Paris Grocery are ready to welcome it with open arms. And tastebuds. We’re thinking apéritifs, charming sweets in pastel palettes, frisée salad with lardons and poached egg, and a tangy goat cheese that evokes the fresh flavors of the season.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry: The only Vermouth with an AOC designation, Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. $13.99/each. Fee Brothers Bitters: Try all three flavors in your artisan cocktails: Old-Fashioned, Orange, and Mint. Calissons: 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. Marshmarshmallow Ropes: Do like the cool enfants and eat these adorable ropes right out of the package! Lemon, Raspberry or Violet flavors, $1.99 each Lardons: Simply cut into cubes and fry for a rich, salty, and crispy addition to frisée salad, quiche, soups, tarte flambée, even Brussels sprouts. La Pointe Goat Cheese: A farmhouse goat cheese from the Loire Valley, this creamy, slightly crumbly cheese has initially herbaceous and milky aromas, which intensify into a tangy finish. A Sauvignon Blanc would perfectly accent its delicate fruitiness. $19.99/each


At La Taberna del Alabardero, March 25th, 26th and 27th: Jesus Montoya Flamenco Company performs.

At Cafe Paloma, 93 Yesler Way Saturday March 20th: Arte Flamenco Reservations: 206-405-1920.

At Cafe Solstice, Saturday March 27th: Carmona Flamenco with guest artist Ana Montes.


Click The Spanish Table wine to visit our wine website.

Click The Spanish Table to purchase food, books, cookware and other non-wine items.

Visit our sibling store, Paris Grocery’s Facebook page for the latest new products.

Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!


Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table, 1426 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.2827

Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.0679

Hours at both stores: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM


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