November 25th, 2008
All of a sudden it is Thanksgiving and Christmas is only a month away! We are closed Thanksgiving Day (but Steve will be in the store with his power saw and sander doing a little carpentry – there are no days off for small businessmen) but this Friday – Saturday – Sunday, all books and CDs are 10% off! If you are able to come in, pick up some of our imported Puebla style Red Mole and turn your left over turkey into a Mexican feast. Left over turkey also translates into paella with a little help from some saffron and a jar of piquillo pepper strips! Or if you are making classic turkey sandwiches (a must-have at our house), serve them with some of our Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.
Meanwhile, there are new arrivals in our cold case:
Pate is an essential entertaining food in Barcelona and this is pate season in Seattle.
Pate de Campangne with Black Pepper: A traditional recipe with origins in the French countryside, this country-style (campagne) pâté is a thick, coarsely-textured treasure seasoned with piquant black pepper. The uneven, super spread-able paste is created using seasonings and fats, added to bring out the flavor in meats.
Truffle Mousse Pate: Made from pork and chicken liver and flavored with Sherry. This mousse has an unbelievable silky texture.
Pasamontes 4 month Raw Milk Manchego: Pasamontes is the DO award winner of Manchego and unlike cheaper industrial cheeses it is made slowly over 4 months with unpasteurized milk. Intensely nutty with a strong bouquet and a long finish on the palate.
Afuega=l Pitu Red: One of the oldest and most prolific Asturian cheeses, and rarely brought to the USA. This fresh cow=s milk cheese is mixed with paprika, wrapped in a cloth and aged for one month. The subtly chalky/creamy texture of this cheese melts in your mouth like cream cheese and has just the perfect amount of heat.
Bulgarian Feta: Our all time favorite sheep=s milk feta. This feta has got some hurrrummph! It has just the right amount of tang with a rustic twist.
Thasos Olives: We picked up these high quality olives from our local Greek importer. Thasos Olives are Greek prepared olives made from Thrubolea olives. They are made on Thasos (aka Thasou), in the northern Aegean Sea. The olives are harvested when fully black and wrinkled. They are dry-cured, and then packed in olive oil. They have a strong, rich flavor and are chewy and meaty.
Pitted Kalamata Olives: Also from our local Greek importer, Kalamatas that are a dark eggplant color and have a flavor that is rich and fruity. They are marinated in red wine vinegar.
Taramosalata: Taramosalata is a Greek style caviar spread made from the delicate roe of carp. Krinos Taramosalata uses roe that is naturally cured and aged over one year. It can be served as a vegetable dip or a spread on crackers. No preservatives, no artificial ingredients.
Chistorra: This Basque style 6inch long sausage is great to fry up with potatoes for breakfast or with rice for dinner.
Top Wines for Thanksgiving weekend and the December holidays:
Rosado: Dry Spanish rosé not only look festive in the glass but pair perfectly with the variety of flavors which make up Thanksgiving dinner. From savory dressings, creamed vegetables and gravy, a high-acid rose cuts through rich foods and refreshes the palate like nothing else.
Our favorite roses: 2007 Muga Rosado Rioja ($13.99) and 2007 Cune Rosado ($11.99)
Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero $29.99: AThe reasonably priced 2004 Emilio Moro is a terrific Ribera del Duero. Its dense ruby color is followed by a projected nose of blackberries, currants, cherries, smoky oak and crushed rock. Terrific texture, purity and a long heady finish, suggest it will keep for 7-8 years.@ 92 points Wine Enthusiast
Remelluri, Rioja $34.99: We have two vintages on hand: A small amount of the suave and graceful 2001 vintage and the latest, 2003 release. The 2001 is sophisticated and polished with earthy and ripe fruit. The 2003 is elegant, fresh and poised with a chewy texture and a peppery kick. Either would be stunning with Thanksgiving dinner, or buy one bottle of each and have a vertical tasting!
VIU 1, Valle de Colchagua, Chile: You probably have never paid $65 for a bottle of Chilean wine. This is the reason you should. Viu 1 is only produced in outstanding years, with premium grapes hand sorted for consistent ripeness. A blend of 94% Malbec and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in barrel for 20 months, it is a limited release of 11,333 numbered bottles. Hedonistic, with flavors of black cherry, leather and truffle and voluptuous tannins, it was unanimously the winner of a blind tasting we attended recently, where it stood head and shoulders above the other 13 wines tasted that night.
2003 Tahuan Syrah Mendoza $19.99: Ernesto Catena, son of respected winemaker Nicholas Catena, is producing stellar Malbecs and Syrahs from his Tahuan winery. The 2003 Syrah, grown at an elevation of 1700 meters contains 7% Bonarda which gives it a fresh juiciness. With spice, a hint of smoke and toast flavors, balanced acidity rounds out this plush wine. AY with rich texture and mouth filling notes of coffee and currant comfiture, warm fig sauce and dark cocoa. Rich, fleshy finish has nice buried grip.@ 89 points Wine Spectator
2006 CARM Douro Superior ($15.99) A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca, CARM is a superb expression of terroir. Ripe blackberries, mulberry, and black cherry introduce this wine, followed by seductive flavors of black fig and licorice. The finish has hints of toasted oak, warm spicy fruit and silky texture. 89 points Wine Spectator
2005 CARM Grande Reserva Douro ($39.00) Produced from the best vineyards, the Grande Reserva has intense floral aromas with ripe plum and blueberries. With concentrated black fruit liqueur flavors and fine tannins, the oak is well integrated. Balanced and smooth with a full mouthfeel and persistent finish, this elegant wine will pair well with roast meats or game. 89 points Wine Spectator
We also stock rich flavored Carm Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the same property in Portugal.
2003 Vila Santa, Alentejo ($14.99) Joao Portugal Ramos is one of the most widely known winemakers in the south of Portugal, making wines in several regions. His 2003 Vila Santa needs about 30 minutes of air to release its full floral aromas, but the wait will be rewarded! Dusty boysenberry flavors with hints of cherry pit and pencil lead are supported by sweet tannins. With medium acidity and a long toasted finish, Vila Santa is a natural match with a rich Thanksgiving dinner.
Best wishes to you and your family and friends!