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!