A Few Favorite Things

I feel like Julie Andrews’ Maria as I gaze at a few of my favorite things here in the store. Some are items that we restocked this week, including palleras and burners in all sizes, flaneras and cazuelas.  And there are new favorites that we unloaded yesterday from our Spanish container. These make sensational gifts for the foodie or wine lover in your life!

Goblets and Tumblers made of recycled glass

Toro Albala Sherry Vinegar, now in 750 ml bottles

Cataplanas:  Nothing steams clams and mussels like a cataplana, which clamps shut to hold in the moisture.    Essential for making traditional pork and clams Cataplana.

The Book of Tapas ($39.95) by Simone and Inés Ortega is filled with mouthwatering pictures and easy to prepare recipes such as cardoons in vinaigrette and trout pâté, along with pages of tortilla recipes.  The New York Times calls it “irresistible”.

Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou  ($18.95) has North African, Turkish and European recipes such as Turkish Meat Bread,  Eggplant Salad, Kefta and Kebabs.

Also Children’s books in Spanish!

Rabitos – Brandy filled, chocolate covered figs.

Madeiras: This is the season to sip Madeira!   Perfect on a cold and blustery night, the high acidity of a Madeira wine gives it a lighter feeling on the palate.    Depending on the varietal used, Madeiras range from bone dry if made from Sercial grape to the very sweet Malmsey.

Delicious Delaviuda Chocolate Florentinos:  I fell hard for these circular chocolate disks covered with almonds, hazelnuts and honey.   Bite size, and impossible to eat just one.

Tortas: Our selection of these crisp breads keeps expanding!  Select a savory style with olive oil or herbs to eat with cheese, or top a sweet torta with honey and ice cream for an easy dessert.

Tagines: There’s nothing easier than combining meat and vegetables in a tagine and slow cooking it for a couple of hours.   A North African tradition, the recipes use seasonings such as cinammon, dried fruits, honey, tumeric and olives to produce astonishing flavors.


2007 Gramona Gran Cuvee Brut, Penedes ($19.99)  30 months aging on the lees gives this cava spectacular depth and complexity.   Aromas of apple pie with flavors of pastry and dry fruit.  Notes of yeast frame this creamy and silky cava.  Dynamic on the mid-palate, it has a mineral and citrus filled finish that keeps you coming back for more.

2009 Pacto, Tierra del Bajo Aragon ($9.99)  2009 Pacto comes from just outside the Montsant region in Catalonia and is made from 100% Garnacha Peluda, one of the oldest varietals grown in Spain, thought to be a mutant of Garnacha.  The extreme climate in this area produces a wine of juicy substance and bright fruit.   Notes of raspberry and black berry fruit have a clean minerality in this medium-bodied red. Serve this versatile wine with pasta dishes, soups or poultry.

2009 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir, Mendoza ($10.99)  Pinot Noir from Argentina we asked?  But after one sip of this juicy red we were asking why there aren’t more Argentinean Pinots on the market!  2009 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir has aromas of earth and fresh cherry, kirsch and plum flavors.  A depth of black fruit on the mid palate gives complexity and depth.  Aged only in stainless steel, this is a medium-bodied Pinot with a velvety finish.   Serve with leaner meats, or spicy stews.

2006 Finca Nueva Crianza Rioja($14.99) Finca Nueva, founded in 2004, is a new project of boutique winery Finca Allende.  The inspiration was to create a new style of Rioja at a more affordable price.  The 2006 Crianza has aged 12 months in French oak and displays a purity of red and black cherry fruit.  Understated, elegant and with a lengthy finish, this medium bodied red is crafted in the artisanal style of Finca Allende.   ” ..aromas of violets, spice box, and blackberry, on the palate it is ripe with excellent volume and savory flavors. It is a lot of wine for the money.”

89 points Wine Advocate

2007 Quinto do Crasto Reserva Old Vines, Douro ($40.00) From 70 year old vines, a blend of over twenty varietals, we’ve been eagerly waiting for this phenomenal vintage.  Only 5 cases shipped to Washington and we’ve got 12 bottles available.

“The 2007 RESERVA OLD VINES is a lovely Old Vines, comparable in quality to the 2003 and 2004, which makes it one of the best values in the Douro, even with the recent price hike. As is typical of many 2007s, it combines elegance and depth, showing good balance, yet richness and fine flavor. It is richer and fuller bodied than the Maria Teresa, closer to Vinha da Ponte, if you are comparing. Granting that stylistic preferences of individual consumers may differ, this is certainly the smartest buy in this lineup by a long margin, which it usually is every year. It is less than a third of the price of the Maria Teresa, for instance and many may actually prefer it. This will be approachable young, but it will show better in a couple of years and will age well. It drank nicely the next day. Drink now-2023.” 94pts Wine Advocate

“This has a complex array of red and dark fruit flavors, led by blueberry, kirsch, dark plum and dark cherry. Very plush midpalate, with an elegant, caressing finish of spice, mocha and cream. Drink now through 2017. 750 cases imported.  93pts Wine Spectator


1 Comment

Filed under Books, Cava, crockery, Food, Red Wine

One response to “A Few Favorite Things

  1. so pleased to read that my book is one of your favorite things. thank you. best, anissa

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