Category Archives: Argentina

Sole Sips: TempusAlba, Argentina

This week we are heading to Mendoza, Argentina’s principle wine making region, to sip and compare two single varietal wines from Tempus Alba. But first, a little background on these two important grapes.

Merlot grapes

Merlot grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two widely cultivated red grape varietals. While ‘Cab’ is one of the world’s most renowned red varieties for wine production, Merlot surged into popularity in the 1990’s as consumers discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. One thing they have in common: they’re both major grapes from the Bordeaux region of France.

Cabernet Suavignon grapes

Cabernet Suavignon grapes

Merlot grapes are identified by loose bunches of large berries with a blue-black color, lighter than Cabernet grapes and with a thinner skin and fewer tannins. Compared to Cabernet, Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content, lower malic acid, and normally ripe up to two weeks earlier.

Merlot is softer, fruitier, and contains smoother tannins than cabernet sauvignon, yet displays many of the same aromas and flavors – black cherry, currant, cedar, and green olive – along with mint, tobacco and tea-leaf tones.

Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Cabernet is its ability “to travel”, to set down its roots in distant lands and still produce something that is recognizably as Cabernet whatever the circumstances. Cabernet Sauvignon is admired for its intensity and classic flavors of currant, plum and spice, often with distinguishing herb, olive, tobacco, cedar and anise notes, among others. The style of Cab is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When they are picked early, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavors. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed black currants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine.

TempusAlba Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 An exceptional wine made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a bright red brown color. On nose it offers black pepper and ripe plum with touches of vanilla and cocoa. On palate it is deep and complex; green pepper and toasted notes appear with velvety tannins that envelop the mouth. Full bodied, with a long and pleasant final. Pairs excellently with beef and mushroom sauce ($13.99).

TempusAlba Merlot 2008 – This wine was made under a prefermentative cold maceration, preserving intense red fruit aromas and lending it complexity. Very well balanced with soft and ripe tannins, good structure, and notes of ripe plums and cassis ($13.99).

– Soledad Claveria

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Argentinian Alfajores

Decadent dulce de leche cocooned within crumbly shortbread and dusted in coconut or covered in chocolate–these luscious Christmas cookies are a beloved Argentinian tradition. We have just received a batch from Karina, a Seattle-based Argentinian baker who makes these delicious, beautifully packaged cookies in her home. Perfect stocking-stuffers or as an after dinner treat!




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Rubentis Txakoli and other roses

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                              April 7, 2011

We love rosés! Not only for the sensory pleasure of sipping a chilled glass on a hot afternoon, but also because rosés are phenomenal food wines.  Delicately ephemeral, their cleansing acidity refreshes the palate like nothing else. Rosés are superb with grilled vegetables or fish, poultry dishes, salads and paella, all year round.

Three 2010 rosés arrived today! 2010 Amestoi Rubentis Txakoli ($18.99) is a customer favorite from the Basque region of Spain. Salmon colored and effervescent, it’s low alcohol content (10.5%) makes it a great choice for afternoon sipping. 2010 Gurrutxaga Txakoli Rosé ($19.99) is new this year. Cherry colored, with the same low alcohol and spritziness as Rubentis, Gurrutxaga has notes of melon and maritime scents. Quantities of these two Txakoli Rosés are extremely limited! 2010 Olivares Rosé, Jumilla ($8.99) is an excellent value. Last year’s wine was a perfect balance of fresh berry with a crisp and dry finish. It sold out quickly. More came in this year, so there’s time to taste a bottle before buying it by the case.

On Tuesday April 19, 2011 we've got a special dinner coming up at The Harvest Vine featuring the stellar wines of Rioja's Bodegas Ontañón. Fifth generation family member Raquel Perez Cuevas will be in town and will guide us through an evening of wines paired with The Harvest Vine's always glorious food. $65.00 per person, includes four wine flights - 2008 Vetiver Blanco, 2007 Ontañón Crianza, 2004 Ontañón Reserva and 2001 Ontañón Gran Reserva.  Click Ontanon Dinner for the menu. 6:30 Guest Arrival.

We'll be carrying freshly made, ready-to-eat Empanadas every Saturday. Owner Rodrigo of Maria Luisa Empanadas will deliver them at noon and feature six flavors, including vegetarian. They are $3.00 each, with a 10% discount for purchases of 6, and 20% off for a dozen. Great for parties! We receive 8 dozen each Saturday, so please pre-order if you'd like to pick up a large quantity. 


Castellot:  Hand made by at the Mas D’Eroles dairy in the Catalan Pyrenees, this raw cow’s milk cheese is cured for 3-4 months. Great for the health nut, most of the fat is drained away, leaving low fat content and an acidic flavor. Wonderfully creamy, herbaceous, and mildly tart, this is the BEST young cow’s milk cheese in our case! Pairs well with nuts, fresh grapes, and cava. 
Ermesenda: Another of Mas D'Eroles hand-made cheeses this stunning raw cow's milk holds an elastic springiness and a complex flavor which develops in the mouth. Soft, dense, and beautifully crumbly Ermesenda is a mildly beefy cheese with a strong and persistent roasted hazelnut finish.
Autor Cheese: is a raw goat's milk cheese from Quatratondo, 60 km. outside of Valencia. The raw goat's milk is curdled with thistle rennet and aged for 60 days in an underground cavern. Depending on the season the cheese can be creamy, flaky, or runny; we've got a creamy version. The flavor finishes with notes of grass, herbs, and citrus.


¡Cuitlacoche! Acorn fungus whose Nahuatl name means, quite literally, Raven's Droppings." But don't let these facts scare you away because these corn mushrooms have been a Mexican delicacy for over a thousand years. Also referred to as the "Mexican Truffle," cuitlacoche is a fantastic compliment to Mexican soups or tortilla dishes.
¡Pequin Peppers! These small chiles are also known as "bird peppers," because of our feathered friends' affinity for the younger green pods. But beware! Even birds know to be cautious of the mature red pepper. These little guys pack about 7 to 8 times as much heat as your average jalapeño! Incredible for home-made hot sauces, an additional sizzle to your soup, and to compliment Camarones al ajillo.

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Great Wines From Three Countries


Bodegas O. Fournier, Uco Valley Argentina

We arrived around 6 pm at Bodegas O. Fournier in Argentina’s Uco Valley. arg After a wine tasting and late dinner in their newly opened restaurant, we ended up sleeping in owner José Manuel Ortega’s spare bedroom.  What incredible hospitality… mc his young daughter even served us wine on the patio!   Energetic and creative, José Manuel was born into Spain’s Fournier family, a famous manufacturer of playing cards.  In 2000, he turned away from a career in investment banking to enter the wine industry and by 2009 was nominated for Wine Enthusiast’s Innovator of the Year.    He’s now running successful wineries in Argentina, Chile and Spain, producing wines that each reflect the uniqueness of place.   He says: ‘Wine is a way of life. I swapped a prestigious career for it, with no regrets.’ (Decanter Magazine)  We’ve been trying to bring in these wines since our 2006 winery visit, especially given the increasing attention by the wine press.  Finally this week were able to get our hands on wines from all three of O. Fournier’s bodegas.

2007 Bodegas O. Fournier Urban Ribera, Ribera del Duero ($13.99)  “The 2007 Urban Ribera is a strong candidate for the best new release Ribera del Duero under $25. Made from 100% Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo), the wine spent four months in French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant bouquet of scorched earth, violets, and black cherry that leaps from the glass. Smooth-textured and suave on the palate, it has loads of succulent black fruit, silky tannins, excellent depth and grip, and a juicy finish. Drink this tasty effort over the next four years.”   91 points Wine Advocate

2005 Bodegas O. Fournier Spiga, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) “Coffee and tar notes frame black plum and prune flavors in this well-structured red. The dense texture is supported by firm tannins, which give way to black pepper and licorice notes on the finish. Brooding but balanced. Best from 2009 through 2016. 4,000 cases made.”   91 points Wine Spectator

2009 Bodegas O. Fournier Urban Uco Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) Rich black cherry fruit and exotic spice notes have an edge of blueberry.  Medium bodied with pliable tannins make up this balanced and versatile wine. “This is ripe and friendly, with a mix of raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry compote notes that mingle through the licorice-tinged finish.”  88 points Wine Spectator

2009 Urban Maule Red Blend, Chile ($12.99)  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 5% Carignan   Intriguing aromas of eucalyptus on the nose blend with concentrated ripe fruit in this cuvee.   Notes of kirsch, black currant, boysenberry and  tobacco make up this superbly balanced value red.

Photos by Sharon Baden

Travel to Spain with a wine importer! Discover Spain; A Gourmet Wine Tour May 8-16, 2011 From Barcelona to Priorat, Zaragoza, Basque Country, Valladolid, Toro, Toledo &  Madrid.  Includes hotel stays from Sunday May 8th-Sunday May 15th; ALL breakfasts, lunches & dinners in the finest restaurants of each region; first class private tour bus featuring a private driver; travelers Insurance while on the bus;  and visits to the wineries; wine tasting & tapas.  Price:  $3800.00, not including air fare.   Please send us an e-mail to sign up or for more information.

1998 Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva Rioja ($32.00) After we drank this amazing Gran Reserva  last weekend, we bought out the distributor’s supply.  Get a bottle of this before it runs out! “Wild aromas of smoked meat, musky underbrush and spicy pomegranate. Energetic and spicy in the mouth, with vivid red fruit flavors lifted by minerals and tangy acidity. The brisk, firm finish features an exotic floral pastille accent to go with its red berry flavors. A wine of noteworthy complexity, and possessing the balance and vivacity for further aging.”  92 points Stephen Tanzer

2003 Bodegas H.A. Barcelo Secreto Reserva, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) “This syrupy red shows the heat of the vintage in its dried cherry, fig, marmalade and espresso flavors. This is thick and chewy, yet retains a lively freshness that keeps it youthful. A modern style, complex and rich. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made.”  94 points Wine Spectator

2005 Finca L’Argata, Montsant ($21.99)  Close out price on a great vintage!  Joan d’Anguera is a family run winery whose origins date back 200 years.   This single vineyard wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache from 50 year old vines and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 12 months in French oak.  Rich and powerful with great balance and length.  ” Exotically perfumed aromas of sexy cherry, blueberry, cinnamon and clove, underscored by vanilla and mocha. Juicy red and dark berry flavors are gently lifted by suave minerality and gain sweetness on the finish. Impressively focused wine with surprising elegance for its flavor impact.”  90 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Triumvirat Priorat ($35.00) A partnership between Ramon Farre Marti and Ester Nin Llort in the Vilella Baixa del Priorato region beginning in 2005. Their Carignan based wines (they make only two) have already received much critical praise, securing them among the top handcrafted producers in this prestigious region.  Farmed biodynamically.  “The 2008 Terra de Verema Triumvirat is made by Ester Nin, vineyard manager of Clos Erasmus. It is a blend of 90% Carinena, 5% Garnacha, and 5% Syrah aged for 12 months in French oak. Dark ruby-colored with an already complex bouquet of pepper, Asian spices, mineral, and black cherry, on the palate it is supple, suave bordering on opulent, succulent, and very long. It can be approached now but will be more expressive with another 2-3 years of bottle age.” 94 points Wine Advocate

Diana Kennedy has been called “the Julia Child of Mexican cooking” and her latest cookbook “Oaxaca al Gusto” ($50.00) is an encyclopedic masterpiece of Oaxacan Gastronomy.  With three hundred authentic recipes, mostly from home cooks, the book is loaded with pictures and a glossary of herbs and ingredients.  A must for Mexican cooks!


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.

San Ignacio Blue cheese from Argentina- Young, creamy, crumbly with a distinct mild blue flavor. The best part of this cheese is the price – $7.99/Lb is unheard of for a blue cheese!
Paski Sir Croatian Queso!!! This is the first cheese from Croatia we have been able to import. This 1 year pasteurized sheeps milk cheese comes from the island of Pag. The small indigenous sheep feed on the islands scarce salt grasses. Paski Sir has a unique crystalline texture and complex layered flavors: notes of Parm, a unique sweet and saltiness with a lingering savory tangy finish.
Thank you for being our customer!
Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

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

SPANISH TABLE HOURS:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday-Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM Sunday
Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA  98101 phone: 206.682.0679
PARIS GROCERY HOURS:  Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.  Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

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Rare Spanish Gran Reservas Arrive!

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter

April 30, 2010

Last December for the first time, Bodegas Beronia opened their library of Gran Reserva Riojas for sale. Our special order of three historic vintages were shipped directly from Beronia’s cellars and arrived at Spanish Table yesterday.

Beronia was founded in 1973 by a gastronomic society and was conceived as a winery dedicated to quality, exclusively making Reservas and Gran Reservas, in the purest, most traditional Rioja style. In 1982, having exceeded its initial expectations, Beronia was acquired by Gonzalez Byass (producer of Tio Pepe sherry) who expanded production to include value priced Crianzas. (For those new to Rioja wines, the terms Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva refer to the aging process. Crianzas are wines matured for at least one year in oak cask and six months further in the bottle. Reservas are aged for at least three years total, with one year minimum in oak cask. Gran Reservas are produced only in great vintages and have been aged at least two years in oak casks and three years in bottle prior to release.) The Beronia Gran Reservas that we received have been aged much, much longer than a normal Gran Reserva, as they’ve been aging in the winery cellars since bottling. Ready to drink now, they would be excellent with a special Mother’s Day dinner, or as a gift.

1981 Beronia Gran Reserva ($54.00) is at its peak right now. A very good vintage, this is soft and balanced with great mouth feel. Dried fruit, leather, green tea, vanilla and dried tobacco aromas in this aged red wine.

1982 Beronia Gran Reserva ($72.00) is an impressive library offering from Rioja. A superb vintage, this is soft and balanced with great mouth feel. Sweet plum, cranberry and cherry, earth notes, vanilla and cigar box aromas in this impressively elegant aged red wine.

1994 Beronia Gran Reserva ($53.00) comes from one of the best vintages in the last several decades. Just starting to show its age with dried tobacco, baking spice, plum and dried red cherry. Nice weight and good balance. This is a treat.

Mothers Day is coming up (Sunday May 9th) and we’re stocked with gifts for cooks and specialty foods. Some gift ideas: Hand painted ceramics in various colors and shapes. Olive oil soaps from Spain and Greece scented with Magnolia or Lavender. Cookbooks are a terrific inspiration for the culinary minded. Our selection includes Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Mexican, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian, Cuban. Our latest favorite is Michael Psilakis’ “How to Roast a Lamb – new Greek cooking”. An assortment of extra virgin olive oils. If you’re serving brunch, pick up a rosé cava to add a celebratory touch.


New shipment of Graupera cazuelas arrived today. Now in three colors: Clay, Dark Gray and Very Red. Limited quantities available of Very Red.

Ole Ole Fresh Sausages – No preservatives, no nitrates. Available in Butifarra, Merguez, Chorizo, and Chorizo Picante.

Fresh shipment of Spanish saffron arrived this week! We air freighted one and two gram plastic boxes of the latest harvest. 1 gram box: $10.99, 2 gram box: $19.49


1998 Señorio del Aguila Gran Reserva, Carineña ($19.99) Distributor close out! A blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this food friendly red is perfectly aged. An earthy and medium-bodied wine, Señorio Del Aguila has notes of balsamic and spice. Red and black fruit with licorice flavors are balanced by silky tannins. Full of finesse, it is excellent with pork dishes.

2007 Beryna, Alicante ($19.99) Beryna is produced by a talented and enthusiastic team who bought a 19th century wine estate primarily planted with old vine Monastrell. 2007 Beryna has concentrated black cherry, dried plum and boysenberry flavors with drive and focus. Made of 60% Monastrell and 40% Tempranillo, Cabernet and Syrah, it has notes of chocolate and coffee. With superb lift, mineral notes and a persistent finish, this is a structured red that is excellent with barbequed rib-eye steaks or burgers. Very much like an old style Zinfandel! “Powerful, toasty” 92 points Guia Penin

2006 Riscal Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon ($9.99) Established in 1858, Rioja producer Marques de Riscal quickly became one of the most sought-after Spanish wines. Recently Riscal began producing table wines in Castilla y Leon, crafting value wines with the same care as their top Riojas. The 2006 Riscal is a well rounded Tempranillo with concentrated red fruit. Notes of cherries, raspberries, and cola are held together by soft velvety tannins, making it a perfect food wine. This is an excellent value!

2007 Goulart “The Marshall” Malbec, Argentina ($18.99) “The 2007 The Marshall “M” is 100% Malbec aged for 18 months in 40% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a nose of toasty new oak, cinnamon, allspice, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is rich, savory, and plush bordering on opulent. With excellent depth and grip, this substantial effort will evolve for another 2-3 years and offer prime drinking from 2011 to 2029.” 91 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Wine Spectator


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.

To subscribe to Paris Grocery’s newsletter, send an e-mail to

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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Filed under Argentina, Books, Cava, Food, france, Meat, Red Wine, Rose, Sherry, Spain, Uncategorized

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 18, 2010

Our shelves are groaning with pleasure at the abundance of new ingredients that have arrived in the last week. At both The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery, a veritable flood of gastronomic specialties have arrived! We tasted, we slurped, we fell in love and generally worked our way around The Fancy Food Show in January and these latest products are the result. Add scrumptious new flavors to your meals with these culinary delights!

At Paris Grocery:

Riz Rouge (Camargue Red Rice) – serve this nutty Provençal rice with roast game hens or pork.

Pates and Pork Rillettes in 4.5 oz tins and 2.8 oz jars – perfect for porkaholics!

Red Pepper Chutney with Esplette Chili – the Esplette gives this Chutney a kick.

Provence Black Fig Jam – divine with goat cheese.

Lemon Curd – spread this creamy goodness on scones or use as a tart filling.

Sauce Aioli and Bernaise – great with poached eggs, wonderful with oven roasted halibut.

Truffle Mayonnaise – this will really take your sandwich up a notch!

E. Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers – use for baking or snacking.

Dark Orange Chocolat Fondue: Warm for two minutes in the microwave and then start dipping strawberries, orange slices or just your fingers into this chocolate deliciousness!

At Spanish Table:

Cod Crumbs (Tacos de Bacalao): Tired of having to soak salt cod for hours on end? These cubed up pieces of bacalao take about 30 minutes. Soak, rinse and sauté in olive oil. If you’re a purest, you can have them as is. Toss them with cooked lentils and chopped piquillo pepper if you want to be fancy.

Dried Mulberries: High nutritious and highly addictive. Looking for a quick breakfast idea? How about yogurt, mulberries, chopped walnuts and honey to start off your day.

Tomato Jam: Everyone starts acting strange when you tell them how sweet tomato jam can be. I first tried it on salmon. All it takes is heating the jam up tossing in a little bit of chopped cilantro and topping a piece of sauteed salmon. Be adventurous and try it on a slice of toasted bread with butter.

Ajvar: This savory Bulgarian pepper and eggplant sauce is packed with flavor. Simply heat and spoon over meat loaf or toss with spaghetti and chopped parsley.

Picon Azul: Deliciously blue! This creamy Asturian cheese starts out strong but ends with a soft and subtle salty finish. When I tasted this cheese I couldn’t help but to want spread it on a baguette topped with grilled tenderloin and arugula for a spicy peppery note.


On a bizarrely bright and mild Monday afternoon in January, we arrived at Campagne restaurant for “Vin et Cassoulet.” The bar was loaded with French wines and a chance to sample them with the eternal comfort food of southern France, cassoulet. The portfolio of wines did not disappoint, and tasting them with the hearty bean and meat stew only strengthened our feelings on the importance of the compatibility between what you eat and what you drink. We have brought to Paris Grocery two wines from that tasting that delighted us. – Rachel & Abi

2007 Les Restanques de Cabassole “Roucas Toumbas ” Vacqueyras ($40.00) Between Chateauneuf-de-Pape and Gigondas lies the high and stony plain of Vacqueyras, planted with old vine Grenache and Syrah. Vinter Eric Bouletin eschews all chemicals, commercial additives and synthetic material in his 3ha vineyard and in the winery, and his passion for this terroir comes through in his wines. Roucas Toumba is pure and poetic, full of red fruit and blackcurrant, supported by silky tannins. Notes of Provence herbs and spice round out the nose and it maintains a beautiful acidity and lift. Incredible with cassoulet! Only 300 cases produced.

2008 Domaine Castera Jurançon Sec ($16.99) This dry and lively white from Southwestern France is made from two native Basque varieties- Gros Manseng (95%) and Petit Manseng (5%) and is aged on the lees. Though relatively unknown in the New World, Manseng has a storied past in France: it is rumored that the lips of King Henry the IV were rubbed with Jurançon, and Colette claimed, ” I was a girl when I met this prince; aroused, imperious, treacherous, as all great seducers are.” We certainly have been seduced by its aromatic, refreshing qualities and lovely body. Bright and tangy, with green apple, tropical fruit and limestone notes; try with scallops in a light cream sauce!


2008 Las Brisas, Rueda ($10.99) Las Brisas boasts a wonderful range of refreshing aromas, with lovely intensity. Made of 50% Verdejo, it is charmingly complemented by 30% Viura, and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The result is a balanced and focused white with fresh aromas and notes of citrus. Clean and fresh, it has energetic acidity and a slight prickle on the palate. Excellent with ceviche!

2006 Valle Perdido Cabernet-Merlot, Neuquen Patagonia ($11.99) This suave and bold red from Patagonia, Argentina is an excellent choice to serve with burgers or steaks. Rich and earthy, it has tannic grip, brims with ripe black fruit and notes of coffee. The finish is smooth, elegant and long. An excellent value, it also makes a great sipping wine.

2007 Mano A Mano Tempranillo, Tierra de Castilla ($9.99) Mano a Mano was a best seller here at Spanish Table before it disappeared from the market. We happily jumped on it when it reappeared last week, especially since the 2007 vintage may be the best yet! Slow fermentation is followed by gentle aging in French oak, producing an extremely balanced wine. Expressive bright red fruit with notes of cigar box, vanilla and spice make up this robust red. A rich and dry persistent finish make this an all around great value. Recommended Value Wine (Under $25.00) Wine Advocate

2007 Castelo do Sulco Reserva, Estremadura ($8.99) “Well-balanced, showing plenty of elegance to the crushed red fruit, blueberry and wild plum flavors. Finishes with focused minerality that is accented by a subtle creaminess. Drink now through 2013.” 88 points Wine Spectator

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites! The Spanish Table wine website has wines from Spain, Portugal, Madeira, or South America. Orders are shipped from our Berkeley CA store which may have different inventory and prices than our Seattle store. For products other than wine, click on The Spanish Table to purchase food, books, cookware and other products.

Visit Paris Grocery’s Facebook Page for the latest news from our sister store.

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

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

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

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Paris Grocery is closed on Mondays

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Filed under Argentina, Cheese, Chile, Fish, Food, france, Meat, Recepies, Red Wine, Spain, Uncategorized

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 4, 2010

We gladly waved goodbye to the construction equipment on lower Western Avenue this week. The chasm at Union and Western has been filled in and the street is now reopened to two way traffic. The detour is gone. Lots of street parking is now available, so don’t hesitate to come on down and see us!

Spectacularly beautiful, the Douro River’s precipitous terraces are the birthplace of port, Portugal’s celebrated fortified wine. But this region also produces sensational table wines which we’ve recommended for years, and these wines are finally gaining traction with wine critics.

We were fortunate to get a personal update on this area from Sophia Bergquist, owner of Quinta de La Rosa over lunch last week. Somewhat similiar to France’s wine estate classification system, in the Douro, grapes are graded from A to F based on the quinta (estate) that produced them. The steeply terraced vineyards can only be harvested by hand which guarantees gentle treatment of the grapes and selection of the best fruit. Sweltering summer heat ensures that grapes are fully ripened and generate structured reds with long ageing potential. Four out of the last six vintages (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) in the Douro were outstanding.

Quinta de La Rosa’s fruit is all Grade A and the estate has been family owned since 1815. One of the first in the region to produce table wines, they are such a hands-on operation that owner Sophia herself has even jumped in to pick grapes during harvest. For fans of plush, complex, full-bodied reds, the wines of the Douro should not be missed!


2007 Vale da Clara, Douro Red wine ($11.99) Quinta de La Rosa purchases the fruit for this wine, which is a perennial staff favorite here at The Spanish Table. 2007 was a very good year in the Douro, giving Vale da Clara rich and perfectly ripened black fruit. With notes of black olive and a touch of herbs, it has ripe tannins and a long, smooth finish. It’s a great quaffer!

2006 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Tinto ($19.99) A blend of grapes that are used in port wine, this elegant red table wine is made from hand-picked, estate grown fruit. Enticing floral and ripe fruit aromas make it hard to tear your nose away from the rim of the glass. On the palate, delicate flavors of black cherry and currant have lift and a persistent minerality. Silky tannins and great balance make this wine a pleasure to drink.

2005 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Reserve ($42.00) Vintage 2005 in the Douro was rated 93-95 by The Wine Spectator, producing “balanced and powerful reds.” The Quinta de La Rosa Reserve is no exception. A rich and juicy red, it displays notes of coffee and smoke, earth and minerals. It’s got the stuffing to age well for another five years, and it will be a big hit now with any fan of muscular reds.
2006 Poeira 28 Barricas Douro ($54.00) Quinta de La Rosa’s winemaker, Jorge Moreira, owns his own north facing plot uphill from QdLRosa and Poeira is his personal project. Made from old vines, only 28 barrels (barricas) were produced. Terroir driven, Poeira is distinctive, angular and restrained. Loaded with elegance and finesse, it’s brooding black fruit is concentrated with notes of crushed rock. It’s got the backbone to age well for through 2017, although it’s absolutely delicious right now.

Throwing a Super Bowl party? Our favorite party foods are grilled chorizo sausages (try the GEM Basque chorizo which is now back in stock!) served with slices of Ibsa Roasted Red Pepper strips.

A cheese plate is always a hit – we recommend a mix of sheep’s milk cheese such as Roncal or Nisa, Caña de Cabra goat cheese, Young Mahon cow’s milk cheese and a creamy blue cheese such as Bleu de Basque. Serve alongside Spanish Tapas Flatbreads which are now back in stock, in Rosemary and Manchego Cheese flavors.

And which beer to serve? We’ve got Estrella Damm beer from Spain, Casa beer from Morocco, Sagres beer from Portugal, Tecate and Bohemia beer from Mexico.

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Available next week by special order (6 bottles available):

2007 Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita, Priorat ($672.00) Alvaro Palcios is one of the star winemakers of the Priorat, and was an early pioneer of this region. 100% old-vine Garnacha produced from 70-year-old, head-pruned vines from a dramatically steep 2-hectare hillside. Harvesting is by hand, with multiple passes to pick optimal fruit. Aged in 100% new French barrique. Only 250 cases produced. “Bright ruby. Intense, mineral-driven aromas of spicy red berries, candied cherry, blood orange and potpourri, plus a sexy Asian spice quality. Tangy and sharply focused, with striking purity and energy. Sweet raspberry and cherry flavors are framed by silky tannins that are quickly absorbed by the fruit. Manages to be deep as well as vivacious, showing strong finishing minerality and a lingering note of star anise. This plays Lafite to the Dofi’s Latour.” 94 points Stephen Tanzer

Our new sister store, Paris Grocery, has an outstanding Facebook page with their newest cheeses, charcuterie and wines. Check it out and become a fan.

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites. Visit

The Spanish Table wine website for Spanish, Portuguese, South American vinos as well as Madeiras and ports. Orders are shipped from our Berkeley CA store which may have different inventory and prices than our Seattle store.

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


Padron pepper seeds: Spring can’t be far behind when the seed packets roll in the door! Start these indoors early, so that the plants will be full size by June and ready to start producing peppers.

Mloukia Leaves: We searched high and low for this herb after reading about it in Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (p. 158). As described in the cookbook, the flavor is “fascinating – tastes like nothing else.”

5 liter plastic jugs of EVOO $49.99 We’ve had many requests for large containers of extra virgin olive oil since we ran out of the Ybarra brand. We’ve now got Sol de La Mancha brand in stock.

A new shipment of cazuelas arrived Monday. We’re now restocked with all sizes, in charcoal, and traditional earth color.

We look forward to Saveur Magazine’s “Top 100”

issue every January. It’s a compendium of the best kitchen products, new personalties in the culinary world, places foodies should know about, and implements of the year.We’ve stocked these hard to find items from Saveur’s list:

Salt cod (called Bacalao in Spain; Bacalhau in Portugal)

Argentinean Malbec wines (we’ve got 50 + Malbecs to choose from)

Lupini Beans

Olive Oil Tortas (new flavors Seville Orange and Sesame Sea Salt)


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

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

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

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Paris Grocery is closed on Mondays

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