Category Archives: Music

Perdiz Bomba Rice is back

The Spanish Table Seattle                                                                         March 4, 2011

18 pallets of new and restocked items arrived yesterday from Spain!

Paelleras & gas paella burners, all sizes are back in stock. Paella spatulas in 3 sizes.

Ferrer brand soups and sauces from Barcelona: Gazpacho, Romesco Sauce, Brava Sauce in two sizes, Roasted Peppers, Apple Vinegar.

New shipment of Terracotta Cookware. All sizes of cazuelas are restocked, and we now carry yellow tagines and small cazuelas. 

Bevia Sea Salt: In fine, course and extra course ground $3.99/750 gr

 Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1 liter glass bottle: $19.99

Padron pepper seeds: It’s time to start seeds indoors – but don’t plant outside until you can walk around outside without  a coat. Memorial Day?  

New harvest Perdiz and Signo rice is back in stock. 

1 kg. Signo Valencian rice: $3.99, 5 kg. bag of Valencian rice: $17.95

 1 kg. Perdiz Bomba Rice: $9.99; 5 kg bag of Bomba rice: $44.95

Chorizo Vela is back by popular demand! This mild and smoky giant cured chorizo is made from premium cuts of pork loin, spices and just the right infusion of Pimeton de La Vera. Ready to eat and perfect for tapas. Buy a Whole Chorizo Vela (2.75LB) for $43.00, or have it sliced for 17.99/pound. Find it at our sister store Paris Grocery, 2 doors south of Spanish Table. 


2009 Basa, Rueda ($13.99) We’ve been eagerly awaiting the new release of this favorite white! From the excellent 2009 vintage, Basa is a blend of 85% Verdejo, 10% Viura and 5% Sauvignon Blanc. Rich and concentrated on the palate, its green apple, grapefruit and lime flavors have a grassy edge with a refreshing and persistent finish. Winemaker Telmo Rodriguez continues to produce exceptional wines at great prices.

2009 Esporāo Verdelho, Alentejo ($12.99) The Verdelho grape originated in the Azores Islands and was then taken to Madeira, where it makes a delicious medium-sweet fortified wine. The Esporāo winery was the first to bring this original clone to the Portuguese mainland for use in dry white table wines. The 2009 Verdelho has aromas of delicate white flowers with ripe tangerine and lemon-lime notes. Unoaked, it’s clean flavors display a creamy roundness with a fresh and moderately zesty finish.

2007 Esporāo Monte Velho Vinho Tinto, Alentejo ($9.99) We tasted Monte Velho last summer at the Herdade do Esporāo winery in Portugal and couldn’t wait to get this value-packed red on the shelf!  Energetic and harmonious, it shows a depth of bright fruit from its blend of Aragonez, Castelão and Trincadeira grapes. Intense aromatics are followed by notes of bing cherry, plum, blackberry and minerals. We’ve never been disappointed with any Esporāo wine, and Monte Velho will be a hit with any full-bodied red drinker. Excellent with rice or poultry dishes.

2008 Marc Ripoll Sans Black Slate Priorat ($19.99) “Ablend of garnacha, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah… scents of redcurrant, raspberry and spicecake and a suave rose note. A spicy, penetrating midweight that offers sweet red and dark berry flavors and strong mineral spine. Fine-grained tannins add grip and shape to a long, juicy finish. I prefer this wine’s extroverted, perfumed personality … delicious now.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Triumvirat, Priorat ($35.00) “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

2002 Abel Mendoza Jarrate Rioja ($14.99)  Abel Mendoza has been called a “Burgundian winemaker in Rioja” and a  pioneer of new wave Riojas. He gives top priority to his vineyards which he farms biodynamically, and the production of the finest, phenolically ripe fruit.   2002 Jarrate spent 12 months in new French oak, and after its 8+ years of bottle age, it has developed a complex elegance. On the nose, its aromas of earthy mushroom are classic Rioja. Black currant and marion berry notes blossom on the mid-palate, with supple tannins and great balance. Persistent and mineral-laden, it finishes with lingering notes of kirsch. This is a wine with finesse.


Carmona Flamenco performs with guest Ana Montes on Saturday March 19th at Cafe Solstice.  Details

Ana Montes and Flamenco Danzarte, Big Student Show. Saturday, March 26th,  2011 and  Sunday, March 27th, 2011, Ethnic Cultural Theater, Univ. District.   More info.

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Great Reading!

I look forward to January’s dark tranquility. It’s a welcome interlude following December’s hustle-bustle and a fantastic excuse to catch up on some reading, or take in new music.
    I’m an escapist at heart and if I can’t actually leave town, armchair travel is the next best thing. George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is the classic insider’s memoir about the Spanish Civil War. Gripping and immediate, Orwell beautifully captures the confusion and violence of 1936 Barcelona.
    The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax is epic in scope and a gripping story. The protagonists are top professional musicians who tour and perform in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The details about music are fascinating and informative.
    Desert Queen by Janet Wallach introduces Gertrude Bell, an intrepid English woman who helped create modern-day Iraq along with T.E. Lawrence. Bell’s travels across the Arab world after her education in Oxford in 1886 are simply incredible. A fearless traveler, she rode camels across the desert but took along her china and crystal. Along the way, she got to know powerful desert Arabs who would be instrumental in carving up the Middle East after World War II.

When I’m in the mood for music, I often put on a CD by Paco de Lucia. Cositas Buenas and Luzia are perennial favorites – this child prodigy flamenco guitarist reveals a touch of jazz in his playing. When in a lighter mood, we listen to one of the Putumayo compilation CDs. Baila! and Salsa! are perfect for parties, or on evenings when you feel like dancing around the living room. Brazilian Cafe is a blend of samba, bossa nova and jazz. We’ve got all of these books and CD’s in stock.

Our holiday staff party last week featured a competitive tasting of four red wines. This year’s selections and winners:

2008 La Planta (Ribera del Duero) $15.99 La Planta is the youngest red produced by Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro, whose wines are full-bodied and suave. 2008 La Planta has fresh aromas with notes of cedar and high fruity notes of blackcurrant, licorice and toasty notes from noble woods. A meaty wine with ripe tannins, it has a fine-tuned texture with a persistent and smooth finish.

2004 Marques de Griñon Caliza ($18.99) Named after the caliza (limestone soils) on the property, this is the first pago (appellation) ever granted to a single estate. 65% Syrah and 35% Graciano, Caliza is rich and complex with flavors of boysenberry liqueur, coffee, menthol and mineral. Full-bodied, it is velvety and elegant; vibrant acidity keeps this wine fresh on the palate. Absolutely delicious!

2007 La Montesa Rioja Crianza ($15.99) Alvaro Palacios is one of the top winemakers in several Spanish D.O.s, most notably Priorat and Bierzo. Palacios consults in the making of La Montesa on his family’s estate in Rioja. “Sexy red berries and cherry-vanilla on the nose, with a spicy quality that gains power with aeration. Sappy, sweet raspberry and cherry flavors are complemented by smoky oak spice and a touch of licorice. Open-knit and smooth in texture, with good finishing clarity and slight jammy persistence. This is drinking well now.” 89 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 La Cartuja Priorat ($14.99) Aromas of vanilla and juicy red berry fruit have hints of mineral and dried herbs. Medium-bodied with ripe tannins, it is aged in French oak for 8 months. La Cartuja has a rich finish with spice and black cherry notes which linger on the palate. This red really over delivers for the price!

It was tough to choose between these wines, and we ended with a tie between La Cartuja Priorat and La Montesa Rioja.

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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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Paris Grocery

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                    Paris Grocery to open 9/25!

The Spanish Table’s newest venture, Paris Grocery, is opening tomorrow (Friday September 25th) at 1418 Western Avenue! A specialty wine and cheese shop with a French mood, Paris Grocery features French-style pâtés and charcuterie, over 40 authentic French cheeses,cheese fresh baguettes from Seattle’s Macrina Bakery and hand-selected wines for less than $30.00 per bottle from all regions of France. Paris Grocery also carries French mineral waters, French and Belgian beers and shelf groceries. And it’s conveniently located just 50 yards south of the Spanish Table on Western Avenue, making it easy to shop at both locations on the same trip!

Why France and why now? If we were prescient, we’d have known that the movie Julie and Julia would spawn enormous interest in French cooking . But Paris Grocery was really hatched during the economic bust last spring. Vacant storefronts were popping up around us like mushrooms after a fall rain. We thought it would be great to have another food shop on Western Avenue and, feeling optimistic one day, decided to open it ourselves.

Our love affair with Spain will never end, but we’ve always had a soft spot for France. We honeymooned in Paris and were absolutely captivated by the City of Light. We’ve returned to Paris many times and never tire of walking the streets until we drop, salivating at cheese shops, picnicking with families in the park and soaking up the history resonating from Middle-Ages architecture. Fortunately, whenever one is about to drop from exhaustion in Paris, there’s usually a wine bar handy with a great cheese plate. Our aim is to bring some of that experience to Seattle. Bon Appétit!

Paris Grocery hours:

Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Sunday 11AM to 5PM. Opening Friday September 25th!

To find Paris Grocery, look for the terracotta awnings at 1418 Western Avenue.

Back in stock at Spanish Table:

We’ve been busy stocking Paris Grocery but haven’t forgotten about The Spanish Table’s shelves. We received 3 shipments this week of products that have been out of stock for some time:

Horchata de Valencia

Basque Guindilla Peppers

Turron: Delaviuda and El Almendro brands: Assortments, Duro, Blando, Torta Imperial, Marzipan

Chocolate covered figs

Hearts of Palm

Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rafael Salgado Smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Arte Flamenco, Camino de Luz October 3, 8pm

Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater , 2322 2nd Ave. For more information, contact

Carmona Flamenco Saturday September 26th Cafe Solstice For more information, contact

Ines and Juan Bacan and Arte y Pureza From Spain!

October 11-12, 2009 Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat, Leavenworth Call 1-800-574-2123 for performance or overnight reservations.

One of the most revered artists of Spain’s Gypsy Flamenco community, INES BACAN, joined by her brother JUAN BACAN, will be making their U.S. premier with the stellar flamenco dance ensemble ARTE y PUREZA led by guitarist ETHAN MARGOLIS.

Arte y Pureza’s group (unfortunately without Ines Bacan) will be performing at Taberna del Alabardero, Seattle on October 10, 2009. For information and reservations: 206-448-8884.

Please stop in and check out our new store and be sure to tell all of your Francophile friends!


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

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Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter November 6, 2009

A Visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Madeira

Madeira lies in the Atlantic Ocean 378 miles west of Morocco. A volcanic island, its sub tropical climate and abundant rainfall seem an unlikely place for wine production. But its shelves of terraced land rise up the flanks of 6105 foot Mt. Pico, which on the sunny side of the island provides a climate ideally suited to viticulture.

The urban port city of Funchal is the heart of wine production and retains its 18th century Portuguese charm despite a modern profusion of traffic encouraged by European Union road projects. But when we drove a few minutes away from Funchal on our visit last month, we found peaceful country lanes bordered by New Guinea Impatiens, Hydrangeas, Trumpet Flower and Eucalyptus forests, much the same as it was 200 years ago. Madeira is a verdant garden, nourished by its volcanic soils and ample precipitation.

Uninhabited until 1427, Madeira was discovered and settled by the Portuguese who soon began making wine. By the mid 16th Century it was a refueling stop for ships crossing the Atlantic and its wines were brought on board to prevent scurvy. The U.S. quickly became one of Madeira wine’s principal markets along with England and Brazil. It was a favorite drink of Thomas Jefferson who toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a glass of Malmsey.

Originally a table wine, it was fortified with brandy to stabilize it for long ocean journeys. On one fateful hot voyage to Brazil, a cask of Madeira (called a “pipe”) was accidentally left on board and eventually traveled back across the tropics to Funchal. When the wine merchants tasted it, all agreed that it was much better than when it left! Since then, Madeiras have been aged with the use of heat, and for a time pipes were actually shipped to the colonies and back to replicate that famous voyage. Eventually winemakers realized that they could recreate the tropical conditions of a ship voyage by storing the pipes in the eaves of Funchal’s wine lodges, where temperatures would climb to 45 degrees Celsius.

Madeira has an elegance and finesse not found in other fortified wines. Warm temperatures and evaporation concentrate flavors, and ongoing oxygen contact produce wines that are long lived and extremely stable. Open a bottle today and ten months from now it will taste as fresh as the day it was opened! Volcanic soils give the grapes high acidity which produce wines with a light mouth feel, intensity and a persistent finish.

The canteiro system: slow aging of varietal Madeiras at Blandy’s wine lodge

A glass of Madeira warms and satisfies on a cold, wet night. It’s also stellar served with creamy foods and holiday desserts such as pumpkin pie. Madeira adds richness to sauces and is excellent used in place of wine for deglazing sauté pans.

Here’s an easy and delicious recipe using Madeira:

Chanterelle Mushrooms in Madeira Sauce (Two servings)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 cup fresh chanterelles, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup creme fraiche or whipping cream

1/4 cup Feist Full Rich Madeira

1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Heat olive oil over low heat and when warm, saute garlic and onion until translucent. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for five minutes, then add Madeira and simmer for another two minutes. Add creme fraiche and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately. This is excellent as a sauce for grilled pork chops or chicken, and would be a great side dish for the Thanksgiving dinner table.


We have the largest selection of Madeiras in the country. Here are some of our favorites:

Feist Full Rich ($17.99) Aged 3 years, it is smooth, viscous and full bodied. Feist Full Rich is a great introduction to a sweet Madeira as a tasty dessert drink or for use in cooking.

“Full Rich” Madeiras are made from the Tinta Negra grape which is the most widely grown grape on the island. “Full Rich” Madeiras are produced by the “estufagem” process which warms the wine by means of a pipe in the tank filled with warm water.

The most complex Madeiras are made from four traditional varietals (Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, Malmsey) whose production is declining in favor of the easier to grow Tinta Negra grape. Varietal Madeiras are produced in the “canteiro” method, in which pipes are aged slowly in the warm eaves of Funchal’s wine lodges.

Blandy’s 5 Year Bual ($22.99) Medium sweet, with light caramel flavors and spice. A hint of countryside herbs provides an intriguing background to this smooth Bual. Great acidity and concentration.

Leacock’s 10-year Bual ($41.00) “Very distinctive burnt treacle aroma, followed by concentrated flavors of caramel, walnut, iodine and green tea. There’s grip and length, with power on the back end.” 90 points Wine Spectator

Blandy’s 10 year Sercial ($37.00) Sercial is the driest Madeira and Blandy’s Sercial is a richer style than other brands. With butterscotch aromas, it is a bit sweeter than bone dry. Round and smooth on the palate, it’s flavors of roasted nuts with high acidity give Blandy’s Sercial a light and elegant mouth feel. The finish is lengthy and clean.

FLAMENCO PERFORMANCES Hot on the heels of last night’s passionate flamenco show at Benaroya Hall, Isabel Lopez from Casa Patas Flamenco Company in Madrid is performing at Taberna del Alabardero in Belltown. The Sunday show is sold out, but Taberna has added another show on Monday November 9th at 8:00 p.m. For information, call 206.448.8884.

FLAMENCO DE RAIZ presents RAFAEL DE UTRERA with Eric and Encarnación from Children of the Revolution with special guest percussionist Juanma Lucas

2 shows Saturday, November 7th, 2009 7PM & 9:30PM, Kirkland Performance Center (425) 893-9900

Rafael and Juanma are top level flamencos coming directly from Sevilla, Spain. Rafael is one of the most respected flamenco singers in the world today and will be coming off his current tour with Vicente Amigo. This will be a “flamenco puro” performance with dance numbers and cante jondo(deep or profound song).


Our new shop features French cheeses and wine, and other foods with a French mood. It’s located 1/4 of a block south of Spanish Table at 1418 Western Avenue.

New cheeses just in!

Tomme du Segala is produced in small amounts in the city of Carmaux in southern France, this raw goat’s milk cheese has an elastic texture that crumbles slightly. The flavor has hints of olives and grass.

Tomme Crayeuse is a semi-soft raw cow’s milk cheese from the Savoie that undergoes two stages of cave-aging. The final, intensely rich flavor is earthy, with mushroom and citrus notes. Created by one of France’s top affineurs, Max Schmidhauser.

Crémeux de Bourgogne is a cow’s milk triple-crème cheese from a small family of producers in Burgundy. This pasteurized, bloomy-rind cheese has a dense texture and a rich flavor with hints of fresh butter.

Tomme de Savoie is a pleasant table cheese form the Savoie with a distinct raw milk flavor – beefy, hazel nutty and pleasantly milky. With approximately 30% fat content, this is the most creamy ‘low fat’ cheese available. Enjoy with liver-stoked pâtés and light red wines like Beaujolais.

Pavé de Jadis So named because of its shape: pavé is a small paving stone. This fresh goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley is dusted with vegetable ash and has a fudge-like texture. The taste is very clean, mild and lemony.


Evora: This small Portuguese cheese (each wheel is only 6 ounces) is made from raw sheep’s milk which is filtered through a mesh lining after being immersed in a salt brine solution. Aged over 60 days, it is made with raw sheep milk and cardoon thistle near the historic city of Evora. Spicy and slightly acidic, it is fruity with a light-yellow color. Because of its slightly higher level of salt, it is well-suited for salads.

We now have Israeli feta!

Have a great week!


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

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Rewarded by Rioja Gran Reservas

Rewarded by Rioja Gran Reservas

May 28, 2009

Rioja Gran ReservaMy definition of rewarding: Scouring Madrid’s back alleys under dim street light, clutching a map, and finally stumbling into Casa Botin, the oldest restaurant in Europe. But alas, it’s full of tourists, and we start backing out the door. Then we spot the porcine room: shelves lined with splayed baby pigs in piglet-sized cazuelas. We are definitely eating here!! We order a Faustino Gran Reserva and discover that there is no better match for roast suckling pig than a Rioja. We eat. We drink. And, since that day in 1985, we are forever fans of Gran Reservas from Rioja.

Gran Reservas are not for fans of powerful, fruit forward wines. But for those who appreciate nuance, elegance and texture in their wines, there is absolutely no substitute. Every sip of a Gran Reserva is a history lesson, going back to the influence of Bordeaux winemakers in the 1800’s. But last week at the Vibrant Rioja tasting in New York, experts were predicting that in 5 to 10 years, probably no bodegas will be producing Gran Reservas! What, you exclaim, how can that be? The wine world is changing. And it is incredibly expensive and risky to craft a wine that will be aged for years before sale.  So if you are a fan of these wines, get them while you can!

One of my best days ever was last week’s Vibrant Rioja event in New York. We tasted through 15 Rioja Gran Reservas from vintage 1964 through 2002, including the best recent vintages of the century (1964, 1981, 1982, 1994, 1995, 1996). We are lucky enough to have a couple of these in stock:

1964 Faustino I Gran Reserva ($189.00) 1964 was a miracle vintage. Consistently across Rioja’s varied terrunyo and microclimates, each bodega produced great wines in this vintage. The 1964 Faustino Gran Reserva is a stellar example of the classic Rioja. Seductive and elegant, its subtle flavors of cherry and plum are well integrated with soft grained tannins and a persistent finish that slowly fades. Wonderfully balanced with acidity, this the ultimate wine to serve with lamb.

2002 Campo Viejo Gran Reserva ($19.99) Great value! Campo Viejo has flavors of dry cherry, plum and baking spices which expand and gain complexity in the mouth. With moderate tannins and balanced acidity, it finishes smooth and long. Serve this with grilled pork tenderloin.

We have other outstanding Gran Reservas, including a 1968 Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva ($327.00), 1991 Paternina Gran Reserva ($85.00), and a 1994 La Rioja Alta 890 Gran Reserva ($135.00).



Mezza Country Olive Hummus

Kalamata, black, and zesty green Mediterranean olives provide a complex flavor to this fresh silky textured hummus. A perfect summer afternoon snack $3.49

Anjou Bakery Fruit and Nut Crostini

The world’s best crostini comes from Cashmere, Washington. Who knew? These toasted wonders are made with a perfect blend of wholesome grains, nuts and raisins. My favorite way to enjoy them is with soft-ripened cheeses like Odre, the Catalonian sheep’s milk cheese. $8.49

Fine Cheese Co. Crackers

These savory crackers are a unique range of flavored artisan crackers that are designed to partner with specific cheeses. These are perfect complements for everything from Velvety Monte Enebro to full-throttle Valdeon. 5.99 ea.

Quicos de Chocolate

Chocolate covered corn nuts dusted with cocao. Need we say more: salty, sweet, crunchy, chocolatey and totally addictive. 9.99 lb.

Matiz Torta de Aceite Sugared with Almonds

These are our favorite Torta de Aceites. Now $5.99, usually $7.99.



2008 Casal Garcia Rose Vinho Verde ($8.99)  We love this rose! A beautiful raspberry color, it has the slight effervescence of a vinho verde with dry strawberry notes. Crisp, refreshing and lively, this is wonderful with spicy Thai food.

2008 MonteNovo Godello, Valdeorras ($12.99)   The fruity and well crafted MonteNovo is fresh off the boat from Spain, and just in time for Seattle’s white wine season! Bright, with mouth filling minerality and lush stone fruit flavors, it is dry and crisp. The D.O. Valdeorras is in Galicia which is the epicenter of the Spanish fishing industry. MonteNovo is superb with any type of shellfish.

2006 Protocolo, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla ($7.99)   Protocolo is a perennial Spanish Table customer favorite and the 2006 is a stunning bargain! The Eguren family are top winemakers who produce Sierra Cantabria wines in Rioja and until this year, Termes and Numanthia wines in Toro. Protocolo is a red table wine produced by the Egurens who have applied their top-notch winemaking skills in the land of Castilla. With warm aromas of berry, this 100% Tempranillo has a depth of vibrant black cherry flavors. Low tannins are balanced by acidity and a finish of licorice notes. Perfect for a backyard party or on a weeknight when you want a wine that won’t blow the budget.

2007 Paso A Paso Tempranillo, La Mancha ($9.99)  The 2006 vintage was a fantastic under-$10.00-wine and quickly sold out. We’ve been waiting for months for the new vintage and it’s finally arrived! With all of the balanced fruit and robust aromas of the 2006, it is “Vivid purple. Complex aromas of cherry, anise, cracked pepper and pungent herbs; not many $10.00 wines have this much going on. Rich cherry and dark berry flavors are modestly concentrated but strikingly pure, showing impressive mineral snap…” 89 points Stephen Tanzer

2007 Espelt Saulo, Emporda ($9.99)  This is a lot of wine for the price! A smoky nose with black fruit flavors, it made of 60% Grenache and 40% Carignan. “Strongly mineral aromas of vibrant cherry, blackberry, graphite and cracked pepper. Brisk and sharply focused, with racy cherry, mineral flavors and fine-grained tannins. A clean, brisk wine that offers impressive clarity and energy for the money.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer


RIOJA WINE DVDS:   If you’d like to learn more about Rioja wines, ask us for a free DVDs.  Our apologies if we run out (we just have a few copies) but the DVD can also be ordered for free from this link:  
For information about travel to Rioja, go to



Flamenco: Carmona Flamenco and Guest Artist Ana Montes are performing at the Solstice Cafe on Saturday May 30 at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For information:(206) 932-4067 or visit

Pike Place Market Street Festival May 30-31: A benefit for the Market Foundation, the street will be filled with handcrafted artwork, live music, and delicious food. For more information, visit

Have a great week, and we hope to see you soon!



Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

Spanish Table

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What We Cooked


Catalan Pork Sausage with Mushrooms: José Andrés cooked this on his television show, Made In Spain: Butifarra with chanterelles, pine nuts, raisins and moscatel wine. The companion Made In Spain cookbook ($35) has this recipe and many more with similar spins on traditional Spanish dishes filtered through the sensibilities of this Asturian born, Washington DC based chef.

Greek Baked Pasta: Using Grace Parisi’s recipe from the March 2009 Food & Wine, we paired our Misko No 3 pasta with ground lamb seasoned with oregano, cinnamon and cloves then topped with ricotta cheese, egg yokes and Zerto (Argentine Parmesan-Reggianito cheese) seasoned with nutmeg. While it baked, we made a chopped salad of cucumber and green pepper enlivened with a handful of big, grey, Egyptian Olives ($5.99) and chunks of Ulker Feta Cheese. We took home a chilled bottle of Boutari Retsina ($9.99) to pair with it.


2006 Vin Nico Flor del Montgó (Yecla) $8.99 on sale! Vin Nico searches out underutilized old-vine properties all over Spain to produce affordable, well crafted wines. Flor is a blend of 85% old-vine Monastrell, 10% Merlot and 5% Shiraz. It is dark ruby in color with a nose of blue and black fruits that leap from the glass. The fruit is ripe and sweet, the tannins silky, and there is excellent concentration and length from the old vine fruit. This is a great value on a very expressive wine.

2006 Andeluna Malbec Mendoza ($9.99) One of the best under-$10.00 Malbecs, we thought it was sold out. Luck smiled on us when the distributor found 5 cases of this vintage so get it while you can! Hand crafted in collaboration with Michel Rolland, this lush Malbec is ripe and juicy. Full bodied, it has complex flavors of black currant, Morello cherry and chocolate with notes of dried fig and cassis liquor. Sweet tannins compliment the spice notes and exceptional balance. Highly recommended!

2006 Altozano Tempranillo Toledo, ($9.99) A smooth and silky Tempranillo with fruity black cherry flavors and rich chocolate notes. Grown at high elevation in Toledo, it is lightly oaked and well balanced with hints of pie cherry on the persistent finish. Versatile, Altozano is great with foods from pizza to tagines.

2007 Nuntius, Cariñena ($12.99) This terrific wine dances over the tongue with the energy of a bulerias. Importer Basilio Grueso of Casa Ventura Imports chose this blend for Nuntius after over 25 tastings with the winemaker. Made of 50% Garnacha, 30% Syrah and 20% Tempranillo, its smoky aromas lead to fruity strawberry and then deep black fruit flavors A hint of rose petals compliment the black pepper on the earthy and dry finish. Serve Nuntius with a spicy Indian curry or grilled kebabs.

NV Valdespino Contrabandista Amontillado, Jerez ($33.00) Bodegas Valdespino has been producing sherry in Jerez de la Frontera since 1430. Made from a solera that originated in 1892, Contrabandista was aged under flor for over 8 years, and further aged for 8 additional years allowing oxidation to take place. With just a touch of Pedro Ximenez for sweetness, it is round and unctuous on the palate with notes of roasted hazelnut and almond paste. Its acidic spine provides balances to the sweetness and the persistent nutty finish seems like it goes on forever. The traditional label with a galloping horse and rider is seen in bars all over Spain.

NV Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Our best selling fino has flavors of yeast and almond with a traditional touch of bitterness. It’s now available in half bottle ($9.99/375ml) and we’re also stocking Kosher Tio Pepe ($25.99/750 ml)


Serpa is one of the most famous traditional cheeses from Portugal. Extremely hard to source, we special ordered it from Portugal. Made in Alentejo from Merino sheep’s milk and aged for at least six months, its rind is rubbed with olive oil throughout curing. Serpa has a buttery interior and tangy flavor of local herbs and grasses. Wrapped in white linen, this artisanal cheese is typically served before a meal and is best with a glass of red wine from Alentejo.

Queijo Amarelo is our new favorite Portuguese cheese. Amarelo is a washed rind cheese, a blend of sheep and goats milk from Beira Baixa region. It has an astounding buttery, slightly piquant flavor with roasted onion, sea salt, notes of sweet lemon and a lingering savory finish with grassy overtones.


Brazilian Jazz Pianist and Dreamy Vocalist Eliane Elias is performing at Jazz Alley on February 24 & 25th. For details, go to Elias’s newest CD, “Bossa Nova Stories” ($18.99), has classic tunes beautifully reinterpreted and is available here at the store.

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Filed under Argentina, Cheese, Food, Music, Red Wine, Spain