Category Archives: Red Wine

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Food, france, Music, Red Wine

Serpis Stuffed Olives; Great Riojas

The Spanish Table Seattle                                                                 February 23, 2011
It was fantastic to see all of you who came in last Saturday for our cooking demo! We fired up a large butano and the 85 person paellera to make Fideuá, which is similiar to paella but uses pasta instead of rice.  We love this dish because it tastes quite different from paella, especially if you serve it with alioli, and it’s another great use of your  paellera! For those who couldn’t make the demo, here’s a copy of our recipe, which can be adjusted for fewer servings:

Fideuá (Valencian Pasta)   Serves 60   

1 cup olive oil

5 each onions chopped

1 head garlic chopped

5 lbs Rockfish fillets chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 bottle white wine

½ gram saffron

6 tbs La Vera smoked pimentón dulce

4 jars Tomate Frito

12 quarts clam juice

5 kilos fideo noodles

10 lbs cooked salad shrimp, whole

Heat olive oil in 40 inch paella pan. Sauté onions, garlic & rockfish for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, saffron, pimentón, & sofrito then add clam juice. When clam juice comes to a boil, add noodles. Return stock to boil and cook until noodles are done and liquid is absorbed (12 minutes or so?). Stir in shrimp meat and heat. Add water if necessary.


Last week I wrote that our store manager Isaac Rivera had turned 30, which was a mistake. I should have done the math, because on his birthday he opened a 1982 Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especial Rioja, produced in his birth year. He was blown away by its exceptional balance, vibrancy, soft acidity and dusty earth notes. Happy 29th birthday Isaac!

There’s been a buzz here at the shop about Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especials, ever since we scooped up an amazing deal on 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1991 vintages. Professional duty demanded that we taste them all to make sure they lived up to their potential, and they absolutely do! These are exceptional classic Riojas, gracefully aged, each reflecting the individuality of the vintage. Fans of traditional Riojas should not pass these up!


1981 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($50.00) Impressive liveliness in this 30 year old wine. Notes of balsamic, dried cherry and cigar box; elegant with silky tannins. “Complex aromas of plum, red berries, cinnamon, tree bark, pepper and bacon; autumnal in the style of a mature syrah yet still fresh. Less sweet in the middle than the 1982 but more penetrating, with lovely clarity of flavor. Finishes with firm, slightly drying tannins. For tasters unfamiliar with fully mature classic Riojas, this would be an excellent starting point.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

1982 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($60.00) From an excellent vintage, the 1982 exhibits nuance and impressive complexity. Vibrant and savory, with notes of smoke, mushroom, leather. “The superb 1982 Gran Reserva Seleccion is from a great Rioja vintage. The wine was aged for nearly four years in French barriques and bottled in 1987. It exhibits a deep red-brick color and a sexy nose of earthy minerals, smoky tobacco, spice box, cherry, and red currants. This is followed by a nicely structured wine with elegance and a certain stateliness marking it as a classic example of old-style Rioja. This splendid effort should drink well for another decade.” 93 points Wine Advocate

1985 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($45.00) Initally the 1985 seemed to be the lightest wine of the four, but it gradually opened up with air, and was even better the following day. “Mature aromas of strawberry, meat, leather and truffle. Old-style, slightly funky Rioja flavors of pungent strawberry, leather and baking spices; lovely acidity gives the wine a juiciness and impressive inner-mouth lift. Reminded me a bit of an old Graves. Finishes juicy and long, with a slight dryness. A very idiosyncratic and satisfying example of a fully mature Rioja” 89 points Stephen Tanzer

1991 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($40.00)  A more modern style, its expressive bright fruit has a beautiful taut balance. “The 1991 Gran Reserva Seleccion, from a difficult vintage, is nevertheless an outstanding effort. It spent 46 months in French barriques before being bottled in 1996. Dark ruby in color, the wine emits a lovely perfume of spice box, tobacco, and cherry. With considerable stuffing consisting of wood, mushrooms, currants and cherries, and a long finish, this deceptively powerful wine can be enjoyed for another 5-7 years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

These new items arrived a few hours ago! 

El Serpis Green Olives Stuffed with Chorizo Picante; El Serpis Green Olives Stuffed with Jamon; El Serpis Banderillas

Helios Organic Seville Bitter Orange Fruit Preserves 

Quely Picos, from Mallorca  Rafa Nadal’s Favorite!

Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Gullon brand Maria Crackers and Choco Sticks

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Fish, Food, Recepies, Red Wine

Fideuá Demonstration on Saturday

The Spanish Table Seattle                                                                  February 17, 2011

Fideuá is a delectable pasta dish from Valencia that is cooked in a Paella Pan. If you’ve only used your paellera to prepare rice dishes, we highly recommend that you experiment with Fideuá. Typically made with seafood and served with alioli, the combinations are as endless as the variety of ingredients you can pull together. This Saturday February 19th, we’re celebrating Manager Isaac Rivera’s 30th birthday.  In celebration of Isaac’s cumpleanos,  Jefe Steve will be demonstrating how to cook a Fideuá, beginning at noon. Stop by to get a free sample of the Fideuá and a copy of the recipe.

Come and shop our expanded Sherry selection!


2008 Solnia Rioja ($9.99) Bright and juicy, “Ilurce’s 2008 Solnia is a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Graciano. This purple-colored offering displays a bouquet of spice box, violets, and black cherry leading to a racy wine with vibrant acidity and plenty of savory black fruit for balance. Drink this excellent value over the next 4-5 years.” 88 points Wine Advocate

2008 Mas dels Frares Priorat  ($17.99) “The 2008 Mas del Frares is an unoaked blend of 50% Carinena, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Garnacha. The nose gives up earth notes, mineral, lavender, and black cherry. Substantial on the palate with good density and ripe flavors, this friendly effort is a good introduction to the region and an outstanding value.” 89 points Wine Advocate

2004 Remelluri Rioja ($34.00) “80% tempranillo, with garnacha, graciano and mazuelo) Opaque ruby. Captivating aromas of cherry, cured meat, tobacco and licorice. Lush and juicy, with fresh red and dark fruit flavors, silky tannins and slow-mounting herbal qualities. Turns sweeter on the finish, with sexy oak spices lingering seductively. This is really delicious and already complex enough to enjoy in the near term. ” 93 points Stephen Tanzer

2006 Damana 5 Ribera del Duero ($18.99) “Plum, raisin, iron and game notes have focus and character in this dense, firm red… harmonious and long” 90 points Wine Spectator

2004 Adagio Reserva Malbec, Mendoza ($13.99) This elegant 100% Malbec is intense with spicy fruity notes, nutmeg and white pepper combined with vanilla, chocolate and coffee aromas.  Voluptuous, this wine has a fleshy taste and long finish.  Unfiltered. 50% is aged in new French oak for one year, then blended with the other half, which is then bottled and aged for another year before release to fully integrate the flavors.


Gem Brand Basque Chorizos (Made in Boise, ID) $11.99/16 oz – This customer favorite is back in stock!

Quijote Dry Chorizo is also back in stock, after a long absence.  Kudos to George for getting these products back in the refrigerator case!

Fermin Jamón Ibérico, sliced in 2 oz packages ($9.99)

Soujouk Dried Beef Sausage and Basturma Cured Dried Beef  TheseTurkish specialties are made in USA.

After tasting Creminelli brand Italian salamis, we simply had to stock them.  $9.99 for 5.5 oz, try Casalingo (Mild) or Piccante (Hot).

Spanish Table Spice Kits are back in stock! $19.99 gets you nine small tubs (appx. quarter cup) of distinctive spices, including Aleppo Pepper, Harissa, Sumac and White Peppercorns. These sold out quickly during the holidays.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Food, Meat, Red Wine

Sensational Flavors

As a youngster I grew up eating home-grown vegetables and home-cooked meals. Fortunately my mother, grandmother and sisters were all excellent cooks and my father’s garden was so bountiful that even our neighbors had enough fresh vegetables to stock their freezers. My fascination with flavors and quality ingredients sprang from these roots and even today, I eagerly await every meal!  With travel came discoveries of astonishing new ingredients and my palate began to yearn for more than fried chicken and tuna noodle casserole. Now that our stores have extensive selections of inspiring cookbooks, there’s no reason to cook the same dishes over and over!   (Paella excepted.)

Last night Steve turned to Joyce Goldstein’s cookbook “Saffron Shores” ($12.99) for a sensational Tunisian Fish Ball Tagine. The fish balls were light, delicately flavored and satiating on a chilly night. Give them a try!


3 liters El Toro Pure Olive Oil $9.99

Miguel & Valentino brand Guindilla Peppers $.99 

Ferrer Dried Wild Mushrooms $4.99/ 15 gram jar

 Golden Peppadew Peppers $.99/14 oz 

Ferrer White Gazpacho $.99/24 oz


2009 Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta ($11.99) This crisp white has notes of chalk and crushed seashell with a zesty citrus finish. “Laid-back aromas of yellow apple, pear, melon and lemon thyme. Silky and modestly concentrated, with fine-grained honeydew and pear flavors and a light kiss of herbs. Tightly wound for the variety, finishing with good bite and lingering herbacity.” 88 points Stephen Tanzer

2000 Bodegas Lopez Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva ($22.99) This spectacular rosé is excellent all year long but perhaps best in the cooler season when its savoriness is a divine match for rich meat or poultry dishes. In yesterday’s New York Times, Eric Asimov describes Viña Tondonia Rosé as “pale, coppery, complex wine that compels you to smack your lips at the tactile pleasure of rolling it around in your mouth. Jamon Iberico please!”

2009 Tapiz Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) Tapiz has inviting aromas of violets which compliment smoke, raspberry and plum cake notes. Hints of vanilla, menthol and incense give added complexity on the palate. Elegant with a velvety, persistent finish, it is also a terrific value!

2008 El Pecado, Ribera Sacra ($84.00) The 2008 El Pecado is produced by winemaker Raul Perez, who makes some of Spain’s most prized wines in the cool, green D.O. Ribeira Sacra of Galicia. His reds, made from the Mencia grape are reminiscent of top shelf Burgundy. The precision and elegance of these wines is astounding. Prized for their quality as well as their rarity: 115 cases of 2008 El Pecado were produced and only 16 cases were sent to the U.S. “The 2008 El Pecado is 100% Mencia from Ribera Sacra and offers up exotic, kinky aromas of mineral, incense, Asian spices, lavender, boysenberry, cranberry, and black raspberry. On the palate it is satin-textured, intense, complex, and stylish.” 95 points Wine Advocate

2006 Alion, Ribera del Duero ($90.00) The latest release of Vega Sicilia’s Alion has just arrived! “Intensely perfumed, mineral-driven scents of redcurrant, raspberry, spicecake and dried rose, with a smoky overlay. Juicy and precise, offering lively red fruit flavors and a suave floral pastille quality with aeration. Weightier on the finish, where the floral note lingers with authority and persistent spiciness.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer, 94 points Wine Advocate


Zoe Meats Chorizo: A perfect balance of pork, fat and pimenton, it contains no nitrates/nitrites. This überlicious chorizo is a favorite of our Spanish customers. We carry a small 8oz version or you may buy it sliced, but we recommend the larger chorizo for the best value. $25.99/lb

Lomo Embuchado – This domestic lomo is a dry-cured pork loin that is very popular in Spain as part of a traditional tapas course. Always extremely lean, this cured meat is marinated before aging with an array of spices including garlic and paprika bringing out the full flavor of the pork. $34.99/lb

Upcoming Flamenco shows: This Friday and Saturday evening at Taberna del Alabardero: Don’t miss Manolo Leiva. Click here for details.


In Spain, Sephardic fish balls, (called albondigas) were seasoned simply with parsley and maybe a little cheese, then fried and served with tomato sauce. Tunisian Jewish fish balls are more highly seasoned. To hold the fish together, most cooks use fresh bread crumbs. The fish balls may be fried or poached, then simmered in fish broth flavored with tomato puree, and served with couscous. Some recipes use chopped tomatoes and peppers in the broth.

Serves 6 TO 8


1½ lbs mild white fish, such as cod, sole, sn apper or bass

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 onions, finely chopped

½ Teaspoons kosher salt

½ Teaspoon harissa (try the rose petal harissa)

2 Teaspoons ground cumin

4 Slices stale bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry, or 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

Olive oil for frying


3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Cloves garlic, minced

6 Tablespoons tomate frito, or 4 tomatoes, chopped

2 Cups fish broth or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Couscous for serving

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

To make the fish balls, bone and finely chop the fish. In a food processor or large bowl, combine the fish with all the remaining ingredients except the egg and oil. Mix well, Add the egg and mix until smooth. Dipping a spoon and your fingers in cold water, remove a sample of fish paste and roll into a ball. Fry in a little olive oil and taste and adjust the seasoning. Form the rest of the fish paste into I-inch balls. Either fry now, or place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat ½ inch oil over medium-high heat and fry a few fish balls at a time until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

To make the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the fish balls and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over couscous, sprinkled with parsley.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Events, Fish, Recepies, Red Wine, Rose

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Music, Red Wine

Hello Small Vineyards!

Perfectly delicious wines are made by large producers, using state of the art technology and economies of scale.   I am thrilled to find, for example, a bottle like Marques de Riscal Rioja in a small town restaurant.   Savoring a dependably tasty bottle of wine with a meal absolutely increases the pleasure!

But when able, I’ll choose a wine from a small producer.  Often small wineries’ bottlings are a labor of love, sometimes made with difficult-to-grow varietials that have a limited market appeal.  Small wineries fill important niches:  maintaining diversity in the plant world and on the wine shop shelves, and making wines that reflect the terrunyo of infintesimal plots.

We’re excited to now feature Small Vineyards’ portfolio of Spanish and Portuguese wines.  Small Vineyards seeks out and supports diminutive family-owned estates that make exceptional wines for the price.   Their criteria for adding a producer to their portfolio is simple:  The winery’s size must be in the smallest 10%  for that country;  the estate must hand pick all grapes to ensure that only the ripest fruit is made into wine, and the producer must use sustainable growing methods to make earth-friendly wines.   We’ve  chosen to spotlight the following terrific wines in our floor stack just inside the door.  Give them a try!

2009 Aravo Albariño, Rias Baixas ($19.99)   Fresh green apple and citrus flavors have a weightiness on the palate.   Clean and full of minerals, this wine stuns with mint, acacia flower and wet granite notes.

2008 Terras de Xisto, Alentejo ($8.99)  A terrifically expressive wine and an extraordinary value!  With a bouquet of dusty red fruit, spices and a hint of menthol, Terras de Xisto has been described as “Portuguese Chianti with a zing.”  Concentrated, balanced and vibrant, it has dusty notes from the “xisto” (schist) soil.

2009 Clua Domenech Garnacha, Terra Alta ($11.99)  Raised in stainless steel, Clua Domenech is bursting with ripe fruit, lively acidity and admirable color. This 100% Garnacha boasts a hint of mushroom on the nose.   Bright and juicy with spice notes, this lengthy effort pairs wonderfully with cured meats.

2007 Perfil Douro ($17.99)   Powerful and lush with muscular tannins, Perfil Douro is a red wine to serve with hearty, winter fare.  From an exceptional vintage, it has notes of coffee, earth and ripe black fruit. A full-bodied red, it has notes of tobacco on the persistent finish which add complexity.   With every sip, I thought again “this is delicious!”

2006 Parmi l’Infant Priorat ($36.00)  2006 was the first vintage from this estate and they’ve started off with a bang!  Parmi l’Infant is a full-bodied, concentrated teeth stainer.  This fascinating wine is fermented in oak, but not aged in oak.   Extracted and structured, it has layers of pomegranate, pencil lead, crushed rock and mineral.  Only 400 cases were produced – this is a stunning value from the Priorat region.

Look for other Small Vineyards wines on our shelves – they wear a distinctive gold sticker and tell the story of the producer on the back label.


A flavorful Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds complexity to grilled fish and is essential in salads.    Our favorites:  Duc de Foix and Luis Herrera from Spain, and Nectar from Portugal.

Sherry Vinegar:  There is no substitute for this intense vinegar – its bright acidity makes flavors pop in a salad.  Our favorite brand:  Toro Albala.

Spanish Bonito del Norte Tuna in olive oil:   I eat this for lunch a couple of times per week, on top of mixed greens or on a baguette.   One of my favorites is on top of warm brown rice.  The nuttiness of the rice is a perfect foil for the rich tuna.   Our favorite brand:  Ortiz

Olives! We have an incredible selection of Spanish olives, stuffed and plain.  Our favorites:  Spanish Table brand lemon stuffed and Miguel & Valentino Manzanilla Olives.

A whole leg of jamon serrano.   We’ve got three boneless legs left, and it’s sure to make that special person very, very happy.

Spice kits:  An assortment of 9 spices from North Africa and the Middle East to inspire the cook in your life.

Flavored sea salts:   Flavors include smoked paprika, black olive and smoked.   Our Paris Grocery store has many additional styles.

Our Paris Grocery store, located two doors south of Spanish Table, can slice jamon serrano and lomo to order.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Jamon, Portugal, Red Wine, Spain

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