Tag Archives: Amontillado

Special Valentine’s Day Treats

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 11, 2007

Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year — and unless you’ve missed the ads, you know that it’s coming up this weekend! On Sundays we like to leisurely cook something that we don’t have time to fix during the week, and Valentine’s Day seems like a great excuse to prepare something stellar. Here is a superb starter that we’ll be serving, from The Spanish Table cookbook:


The sweet tanginess of Piquillo peppers enhance the richness of the Dungeness crab, and the sherry adds sinfully Spanish aromas. The peppers are as red as hearts pulsing love!

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons Amontillado or Cream Sherry

¼ pound Dungeness Crab meat

6 whole Piquillo Peppers

½ cup Dry White wine

1 tablespoon Minced parsley

1 tablespoon Marcona almonds, ground in a food processer

Make a white sauce by melting 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook the flour in it until it begins to sizzle, then add the milk and whisk until thickened. Divide the white sauce into two equal portions. Filling: Whisk sherry into half of the white sauce over low heat until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and fold in the crab. Let cool while you make the sauce. Sauce:Combine the remaining white sauce with the wine, heat and then whisk in the ground almonds and half the parsley. Assembly: Holding the Piquillo peppers suspended between your thumb and forefinger, spoon the stuffing into them. Place the peppers in a 10 inch cazuela, the points toward the center so they form a “rose.” Spoon sauce over stuffed peppers and heat in 350º oven until peppers are hot to center (20 minutes). Sprinkle reserved minced parsley across the top.


St. Valentine’s Day Cheeses from Paris Grocery

Coeur du Bray (pictured above): According to legend, the young maidens of Neufchâtel-en-Bray offered this cheese to their gallant English conquerors during the wars in the Middle Ages. This heart-shaped, brie-style cheese will win you over with its creamy texture and mild yet earthy flavor.

Gres des Vosges: Alsace is full of beautiful cherry trees from which the farmers make their own local kirsch. Each oval of this cow’s milk cheese is washed with this subtle cherry brandy, which lends a fruity aroma. Slightly salty flavors and a luscious texture make this a favorite! Each cheese is decorated with either herbs or paprika in the shape of a heart.

This very morning, we received two huge shipments of jams, mustards, salts, and other goodies! More on the new favorites next week, or you can check out our Facebook page for the latest updates and ideas.

St Valentine’s Day Wines from Paris Grocery

Celebrate with a sparkling wine!

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc ($19.99) Domaine Lucien Albrecht is one of the oldest and leading Alsace family owned estate, tracing its roots back to 1425. The hand picked fruit for the Blanc de Blanc is produced by “méthode traditionnelle”, which is the true Champagne method. Made from 100% from Pinot Blanc, it is distinguished by a fine bead, a beautiful straw color; and a light, delicate palate. This elegant cremant is delicious with soft goat cheeses.

N.V. Diebolt-Vallois Champagne ($33.00/375 ml) One of the few grower-producers in Champagne, Jacques Diebolt was previously named the “Champagne Producer of the Year.” Diebolt uses only the grapes from his own Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards in the village of Cramant, and oversees every step of the fermentation and blending to create a truly memorable champagne. “Fresh lemon, lime and tangerine on the nose. Light in body but powerful, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a subtle honeysuckle undertone. Impeccably balanced, strikingly pure Champagne that finishes sappy and long. A classic display of chardonnay from the grand cru village of Cramant. 91 points Stephen Tanzer


NV Torre Oria Brut Nature Cava ($16.99) Most cavas are produced in Penedes, just south of Barcelona but Torre Oria hails from Utiel-Requena, a very hot region just inland from Valencia. A blend of 90% Macabeo and 10% Parellada, it is aged 36 months on the lees and is the driest style of cava. Pale golden, bright, it has very fine and abundant bubbles. Magnificent presence on the palate, very dry, powerful and leaving a lingering aftertaste. Elegant.

2005 Marques de Gelida Brut Exclusive Reserva ($14.99) Vins El Ceps S.L. is a partnership of four families who have been cultivting grapes and making wine since the 15th Century. To produce Marques de Gelida, grapes are selected from the best estate-owned vineyards. A blend of Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada and Chardonnay, the Brut Exclusive has been aged for 36 months on the lees, which gives a creamy edge to the fruity and citrus flavors. Just off bone dry, it is clean and fresh, with excellent balance and a long, delicate finish.

2007 Augusti Torello Mata Rosat ($24.99) Agusti Mata is the maker of cult-cava Kripta, and he is one of the few to still producer a Rosé cava from the traditional Trepat grape. Fine and persistent bubbles form a consistent rosary and dense crown. Aromas of wild strawberry and cherry have a background of mint. On the palate, it is complex and meaty, yet light and very, very dry. It is well balanced and has a pleasant, well-harmonized medium intensity finish that brings back the aromas of fresh mint.

NV Cavas Hill Brut de Brut Reserva ($9.99) A delicious budget sparkler, Cavas Hill is made in the traditional method, with fermentation in the bottle and ageing on the lees for 20 months. It’s loaded with clean and crisp pear aromas and fine, delicate bubbles. Green apple flavors provide freshness and the persistent finish ends on a satisfying dry note. Great with seafood!

2001 Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal ($15.99) This spectacular dessert wine really over delivers! Made of 100% Moscatel de Setúbal, the grapes are fortified with brandy, macerated on skins for 5 to 6 months, then aged for a minimum of three years in small used oak barrels. A rich dessert wine with plenty of lift, it has aromas of orange tree flower, tea, nutmeg and raisins. Smooth, sweet and fresh, it has a persistent finish that will keep your lips smacking. Serve this with chocolate covered figs!

Rabitos (chocolate covered figs) are back in stock! We have individually wrapped pieces, 3 piece boxes, 9 piece and 16 piece boxes. Give these to your special chocolate lover for St. Valentines Day!


Celebrate and taste these historic wines at a winemaker dinner on Friday, February 26th at Andaluca Restaurant in Seattle. Established in 1879, Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España (CUNE) is one of the best selling producers of Rioja. Join David Tindall of Pasternak Wine Importers at Andaluca Restaurant for a five course dinner, featuring the wines of Cune and Viña Real. Chef Wayne Johnson has created a fantastic menu to compliment each wine. Click the link for details.

To kick off the CUNE dinner, we’re featuring the tasty 2006 Cune Crianza Rioja ($12.99) right now at a new lower price! Warm ripe black cherry, notes of earth and minerals make up the Cune Crianza, and it’s “Fresh red and dark berry aromas are complemented by suave floral and mineral qualities. Pliant, juicy raspberry and blackberry flavors suggest a strong dose of garnacha, but there’s actually just a few percent in here… This is drinking well right now.” Stephen Tanzer

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites! The Spanish Table wine website has everything you’re looking for 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.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!


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 Cava, Cheese, Events, Fish, Food, france, Recepies, Red Wine, Rose, Sherry, Spain

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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Filed under Cheese, Events, Food, Meat, Music, Port, Portugal, Recepies, Red Wine, Sherry

Great Memories

tst_501Too often, days fade into memory like the Bainbridge ferry disappearing into fog. But there are also times that are simply unforgettable, such as our trip to Cordoba where we waited in line for hours to see a flamenco concert we’d stumbled upon by accident. It was a sensational show featuring Jose Merce, Jose Menese and Chocolate. The raw emotions I felt that night turned me into an aficionado of cante flamenco.

The next morning’s visit to Bodegas Toro Albala was just as memorable. For starters, it was raining so hard that the wine maker had to drive us across the parking lot. Situated in a former electric plant since 1922, the tiny bodega is a hands-on operation which produces phenomenal sherries. Known for their dessert wines such as the Don PX Gran Reserva, they tasted us through their selection and I was blown away by the Fino Electrico. All of Toro Albala’s sherries are made from 100% Pedro Ximenez which has sufficient residual sugar so that fortification is unnecessary, in contrast to sherries produced in D.O. Jerez from the palomino grape. We’ve stocked the Don PX Gran Reserva for years but the rest were not available until now. This week we received 4 new sherries from Toro Albala.


Fino Electrico ($11.99) Aromas of yeast meet pungent flavors of green olive and almonds. Bone dry, intense and great with salty jamon iberico.

Amontillado Viejisimo ($29.99) This superb wine is an average of 30 years old. Great intensity of rich roasted nuts, dried fruit and leather with a seemingly endless finish.

Oloroso Viejo ($17.99) From soleras and reserve stocks approaching a century in age, Oloroso Viejo displays a round, velvety texture with aromas of butterscotch. Essentially dry, it is also rich with notes of caramel and a dry persistent finish.

Cream PX ($17.99) A blend of 10-year-old Oloroso which has been enriched with Don PX Gran Reserva. A complex and refined palate caressing wine, it melds flavors of dried fruit and raisins with balanced acidity.


2004 Castell de Les Pinyeres, Montsant ($15.99) A blend of Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, this is an old world wine with panache. “Energetic spiced raspberry and cherry on the nose, with white pepper and cinnamon qualities adding complexity. Fresh, finely etched red fruit flavors are intense but almost weightless, with bracing minerality adding nerve. Pure strawberry and raspberry flavors dominate the long, refreshingly brisk finish. There’s a pinot noir-like vivacity to this wine that is extremely appealing.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer

2005 El Castro de Valtuille, Bierzo ($34.00) Winemaker Raul Perez is breathing life into these old vineyards. Made from vines between 50-60 years old, El Castro de Valtuille is 100% Mencia. It has spent 14 months in one year old barrels to let the intense fruit shine through. Elegant, tannic and structured with a persistent finish, this has amazing concentration. Absolutely wonderful! 90 points Stephen Tanzer, 92 points Robert Parker

FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO! Need ingredients for a party this weekend? Try some of our Mexican specialties:

Habanero lollipops ($1.59) Warning! Very hot adult candy. Marilyn says “Yum – tingles the tip of your tongue.”

La Morena Chipotle Sauce $2.79/7 oz Smoked hot peppers essential for many Mexican recipes

Cocina Mestiza salsas ($7.99/22 oz) Choose from Serrano, Chipotle or Habanera. Grab some chips and the appetizer is ready!

Los Chileros New Mexican whole dried peppers, posole, chile powder, chicos y mas.

We have an extensive selection of general and regional Mexican cookbooks, from $5.99 and up.


2007 Juan de Valdelana Rioja ($9.99) Made of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano and 5% Viura, this young Rioja has plenty of verve in a traditional style. Valdelana has cherry aromas with flavors of black currant, boysenberry and a touch of spice. Well balanced with a persistent finish, this wine has enough acidity to balance out paella or grilled sausages.

2008 Higueruela, Almansa ($9.99) Higueruela is made from 100% Garnacha Tintorera (also called Alicante Bouchet), from low-yielding vines between 30 and 80 years old. Aged in stainless steel tanks, it has a fruity aroma which reveals black cherry flavors and moderate tannins. Higueruela has an appealing earthiness with great lift on the finish. 87 points Jay Miller, Recommend Best Buy

2005 El Cipres Malbec, Menoza ($9.99) 100% Malbec from the 70 year old Don Angelino vineyard at 2800 feet above sea level, El Cipres presents a delicious blend of red and black fruits supported by soft, smooth


tannins. Smoky and meaty, serve this with a slab of grilled beef and chimichurri sauce.

Isastegi Basque cider ($10.99) is back in stock at long last! We now have two distinctive ciders in stock. Isastegi is tart green apple flavored with a fresh finish. Bereziartua cider ($9.99) is loaded with fermented fruit. Try one of each and compare!

Seven Fires, Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann ($35.00) We ate at Mallmann’s 1884 Restaurant in Buenos Aires and it was an amazing experience. When South America’s most venerated chef published a cookbook, we had to stock it. Filled with mouth watering photos of everything from empanadas to assorted meats cooking over coals, if you like playing with fire, this is a must-have book.

Clos Mogador extra virgin olive oil ($37.00): Produced in limited quantities by Rene Barbier’s Priorat estate, this is a cold extraction of arbequina, rojol and empeltre olives. Amazingly buttery with grassy notes, it is full flavored with a peppery finish. So good it’s hard to stop dipping bread into it.

Now back in stock: Choricero dried peppers ($19.99/7 oz)

Access from the Pike Place Market: The stairs between the Market and Western Avenue will be closed for several months for construction and utility work. In the meantime, the other stairs are still open and the elevator is working. The market is installing signage to help folks find their way to Western Avenue.

We hope to see you soon, and have a great week!


Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table

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Filed under Books, Food, Sherry, Spain

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 http://www.jazzalley.com/calendar.asp. 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

Sherry Season

November 14th, 2008

SHERRY AND PORT SEASON   A touch of sherry or port on a chilly night can restore the body, if not the soul. Whether sipping a dry amontillado as an aperitif, enjoying a rich Oloroso with cheese, or tipping back a glass of port with a good Valor chocolate, these wines bring a warm and cozy feel to dark nights.  They are also excellent for cooking, adding an exceptional accent to mushroom or pork recipes.  Here are my top choices this season:
Valdespino Inocente Fino $19.99 (375 ml) Aged for 7 years under flor, bone dry Inocente has delicate floral aromas and clean, nutty flavors.   Wonderful with steamed clams!
Alvear Carlos VII Amontillado $19.99 (500 ml) A dry amontillado from Montilla, made from 100% Pedro Ximenez.  Dried fig and hazelnut flavors with a silky finish.  Fantastic in seafood bisque.
Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado $8.99 (375 ml) $15.99 (750 ml) One of my favorite value amontillados.  Butterscotch aromas with flavors of toffee, spice and walnuts, this is super in mushroom recipes and also delicious just for sipping.
Hidalgo Faraon Oloroso $18.99 (500 ml) A rich, dry Oloroso.  “Aromatic with aromas of hazelnuts, walnuts and raisins and a broad, dry flavor profile.”  91 points Jay Miller
Lustau East India Solera $12.99 (375 ml) $25.99 (750 ml) An elegant blend of dry Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.  Weighty and sweet with flavors of vanilla, raisins, walnuts, coffee, and chocolate.    Excellent with cheese or pecan pie.   94 points Robert Parker
Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port $10.99 (375 ml) $15.99 (750 ml) Roasted redcurrant, mocha and a hint of raisin on the mellow nose.   Sweet and silky.   A great introduction to ruby port!
2003 Delaforce Vintage Port $26.99 (375 ml) $43.00 (750 ml) Special price!  Affordable enough to drink one now and put another in the cellar.   “A fabulous nose of cassis and berries with hints of licorice.  Full-bodied and lightly sweet, with super sexy tannins and a long, long, finish.   Very classy.”   95 points Wine Spectator
Graham’s 10 year Tawny $32.00 “Complex orange peel, cedar and plum aromas and flavors are the hallmarks of this tawny.  It has medium body and sweetness with a crisp, clean finish.  Absolutely delicious to drink.   Pure honey.”   91 points Wine Spectator
Porto Rocha Glorious 50th Tawny Port $104.00 (375 ml) $181.00 (750 ml) A rare blend of 1937, 1957 colheitas with 10 and 30 year old tawnies.  Orange zest and walnuts, burnt sugar, mocha, caramel and honey with a hazelnut and marmalade finish.  Savor it after dinner.      
Veigadarte goat cheese: Think Humboldt Fog on steroids!   This gooey, tangy, soft-ripened goat cheese is produced in a small village in the province of Leon. Made from a blend of three different goat milks, it’s covered with oak ash and a thick bloomy white rind.  With a lively zestiness and citrus twang, it will impress your friends at parties.
Green Cerignola Olives They’re big, bold, beautiful, and green. Cerignola are the largest olives in the world. These fleshy green wonders have a fruity, mild, clean taste, but their most impressive feature is their size and resulting meatiness.  Biting into a Cerignola is almost like biting into a savory plum. Deep jade green in color, plop one in your martini!
BACK IN STOCK: Mustapha’s Moroccan Harissa after a summer-long absence
Thinking about what to serve on Thanksgiving?   Here’s our sherry basted turkey recipe which is what we have cooked for the last several years: 
TURKEY WITH CATALAN STUFFING (from The Spanish Table Cookbook)
Basting mixture:                                                      
2 Tablespoons            Course sea salt                     
½ Teaspoon                Saffron threads                      
8 cloves                       Garlic, minced            
½ cup                          Olive oil                                              
1                                  Large orange, quartered        
1                                  Lemon, quartered
½ cup                          Amontillado sherry
2 cups                         Chopped onions
1 cup                           Spanish pine nuts
1 cup                           Raisins, re-hydrated
1 bunch                       Spinach, chopped
4 cups                         Stale bread, cubed                 
Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put the salt and saffron in a mortar and use pestle to grind them together.   Add garlic, mash to a paste and slowly add olive oil.    Using a pasty brush, paint the turkey with this mixture.  Quarter the orange and lemon and slip them into the bird’s cavity.   Put the turkey in a very large cazuela and pour the sherry over it.    Roast in a hot oven (450 degrees), basting every twenty to thirty minutes with the juices which collect in the bottom of the cazuela.
When done, remove the turkey from the pan and set it aside to rest.   While the turkey is resting, pour off the drippings and separate the fat from the juices.   Reserve some fat if you intend to make gravy.   De-glaze the pan with ½ cup water, and then add it to the de-fatted juices.
Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with some of the turkey juice to re-hydrate them.  Cook the onions in olive oil until translucent, and then toss with the other stuffing ingredients in a large mixing bowl.   Add enough of the juices from the roasting pan to dampen the stuffing.  Any extra juice can be used if you make gravy.   Put the stuffing in a cazuela and bake at 450 degrees, until heated through and surface is crisp, about 25 minutes.    After the turkey has rested, carve and serve with stuffing.

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Filed under Cheese, Port, Portugal, Recepies, Sherry, Spain