Tag Archives: Bierzo

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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A Great Unknown Winery in Rioja


great unknownJuly 9, 2009

A few years ago we were at Eva Restaurant in Latona which is co-owned by James Hondros, our former wine manager. James poured us each a glass of Saturnia Crianza Rioja which we enjoyed so much that we took a bottle over to my late Dad’s house. After that, whenever I told my Dad I was coming over, he would ask if I could bring along some more bottles of those “saturn” wines.

When we chose our favorite bodegas to visit last month, naturally Rioja’s holy trinity headed the list: R. Lopez Heredia, producer of Vina Tondonia, La Rioja Alta and Bodegas Muga. (Interesting fact: the front doors of thesegreat unknown2 wineries are only meters apart in Haro’s Railroad District where a hundred years ago, they loaded huge barrels of wine on flat cars and sent them off to France which was suffering the scourge phylloxera.)

But one of our most enjoyable visits was with Bodegas Ramon de Ayala Lete y Hijos, who make Vina Santurnia and Deobriga. Just across the Ebro great unknown3river from Haro in the tiny town of Briñas, they have a new, functional winery nestled between houses on a side street. The modern winery replaced the old bodega which has a two story underground wine cave, now used for aging home-made Cava. Laboring in quiet obscurity, there are few visitors and no tasting room. However, 4th generation winemaker Ramon de Alaya was charming and hospitable during our 4 hour visit, as we visited the vineyards, the old bodega, tasted barrel samples and the most recent releases.  The secret to his nuanced wines lies in his south facing vineyards which are nestled high up against the Sierra Cantabria mountains. His oldest vineyards were planted in 1936; the youngest vineyards are 30-40 years old. The vines, planted to a mix of traditional Rioja grapes, are overseen by Ramon’s grandson, a technical agronomist engineer. Minimal intervention is used in the vineyard, whose late ripening grapes achieve great depth and balance.great unknown4


Stay ahead of the wine critics and try one of these little-known wines!

2004 Vina Santurnia Crianza Rioja ($15.99) Made of 100% Tempranillo, the Crianza has inviting fresh aromas, with flavors of bing cherry, boysenberry, toast and licorice. Notes of vanilla frame a persistent, earthy finish. Give it 20 minutes to open up and savor the complexity.

2004 Deobriga Seleccion Familiar, Rioja ($21.99) Spanish Table exclusive! The most modern style Rioja produced by Bodegas Ramon de Ayala Lete y Hijos, we jumped at the chance to carry this an an exclusive. Made from old vine Tempranillo and Graciano, it has complex flavors of blackberry, blueberry, hints of black olive and tobacco. A supple and full bodied Rioja, it is well balanced with notes of vanilla and minerals. An all around superb Rioja!

1999 Vina Santurnia Gran Reserva Rioja ($40.00) Notes of balsamic, plum and black cherry infuse this traditional style, medium bodied Rioja. Elegant, with notes of smoke and cedar that compliment silky tannins. Balanced and extremely well crafted, the Gran Reserva is smooth with a persistent finish. A knock out with any grilled meat.



Los Beyos is a dense, compact, “peasant” style artisan cow’s milk cheese from the Asturias region of Spain. It has a unique flinty texture. The first bite’s slight chalkiness melts into a big, buttery, creamy texture with a well-balanced and tangy finish.

Valèe d’Aspe This pleasantly earthy and grassy raw cow and sheep’s milk farmstead Tomme is crafted by Basque artisans in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Firm, but not flaky, this cheese speaks of mountain terroir with nutty notes, vibrant tanginess, and an olive savoriness.

Young Majorero con Pimentòn Those of you already familiar with this exotic cheese from the Canary Islands will enjoy the younger version coated with Pimentòn from the same region. Majorero is unlike any other! Made from the aromatic rich milk of goats that graze on wild marjoram. Flavors of almonds and a spiciness make this a unique cheese. Pair this with full bodied and spicy red Tajinaste from the Canary Islands. – Jorge


“SPAIN 2009 – AN ABUNDANCE OF RICHES” was last week’s Wine Advocate sensational review of 600+ Spanish wines. With superb vintages in 2004 and 2005, and excellent 2006 and 2007 harvests, over 490 wines received a rating of 90 points or higher. We’ve been advocating little known Spanish wines since 1995 and it’s rewarding to see the wine press finally taking notice in a big way!


2006 Clos Erasmus, Priorat – 97 points ($190.00) 3 bottles available “As usual Clos Erasmus is one of Spain’s finest wines. The 2006 Clos Erasmus offers an ethereal bouquet of balsam and sandalwood, incense, liquid mineral, black cherry, and black raspberry. Dense, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, it has plenty of well-concealed ripe tannin, tons of fruit, and potential complexity.”

2006 Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero – 94 points ($79.00) “The 2006 Flor de Pingus spent 14 months in new French oak. Deep purple in color, it gives up a superb bouquet of toasty oak, spice box, mineral, incense, black cherry, and blackberry. Youthful, full-bodied, intense, and powerful on the palate, it retains an elegant personality despite its size. Splendidly balanced, it will evolve for 4-6 years and deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2026. It is a superb value in great wine considering that the price of Pingus Junior is one-tenth that of Pingus.”

2006 Alto Moncayo, Campo de Borja – 94 points ($42.00) 8 bottles available “The purple-colored 2006 Alto Moncayo was aged in new French and American oak for 17 months before bottling without filtration. It offers up a sexy concoction of toasty new oak, lavender, spice box, cassis, and black raspberry. Round, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, it delivers plenty of up-front pleasure but hides enough ripe tannin to evolve for a few years. It can be enjoyed now and over the next decade.”

2005 Castro Ventosa El Castro de Valtuille, Bierzo – 92 points ($34.00) “The 2005 El Castro de Valtuille offers some toasty oak notes, plum, violets, and black cherry in its expressive perfume. This leads to a medium-bodied, sweet, intensely flavored wine with flavors of spice box, cherry, and cranberry. Long and pure, it will provide pleasure over the next 4-6 years.”

2005 Muga Reserva Unfiltered, Rioja – 90 points ($25.99) Winemaker Jorge Muga feels that the harvests of 2001 and 2005 produced the best Reserva in their history. “The purple-colored 2005 Muga Reserva, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the balance Mazuelo and Graciano. It was aged for six months in wood vats followed by two years in new French and American oak. It delivers an alluring nose of cedar, tobacco, earth notes, mineral, and black cherry. This is followed by an elegant wine with good depth and enough ripe tannin to evolve for several years. Nicely balanced and long in the finish, it will be at its best from 2012 to 2020 if not longer.”



Guava paste, 400 g and 600 g sizes

Napoleon grilled artichokes in oil (7.5 oz) We tossed these with pasta and halibut for a quick and delicious dinner this week.

Dona Maria Nopalitos (15 oz) Cactus leaves are used in salads, soups and tacos all across Mexico

Dona Maria Black Mole sauce (8.25 oz) Concentrated. Add liquid, heat and serve.

Annato Seed Achiote: 1 oz, 3 oz, 10 sizes

Mas Portell flavored olive oils: Lemon and Clementine are back!



July 10, 11, and 12, 2009

Flamenco Arts Northwest presents a three day workshop with Maria “Chacha” Bermudez, Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. The legendary dancer and teacher from Jerez will teach two 90 minute levels each day of the workshop, accompanied by Marcos and Rubina on guitar and cante.

Workshop will be held at American Dance Institute, 8007 Greenwood Ave. North. Preregistration is strongly advised as this event always fills up quickly! Times and prices are posted at http://www.FANW.org (see calendar or workshops), or call Rubina at (206) 932-4067 for more information.

Enjoy our great summer, and come see us at the shop!




Sharon Baden & Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table

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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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spanish-table-coverProcessions of wooden platforms with statues of saints labor through Spanish streets.  Mournful groups of hooded figures glide alongside the floats.  Saetas, which begin with a moan then descend to a lament, are sung from balconies to the processions below.  Misa Flamencas, religious music sung in the style of flamenco, are performed during mass.  This is Semana Santa, or Holy Week in Spain.  It culminates on Easter Sunday when church bells ring and hoods are removed for celebratory family feasts of lamb or rabbit.  
Our Easter Sundays were a much lighter affair.  With a Southern Methodist mother and a fallen-Catholic Irish father, our traditions centered around Easter egg hunts and baked ham dinners.  We celebrated the renewal of spring by eating new potatoes and planting hanging baskets.     Regardless of your traditions, we hope that you have a great Easter holiday!

NEW THIS WEEK    In November 2005, The Spanish Table self-published a paperback cookbook entitled (what else?) “The Spanish Table Cookbook”, a primer on Iberian cookware, unique ingredients and wines. Containing recipes and anecdotes compiled from newsletters we mailed out during our first ten years in business, it is a compendium of great discovories. The print newsletter is long gone due to rising costs of printing and mailing but the cookbook lives on thanks to Gibbs M. Smith, the owner for the past 40 years of Gibbs Smith Publishing. Gibbs Smith has just published a hardback, professionally edited version of “The Spanish Table” ($30.00) enriched with splashy, atmospheric photos which just hit our shelves yesterday.
Fig jam with lemon flower honey ($6.99/7 oz) Serve this with cana oveja, a soft ripened sheep milk cheese for a savory tapa.
S.A.T. El Artesano Green Fig Marmalade from El Bierzo ($8.99/300 grams) Made by hand, this artisanal marmalade contains just green figs and sugar. Eat this on your morning toast and you’ll believe you’re in Spain.
Ibsa Roasted Red Pepper Strips from Bierzo ($4.99/285 grams). We’re starting to see more foods coming from Bierzo and we received an introductory price on these peppers.  We tossed them into our garbanzo and shrimp paella last weekend for a bright flavor accent. Made in the town of Carracedelo, these sweet roasted peppers are packed in olive oil and salt.

Wondering what to do with all of the colored eggs left from the Easter hunt? Turn them into a savory tapas with the following recipe from “The Spanish Table” cookbook.
Baby Shrimp Meat-Stuffed Eggs    Makes 24 Tapas
½ teaspoon sweet smoked pimenton
½ cup mayonnaise
½ pound baby shrimp meat
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
12 lemon-stuffed olives, cut in half lengthwise for garnish
Combined the first 3 ingredients. Half the eggs and remove the yolks, reserving for another use. Fill the cavity in the egg halves with the shrimp mixture. Top with an olive and serve.

Cabra al Vino “Buenalba
Move ovah Drunken Goat! The makers of Artequeso Manchego have created a new raw goats milk cheese with red wine all throughout the cheese. This mini curado has wonderful herbaceous and aromatic grape nuances. A superior quality cheese compared to the over processed drunken goat. $19.99/lb. $4.99 quarter lb
Cabra al Pimentón This vibrant orange raw goat’s milk curado has paprika permeated throughout the cheese. The surprising texture has a delicate creaminess with an even balance of acidity and salt. Hints of smoke come through on the finish with notes of rustic aromatic earth and straw. $19.99/lb $4.99/quarter lb.
Malvorosa Is a farmhouse sheep cheese produced in Valencia. It is hand made in the traditional shape of “servilleta” or cheesecloth and is smooth, buttery and full flavored with hints of butterscotch in the finish. This beautiful cheese is truly a labor of love-the cheesemaker saved this rare species of sheep from extinction, making this an exceptional find. $21.99/lb. $5.50/quarter lb.
Oveja al Romero (Rosemary Manchego) Raw Sheep’s milk cheese from the estate farm of the Alvarez Valera family, makers of Artequeso Manchegos. This mini wheel is lightly infused with rosemary and is definitely the most aromatic cheese in the case. If you love rosemary this will most likely become your favorite cheese. $ 18.99/lb. $ 4.75/quarter lb.


2007 Alma de Blanco Godello, Monterrei ($13.99) The Monterrei region of Galicia is an area of steep hills, terraced vineyards and an Atlantic climate. This full bodied white is made from 100% Godello.  With delicate aromas of floral and citrus, Alma de Blanco has bright flavors of peach, apricot and lemon. Crisp with lively acidity, the finish is dry with earthy notes. I’m a big fan of the Godello grape which pairs wonderfully with seafood.  89 points Wine Advocate, Value Wines
2007 Can Vendrell Chardonnay-Xarel-lo, Penedes ($13.99) ORGANIC, made with the lowest possible sulfites.  A unique blend of 60% Xarello (a grape used in Cava) and 40% Chardonnay. Unoaked, exotic and crisp. A floral and citrus nose unveils a palate that is fresh with notes of peach, nectarine and dry pear. Notes of honeysuckle and orange/lemon zest with nuances of refreshing mineral and almond on the finish. 

2006 Torremoron, Ribera del Duero ($11.99) Torremoron is made from old vine Tempranillo in the tiny pueblo of Quintanamanvirgo. The winery supports most of the 105 residents of this town, who pour their TLC into every bottle. Full bodied with firm notes of boysenberry, mineral and tobacco, it is supple and well balanced. Ready to drink now, it will pair wonderfully with Easter lamb dinner. 90 points Wine Advocate, Best Value
2006 Vinedos de El Seque, Alicante ($11.99) Rioja producer Artadi is the owner of this property in Alicante, near Jumilla. Made of 80% old vine, low yielding Monastrell from the arid chalky soils of Pinoso, with a balance of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. Vinedos de El Seque has a rich nose of dark currants with traces of iron and minerals along with dark chocolate. Elegant and finely balanced with hints of blueberry, its lively acidity and moderate tannins make it a pleasure to sip.
2006 La Huella de Almansenas, Almansa ($11.99)
60% Garnacha Tintorera, 30% Monastrell and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from 30 year old vines.  “Opaque ruby.  High-pitched cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by smoky bacon, rose oil, anise and minerals.  Fresh and juicy, offering sweet raspberry and boysenberry flavors along with a bright mineral undertone.  Finishes fresh, clean and precise, with very good persistence.  This wine, which saw no oak, was made by Ester Nin, who is the cellarmaster at Clos Erasmus.  Great value.”  90 points Stephen Tanzer   Limited quantities available, last year’s release sold out quickly!
2004 Fincas Don Martinho Old Vine Malbec, Mendoza ($15.99) ORGANIC  Produced in an 18.5 acre vineyard planted in 1926 from ungrafted clones brought from France, Don Martino is a cult wine in Argentina. Tremendously complex, it has wild aromatics, a rich mid-palate, and an incredible silky texture. Aromas of sweet plums combine with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Slightly spicy, the mouthfeel is long and gentle. Aged in new French barrels for 6 months, it displays soft tannins and balance which finish in a lingering, rich aftertaste.

Join Chef Joseba at the Harvest Vine on Saturday, April 11th at 10 AM to learn the tastes and traditions of an authentic Spanish Easter celebration.  $60.00 For reservations, call 206.320.9771.
May Cooking Seminars at Taberna del Alabardero.   Tuesdays from 11 AM to 1 PM which include a multi-course lunch, $40.00.  For reservations and information, call 206.448.8884. 

Have a great week!
Sharon Baden & Steve Winston
Owners, The Spanish Table
1426 Western Avenue
Seattle WA  98101
phone# 206-682-2827
Other stores in Santa Fe NM; Berkeley, CA; Mill Valley, CA

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Turkish Travels

blog-032809When we can get away from the store we typically head to Spain for hedonistic days of food sampling and drinking top-notch wines that we can’t afford at home. While our first love will always be Iberia, our palates are taking us into the far reaches of the Mediterranean these days. Which is why we took a trip to Turkey last week with our California partners, Andy and Tanya. We spent two amazing days in the cave dwellings of Cappadocia and then met friends in Istanbul. We dined like sultans on the vibrant Turkish cuisine. A vegetarian’s dream, every fantastic meal was loaded with salads, roasted vegetables, pulses and grains. Being carnivores, we dined on savory chicken pilaf in pastry, kebabs with sumac served over eggplant, and slow roasted lamb infused with oregano, paprika and yogurt. Now that we’re home, we’ll be recreating and sharing some of these recipes with the ingredients that we stock here at the shop. Stay tuned.

Cortas Pomegranate Molasses ($4.99/10 oz): In Turkey, this was used as an ingredient in salad dressing. Mixed with lemon & olive oil, it was terrific on mixed greens.
Cuisine Perel Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar ($7.99/6.5 oz): A blend of balsamic, red wine vinegar and pomegranate concentrate, this will give salads an extra snap, or pour it over fresh strawberries and ice cream.
Turkish Cookbooks: The Ottoman Kitchen by Sarah Woodward ($20.00) has general culinary information as well as authentic recipes from Turkey and the Middle East. Great pictures of the countryside and recipes make this a pleasure to read.
TURKEY Mediterranean Cuisine ($16.99) Eleven chefs contributed to this book of traditional Turkish food. Contains step by step photos and easy to follow recipes.

2007 Campo Burgo Rioja ($8.99) Clean and bright with soft tannins, Campo Burgo has been aged in stainless steel. With a medium body and structured acidity, notes of cherry and plum, it could even be chilled slightly before serving. Excellent with fideo pasta and shrimp.
2007 Vinas de Olivara, Toro ($7.99) 87 points Wine Advocate Made from 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo), this non-oaked red really over-delivers for the price. Aromatic, with notes of boysenberry, blueberry and mineral, it is full-bodied and gutsy. Subtle tannins are well balanced with acidity and wrap up with a distinctive and elegant finish.
2005 Marques de Campo Nuble Crianza Rioja ($12.99) 88 points Wine Advocate A modern Rioja that hasn’t forgotten its roots, it is made of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha. Warm and round red fruit flavors spring from the glass backed up by notes of licorice and cedar. A subtle amount of oak and balanced acidity make this Rioja a perfect wine to serve with any pork or lamb dish. This winery is new to the U.S. market and decided to forego advertising to keep their prices low. It is a superb value!
2006 Bodegas Marques de Olivara M.O., Toro ($12.99) Concentrated, bold and spicy, M.O. de Olivara is our go-to wine for brawny and affordable reds. 100% Tempranillo produced from 40-100 year old vines, M.O. is meaty, explosive and earthy with notes of mineral and black fruit. Aged 13 months in French oak, it is a steal at $12.99.
2004 Vaza Crianza Rioja, ($14.99) Vaza’s 18 months in oak give it an edgy smokiness tinged with juicy ripe cherry and black currant flavors. Notes of licorice are front and center on the palate, balanced by great acidity and moderate tannins. This is a tasty Rioja and will appeal to those who like a more fruit-forward style.
2005 Descendientes de Jose Palacios Corullon Bierzo ($57.00) 93 points Stephen Tanzer “Deep red. Smoky raspberry and cherry compote aromas are lifted by stony minerality and fresh rose. Deep, musky cherry and dark berry flavors display impressive poise, with firm tannins adding structure without distracting from the fruit. Turns brighter on the long, mineral-dominated finish, staining the palate with vibrant red berry flavors that cling tenaciously.”

 2006 Pingus, Ribera del Duero ($736.00) Quantities limited, available by special order.  95 points Stephen Tanzer “Opaque purple. Powerful, mineral-driven aromas of blackberry, blueberry, creme de cassis, incense and floral oils. Fresh dark berry flavors are youthfully crunchy and strikingly pure, with mounting spiciness and minerality. Silky tannins add support to the broad, palate-staining fruit but quickly fade away, allowing the exotic dark berry flavors to stand out. The mineral element clings impressively on the long, sappy, sweet finish. A superb showing…”

Flor de Sal (“Sea Flower” –$10.99/500 grams) are very thin crystals of sea salt formed at the surface of salt ponds, collected manually with the aid of a special tool. Collected daily, without allowing it to contact the pond’s bottom or sides, it is a product of natural purity, with a delicate flavor and prolonged finish on the palate. Considered the “Rolls Royce” of sea salt.
Sevillana Olives With Lemon: These rich green olives have a tart spicy flavor with lots of garlic and a little red pepper. Watch out for the pits!
Golden Peppadews: This hot sweet little yellow pepper is much like the red peppadew, with a little more meat and a slightly milder taste. Perfect for any place you would put red peppadews or mix them for a beautiful color contrast.
Organic Peruvian Bojita Olives: These organic bojita olives are known for their plump shape, firm meaty texture & tart flavor. They are grown on the high desert plains of Peru.
Manchego marinated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Sliced and ready to eat, put it on a bocadillo or serve it as a tapa with a dish of olives and a glass of fino sherry.
New container arrived today from Spain. We’ve now got a great selection of green glass. Ribbed tumblers, cruets, medium sangria glasses and malaga glasses are back in stock. And a new supply of rice has arrived just in time for paella season. Perdiz Bomba and Signo Valencian rice are on the shelf again.

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News from the Spanish Table

I keep thinking about that summer afternoon in Ciutadella, Menorca.  We ate a fantastic seafood paella and paired it with a delicious crisp rose.  On the island of Menorca, paella is served with mayonnaise which was invented in Mahon, Menorca.  Here’s to good times and delicious memories!!

If you love paella, treat yourself to Taberna del Alabardero’s paella fest from March 16-22. Master paella chef David Montero is flying in from Marbella to prepare 12 different paellas. For details, contact Taberna del Alabardero Phone: 206.448.8884 www.alabardero.com/seattle

We met Steve Metzler and Almudena de Llaguno of Classical Wines in 1995 when we opened The Spanish Table. One of the first importers to recognize the enormous potential of Spanish wine, Steve and Almudena have been pivotal in introducing quality Spanish wines to American palates. Classical seeks out and nurtures family producers whose wines are made from local grape varieties and are pure expressions of the terroir. I was delighted to have lunch at Taberna del Alabardero recently to meet winemaker Isidro Fernandez Bello of Casar de Burbia, Classical Wine’s newest producer from the Bierzo region.

2006 Casar de Burbia Mencia, Bierzo ($26.99) In 1989, the Fernandez Bello family began acquiring and rehabilitating dozens of small parcels in Bierzo. They have created a contiguous property, traversed by the Camino de Santiago at altitudes up to 2300 feet. The vineyards’ perfect exposure and excellent drainage are enhanced by the region’s most mineral soils. Casar de Burbia is an outstanding expression of Mencia’s thick dark fruit. Aged in oak for 6 months, it is balanced, structured and elegant with a fresh minerality. 90 points International Wine Cellar

2006 Casar de Burbia Tebaida, Bierzo ($55.00) Grapes for Tebaida are selected bunches from old stock between 60 and 102 years old, grown at higher elevations of the estate. Concentrated, with beautiful clean aromas and flavors of black fruit, Tebaida is a pure expression of the terroir. Structured and clean, balanced with acidity and with notes of black pepper and mineral, the persistent finish is rich with sweet tannins. 92 points International Wine Cellar

To learn more about wines from Bierzo, here’s a link to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/03/01/FDAF161O7H.DTL

The February 25, 2009 edition of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate features “Spain’s Top 100 Wine Values.” What could be more timely than a list of great wines for less than $25.00?

2006 Alto Moncayo Veraton, Campo de Borja ($23.99) is the top pick at 93 points. Made of 100% garnacha, Veraton is very spicy on the nose with “earth notes, wild black cherry and black raspberry. Dense, layered and full flavored on the palate, this hedonistic effort is balanced enough to evolve for several years…”

Parker’s second choice is 2007 Casal Novo Godello, Valdeorras ($24.99) Elegant and intense, it is full bodied and savory. Casal Novo is unoaked, fresh and clean with notes of dried pear, chalk and crushed rock. Spectacular with grilled shellfish, “it is loaded with succulent white fruits, has vibrant acidity and a lengthy, pure finish.” 92 points

More favorite Robert Parker Top 100 Spanish Wine Values in stock:

2006 Agusti Torello Mata Rosat Cava Brut Reserva, Penedes ($24.99) 92 points

2007 Lagar do Castelo Albarino, Rias Baixas ($14.99) 91 points

2004 Casa de Illana 3De5 (Ribera del Jucar) $14.99 90 points


2004 Vega Ibor, Tierra de Castilla ($8.99) With intense aromas of black currants and notes of licorice on the nose, Vega Ibor has an earthy mineral character. Aged 6 months in oak, and made of 100% Tempranillo, it has rich black cherry and boysenberry flavors. Well balanced with acidity, the presence of young wood combines seamlessly with the ripe fruit. Vega Ibor has a round, full body, sweet tannins, and a persistent aftertaste. Now on sale!

Our highly recommended 2006 Andeluna Malbec Winemaker’s Selection, Mendoza ($9.99) was the hands-down favorite at a wine tasting last weekend. Its balance of ripe fruit and acidity paired wonderfully with cassoulet.

Young Mahon: “What a Gouda wished it could be” (Steven Jenkins). Creamy and buttery with a lingering tangy finish. This semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Menorca is perfect for melting–think grilled cheese bocadillos. A phenomenal cheese for a fabulous price. $15.99/lb. $3.99/quarter lb.

MitiBlue: A new blue made with sheep’s milk and Roquefort Penicillium. This soft velvety textured cheese reminds me of a cross between Buttermilk blue and French Roquefort. Definitely a new staff favorite! $23.99/lb. $5.99/quarter lb.

Cured Duck Salami: Rich and delicious, with perfectly balanced flavors and a juicy texture. Blended with fresh garlic, sea salt, and spices, the duck meat is then cured and hand tied. Slice some up and introduce a new flavor into your tapas!!

Duck Breast Cured & Dried: This duck breast is buttery, sweet, salty, and delicate. Thinly sliced and ready to eat, it is seasoned with sea salt, mixed peppercorns, brown sugar, and fresh garlic. Enjoy it the same way as Jamón Serrano. Try it in salads, sandwiches or on pizza.

Jose Andres made in Spain DVD, seasons 1 and 2: Spanish chef Jose Andres’ cooking show was originally shown on PBS as a series. Each season has 14 individual shows, focused on a region of Spain and its specialty foods. Travel with Jose to meet producers and then back to his demonstration kitchen to prepare recipes. $31.49 each season, 2 DVDs

Pintxos by Gerald Hirigoyen ($24.95), is the Basque chef’s long awaited tapas cookbook. Author of The Basque Kitchen, and owner of Piperade Restaurant in San Francisco, Hirigoyen introduced Piment d’Esplette to American cooks. In Pintxos, he adapts 75 authentic recipes for the home kitchen.

Blanched marcona almonds are back in stock!

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