Tag Archives: Cheese

Unique Picks from Celebrated Wine Regions

The best of the border! Spano-Franco tapas showcase the tastiest from both stores’ shelves.

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

January 28, 2010

Spanish Table Wines

Travel off the beaten path with these unique picks from the famed wine regions of Rioja, Douro, and Mendoza!

2008 Monopole Blanco Rioja ($12.99) Round and creamy, this is 100% Viura is a knockout white to serve during the winter months. “Light, green-tinged yellow. Lively aromas of white peach, pear, nectarine, honey and minerals. Dense and chewy, but the flavors of nectarine and orchard fruits are kept fresh by zesty acidity and a minty quality. Slightly dry-edged on the finish, which features good spicy lift and a suggestion of fennel.” Excellent with gambas al ajillo. 87 points Stephen Tanzer

2007 CARM Quinto do Côa, Douro ($17.99) Full-bodied and lush, this brawny Portuguese red packs a punch. “A plush red, with a pretty array of raspberry and plum flavors that are supple and supported by medium-grained tannins. Notes of milk chocolate and cream fill the plush finish.” If you’re a fan of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, you will love this with barbecued ribs. 91 points Wine Spectator

2008 25 Lagunas Cabernet-Syrah, Mendoza ($6.99) Malbec from Argentina usually takes center stage, but this fruity and well-balanced blend really got our attention. Ripe red and black fruits on the front palate are supported by soft tannins and notes of white pepper on the finish. Very quaffable, this would be a perfect red to serve at a party, or to share on a mellow evening with friends. It’s an amazing value!

Back in stock: Gem Basque Chorizo, Manna Pate de Sardinha Picante, and Kalamata Crown Figs from Greece.

PARIS GROCERY NEWS

Maybe we’re just missing the warmth of the bright yellow sun, but lately we’re obsessed with Mimolette and its cousin, Pavé du Nord, two ridiculously orange cheeses from the north of France. We admit, it took some tasting to fully appreciate the Mimolette: first of all, it looks like a cantaloupe from Mars, and all we knew was that it was Charles de Gaulle’s favorite (generals not generally being our preferred source for food advice). The texture is, as the French would say, un peu bizarre: when cold, it takes an effort to slice through, and it is so dense that you often end up with only shavings. The flavor seems muted at first, but as it melts on the tongue, deeply savory and nutty notes come through. It’s as though a glamorous, Vespa-riding Parmesan picked up a proper English Cheddar on the road from Lille to Rennes, and they rode off into the sunset together. Yes, it may have taken some time (and arm muscles) for us to fall under Mimolette’s spell, but now we can’t stop thinking of ways to use it in recipes both retro and innovative.

Clotilde Dusoulier, of Chocolate and Zucchini fame, has a fantastic use for the inedible rind of Mimolette, in her Broccoli Mimolette Soup. The rind adds a nutty edge to the soup while it simmers that lasts after you discard it.

While the Pavé du Nord has the same rich taste, its more tender texture makes it an excellent melting cheese. We love it broiled over tomato slices on rustic brown bread. And a Mac & Cheese made with either results in an unpretentious, incredibly savory gratin.

Mac et Mimolette

Topping

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

1/4 tsp piment d’espelette

1/2 cup lb coarsely grated Mimolette or Pavé du Nord (1 1/2 cups)

1/8 cup coarsely grated Cantal

Pasta and sauce

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/6 lb coarsely grated Mimolette or Pavé du Nord (1 cup)

1/6 lb coarsely grated Cantal (1 cup)

1/4 pound elbow macaroni or farafalle

Melt butter, then stir together with bread crumbs, piment and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to a buttered shallow baking dish. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes. Serves 4.

Also new at Paris Grocery: Vignette Wine Country Sodas and Lillet Blanc and Rouge!

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites!

The Spanish Table wine website has wines arranged by staff pick, by score, by price, and by country. Our virtual wine store has everything you’re looking for from Spain, Portugal, Madeira, or South America. Click The Spanish Table Wine to visit the site. 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.

Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

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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Tasty Specialties for the New Year

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

January 14, 2010

The Spanish Table bid adios to 2009 by flinging open the pantry doors and throwing a party last week. In theory it was a small staff and friends party, but turned into a Bacchanalian feast with wines flowing and plate after plate of party foods. In a nod to our new sibling Paris Grocery, Spanish and French bites were served, including Galette des Rois and Cassoulet (recipe follows):

Serves 20 or more, depending on the appetites

8 oz D’Artagnan smoked duck bacon

8 oz Zoe Meats Bacon

16 oz Toulouse Sausage

8 Oz Fabrique Délices Bistro Sausage with herbs de Provence

3 onions, studded with one clove each

6 carrots

3 lbs dried Emergo white beans, soaked overnight and rinsed

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

14 oz duck fat

5 lbs pork shoulder roast

Two (app. 1 lb) Fabrique Délices smoked duck breasts

1 large onion, sliced

18 cloves garlic, chopped

3 pounds canned crushed tomatoes

3 teaspoons pebrella

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cups bread crumbs

Tie the clove-studded onions and carrots together in a double layer of cheesecloth and put with the beans, sausage and bacon in a large, deep, heavy bottom casserole. Cover with water at least 3 inches above the top of the bean mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the beans are almost tender, about 1 ½ hours. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the onion and carrots in the cheesecloth. Transfer the beans and meat to a bowl, cover loosely with foil and set aside. When cool, slice the sausages and cut the bacon into bite size pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the pork shoulder in a shallow roasting pan until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove and when cool enough, cut into cubes. Cut the duck breasts into bite size slices.

In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the duck fat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and cook gently until the onions are translucent and golden. Add the canned tomatoes, pebrella, and cooked beans. Stir in about 2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the meat, stir to combine and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle with the remaining duck fat, and cook until the crumbs are nicely browned and the cassoulet is very hot.

NEW SPANISH TABLE WINES FOR A NEW YEAR

2008 Fedriani Lafitte, Utiel-Requena ($9.99) An equal marriage of Bobal and Syrah, this blend teases the nose with aromas of ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with brooding black fruit and dark chocolate flavors, it has notes of earth and mineral. Finely balanced acidity envelopes a lengthy, dry finish. This would be terrific with beef short ribs.

2007 Castillo de Monesma, Somotano ($9.99) Somotano is a cool-climate region, lying in the Pyrenean foothills of Aragon, renowned for its success with international varietals. Modest in size, the region has received an outsized number of awards at wine fairs and trade tastings, and plaudits from the wine press. Castillo de Monesma, which is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah and 22% Merlot, is rich and smooth with an impressive complexity for the price. Full-bodied, clean and well balanced, this is versatile enough to be served with anything from lamb tagine to carne asado.

2006 Monasterio de Corias, Vino de la Tierra de Cangas ($21.99) Tierra de Cangas is a little-known wine producing area in Galicia located north of D.O. Bierzo, and

Bodegas Monasterio de Corias is a tiny producer working exclusively with the native grapes found in the mountainside region of Cangas. Produced from old vines planted in pure slate, the property yields a red wine packed with minerals. Made from a field blend of Mencía, Verdejo Negro, Carrasquín, & Albarín Negro grapes with a long maceration on the skins, it is barrel aged for 8 months. Bright and elegant, only a small amount of this wine is available. The Bodega produces only three wines for a total of 800 cases per year. Try it while you can!

SPANISH TABLE PRODUCTS FOR A NEW YEAR

This week’s New York Times mentioned Arrope, which is a concentrated syrup produced from unfermented grape must. They describe it as “similar to Italian saba, but more viscous, with toasty opulence.” We drizzle it over duck confit or ice cream; they “Spoon it on cheesecake, over poached pears or on fresh pineapple. A variation, arrope y tallaetes, is more syrupy, with pieces of candied pumpkin, and is delicious alongside cheese or cured ham.” We’ve got both styles in stock:

Ferianes Arrope 25.4 oz ($41.99); 8.5 oz ($17.99)

Mitica Arrop i Tallaetes (8.4 oz) $8.59

More ways to get the creative juices flowing:

Amazonas brand Harina de Camote (Sweet potato flour) $4.99/12 oz

Amazonas brand Harina de Garbanzo (Garbanzo flour) $4.99/12 oz

Delicias del Marino (Surimi in the form of baby eels) , packed in oil and garlic

Organic Yerba Mate ($1.99/box of 25 tea bags)

Just arrived today! Alfajores — the irresistible cookie filled with Dulce de Leche. An Argentinean specialty!

PARIS GROCERY NEWS

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. Click to view our Facebook page.

THE PARIS GROCERY WILL BE OPEN MONDAY, JANUARY 18TH (MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY).

FROMAGE

Charolais Affiné: From the granite plains of the Charolais region in Burgundy comes this beautiful raw goat’s milk cheese. Affineur Herve Mons achieves a harmonious balance of saltiness, sweetness, and acidity in this aromatic cheese. A must-try! $16.99/each

Cantalet Doré: One of the oldest French cheeses, Cantal was reportedly enjoyed over 2000 years ago in ancient Rome. Named for the mountains of the Auvergne region, this AOC cheese is often referred to as the “French Cheddar.” When young, it has a mild, buttery flavor that develops into a pleasant bite. $15.99/lb

Fromager des Clarines: Made in the mountainous region of the Haute-Savoie, this cow’s milk cheese by fromager Jean Perrin displays earthy, white truffle flavors. Rich and unctuous, this cheese tastes best at room temperature- served along with some sparkling wine! $17.99/each $3.99/quarter lb

Les Orphelins de Fromage : Help us find a home for our smaller pieces of cheese. Indulge in just a bit of your favorite cheeses, or give something new a try. Adopt a cheese orphan today!

MEAT

Rillettes: A rustic pâté made from meat that’s been poached in its own fat, simmered in spices and juices, then shredded and stored in some of that fat. Pounded into a delicious spread, it’s traditionally served with cornichons and mustard, along with some crusty baguette!

Alexian Duck Rillettes, $11.99 Rougié Goose Rillettes, $12.49 Also new to Paris Grocery: Andouillette Sausage Back in stock: Duck Leg Confit!

WINE

2005 Chateau La Grange Clinet, Cotes de Bordeaux ($13.99) 62% Merlot and the rest a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this is one of the best, ever, vintages for this property. Peak ripeness led to beautiful grapes, and a sleek wine showing freshness and great balance. Awarded a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris with these laudatory comments: “fruity, well balanced, ample”. Exactly the type of wine you’d be served in a French bistro, it pairs beautifully with game hens and charcuterie.

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites!

The Spanish Table Wine website has wines arranged by staff pick, by score, by price, and by country. Our virtual wine store has everything you’re looking for from Spain, Portugal, Madeira, or South America. Click The Spanish Table Wine to visit the site. 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 items.

Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

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.

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Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

December 17, 2009

Sharon is SO BUSY stocking wine, beer, cava and French champagne that she asked me to write the newsletter today so here goes….

Christmas week is a time to enjoy great food and wine. We give diets a rest to enjoy rich seasonal foods and indulge our sweet tooth. Whether friends drop in, families come by, or you just snuggle up by the fire, there is time to pay attention to flavors. The deli cases at both The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery are brimming with specialty cheeses and cured meats. Our wine departments are overflowing with the best from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Greece, France and even Morocco.

Short on time? Shop on line on our new and improved websites!

The Spanish Table wine website is now launched! We’ve got amazing wine values which are arranged by staff pick, by score, by price, and by country. This virtual wine store has everything that you’re looking for from Spain, Portugal, Madeira, or South America. Click The Spanish Table wine to visit the site.

For all food and cookware products, click on The Spanish Table to check out our original and now revamped, website. It’s much easier to navigate and has a plethora of additional items. Now you can shop at home for Spanish food and wine!

GIFTS GALORE FOR FOODIES:

Paella Kit: with paellera that serves eight plus ingredients already packed in a gift box.

Meanwhile, we have oodles of little jars of delicious spreads in both our stores here on Western Ave that can be used to stuff a stocking or fill a gift basket.

S

pecial price on THE SPANISH TABLE cookbook: regularly $30.00 specially priced for the holidays at $24.00.

For those who love Greek food, we just received the How to Roast a Lamb cookbook ($35.00) by Michael Psilakis. Called the “Greek-American Mario Batali” by The New Yorker and best new chef by Food and Wine magazine, this is a must-have Greek cookbook.

Madeira gift boxes: A bottle in a wooden box with two Madeira glasses, $19.99.

By the way, did you catch the column on pairing a Sercial Madeira with charred skirt steak in the New York Times food section this week? Click the hyperlink to read the article, in case you missed it.

Undecided on what to give someone? We have good old fashioned gift certificates available in any amount of your choice.

Just arrived today is a huge assortment of dulces de Navidad: Handmade turrón from Pablo Garrigos. Turrón sin Azúcar if you have dietary restrictions. Pan de Cadiz. Chocolate turrón, mazapanes con chocolate and speaking of chocolate, La Casa pralines are here with filling of Catalan Creme, Pine Nuts & Raisins, Orange, Baked Apple, Tocinillo de Cielo & Lemon Sorbet.

Did I hear you ask what Sharon and I are drinking with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners at our house?

On Christmas Eve Sharon loves our tradition of dining on fresh Dungeness Crab accompanied with steamed artichokes, crunchy baguette and lemon mayonnaise. That calls for either dry La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry ($15.99), cold and crisp Santiago Ruiz Albariño ($19.99) or bone-dry, Torre Oria Brut Nature Cava ($16.99).

Then on Christmas day I will insist on pouring vintage Riojas with a menu chosen to match the wines. We all have our priorities. I am thinking of starting with a plate of French cheeses from our annex, Paris Grocery. Then we’ll move onto a frisée salad tossed with a goat’s milk blue cheese (just arrived this week at Paris Grocery) and a whole goose, since finding a suckling pig to roast might be a challenge. The dessert will be pears poached in Moscatel from The Spanish Table cookbook.

The wines: We will be starting with a 2004 Deobriga Rioja ($21.99) and moving onto a 2001 Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja ($57.00). These two vintages were rated excellent in Spain will bring tears of joy to the eyes of a lover of traditional wines. Then we’ll wrap it up with Samos Moscato wine from Greece ($17.99).

We have some of the greatest Rioja vintages ever right now, including, but not limited to:

Bordón Reserva 2004 $17.99

Muga Reserva 2005 $28.99

LAN 2001 Gran Reserva: $22.99

Beronia 2001 Gran Reserva $25.99

Viña Bosconia Reserva 2001 ($38.99) R. Lopez Heredia’s extended aging times actually qualify this as a Gran Reserva from any other winery. 93 points Stephen Tanzer

PARIS GROCERY NEWS

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.

FRENCH CHAMPAGNES HAVE ARRIVED! Champagne Duval-Leroy Cuvee Paris NV ($35.00) One of the best values in Champagnes available right now, and it’s got a Leroy Neiman silk screen of a Paris street scene on the bottle. Pop this open over the holidays with your favorite Franco-phile!

GROWER CHAMPAGNES

The Champagne region in France is dominated by a handful of brand names.

These négoçiants and coopératives produce 80% of the total output in Champagne, yet they own only 12% of the vineyards. They bring to marked a mass produced commodity – a Champagne made in a “house style.” By contrast, “récoltant-manipulants” (or RMs) handcraft their limited quantities of Champage from individual villages and parcels where the inherent qualities of the vineyards imprint themselves into the wines. The following two RMs are outstanding, and represent great values in Champagne values as well.

Margaine Brut Cuvee Traditionelle NV ($45.00) “The NV Brut Cuvee Traditionelle is an exceptional wine at this level. Notes of ash, chalk and crushed rocks dominate this taut, focused Champagne. Medium in body, the wine reveals tons of clarity not to mention significant pedigree. The NV Brut is mostly 2005 juice, with the addition of 40% reserve wines from vintages 2004, 2003, 1999, 1996 and 1994, 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. The relatively high amount of reserve wines undoubtedly contributes to this Champagne’s complexity…Arnaud Margaine’s wines..are Champagnes of extraordinary purity and sheer elegance. Margaine farms 6.5 hectares, 90% planted to Chardonnay, the rest Pinot Noir.”

90 points Robert Parker

L. Aubry NV Brut Champagne ($40.00) Twin brothers Pierre and Philippe Aubry handcraft their Champagnes from 60 individual parcels that comprise 16.5 hectares in the heart of Petit Montagne de Reims. Made of 50% Meunier, 25% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, it is vigorous, crackery, and concentrated. “There’s a nice graininess to the texture, making this lively and defining its bread dough, apple and grapefruit flavors. Turns crisp, but stays balanced, with a dry, mouthwatering finish.”

90 points Wine Spectator

Drop down, drop in, ignore the construction!

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

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

Hours: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6:30 PM Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM

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

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

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

The Wines of Jorge Ordoñez

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter

September 4, 2009

We had the good fortune this week to re-taste some of the excellent current releases of esteemed wine importer Jorge Ordoñez, hosted by National Sales Manager Sara Floyd, M.S. And best of all, these wines were poured at two of our favorite Spanish restaurants with memorable foods to match. It was a compelling demonstration of how a well chosen wine enhances food. On Wednesday evening at Taberna del Alabardero (http://www.alabardero.com/seattle/index.html), the meaty Sauteed Pompano with Almonds and Ham, Navarra style, was fantastic with medium bodied and silky 2002 Sierra Cantabria Reserva Rioja ($19.99). Apple tart dessert with cabrales ice cream was divine paired with elegant stone-fruit and citrus flavored Victoria Moscatel dessert wine from Malaga ($29.99).

Thursday at noon found us at Olivar (http://www.olivarrestaurant.com/olivar.html) on Capital Hill. Over three hours, seventeen wines paired with scrumptious tapas served family-style made for a darned good way to spend a rainy afternoon. Grilled scallops with fried shallots and corn salad paired fantastically with minerally and delicate 2008 La Cana Albariño ($15.99). 2008 Botani dry Moscatel from Sierras de Malaga ($19.99)was a perfect match to matchstick slices of manchego and red apple, tossed together with citrus.

We always leave these restaurants with savory memories and the satisfaction of a great dining experience. If you can’t afford a trip to Spain, spend an evening at one of these restaurants and have a taste of Iberia right here at home!

WE WILL BE OPEN ON MONDAY 9/7 (LABOR DAY) FROM 11 AM TO 5 PM.

NEW WHITE WINES

2008 Botani Moscatel Seco, Sierras de Malaga ($19.99) “The 2008 Botani is 100% Moscatel de Alejandria fermented 70% in stainless steel and 30% in French oak. Medium straw-colored, it has an alluring perfume of spring flowers, honey, spice box, and tropical fruits. Smooth-textured, ripe, dry, and mouth-filling, this expressive effort is an excellent match for sushi and Thai food.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2008 Peza do Rei Blanco, Ribera Sacra ($19.99) The region of Ribera Sacra was spotlighted in the July 15, 2009 New York Times and Peza do Rei was singled out as “delicate and distinctive”. Available by special order only, we brought in a case after tasting it. A blend of 70% Godello, 20% Treixadura and 10% Albarino, grown on 8 acres of vertiginous south-facing slate terraces, Peza do Rei is unoaked and intensely aromatic. Lemon peel blends with a touch of tropical fruit in this savory and intensely mineral white. The finish seems never ending. Only 4000 bottles produced. 90 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Shaya, Rueda ($14.99) Naia was a customer favorite and it was a sad day when we learned that it would no longer be available. Importer Jorge Ordonez has replaced Naia with Shaya, a new project with the Gil family of Jumilla. Produced from old vines, the sandy soils make it possible that many of the vines are over 100 years old and ungrafted. Grassy aromas with complex grapefruit notes, this balanced white is racy with a persistent finish. And the same price as Naia!

NEW FOODS

ZOE MEATS BACON Those of you that have tasted the Zoe Meats Chorizo will be big fans of Zoe’s bacon. Dry cured and apple wood smoked, these thick meaty slices of bacon do not shrink when cooked like bacons curied in brine. Great for BLT’s!

QUICOS Giant Crunch Spanish Salted Corn Nuts. $7.99/lb

PITTED KALAMATA OLIVES

These kalamatas are fleshier and less salty than our previous batch. They are in a red wine brine. Great for salads, omelets and pasta dishes. $8.99/lb.

CASTELLANO CHEESE

This cheese is made throughout the region of Castillo y Leon from milk coming from Churra and Castellana breeds. It is slightly granular with a compact texture, buttery with rich aromas. It is a table cheese that can be enjoyed alone or accompanied by quince, which accentuates its characteristic flavor. $15.99/lb.

GREAT WINES ON SALE

2004 Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero ($24.99) Price reduced $5.00! “The reasonably priced 2004 Emilio Moro is a terrific Ribera del Duero aged in equal parts French and American oak prior to bottling. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by a projected nose of blackberries, currants, cherries, smoky oak, and crushed rocks. Terrific texture, super purity, an opulent, full-bodied palate, and a long, heady finish suggest it will keep for 7-8 years.” 92 points Robert Parker

2001 Balbas Reserva, Ribera del Duero $32.00, was $38.00 Close out! Made of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, Balbas is concentrated and complex. Sadly, our distributor will no longer be carrying it, so we bought all of the remaining 2001 Reserva, which is drinking beautifully right now. “This spicy red shows an alluring mix of ripe fruit, with more mature flavors of tobacco, leather and cedar. The tannins are well-integrated and softening, while the acidity is still fresh and crisp. Elegant and long. Drink now through 2015.” 93 points Wine Spectator

2005 Numanthia, Toro ($49.00) Price reduced $11.00! Made from 70 to 100 year old vines, aged in oak barrels for 18 months, this wine explodes on the palate with flavors of ripe blackberry, vanilla and herbal notes. “A deep, youthfully brooding bouquet offers dark cherry, blackcurrant, incense and suave oak spices. Spicy cherry and dark berry flavors show an exotic anise quality and slow-building sweetness. This gently tannic, chewy, extremely persistent wine finishes with echoes of oak spice and floral pastille, not to mention excellent vivacity.” 93 points Stephen Tanzer, 92 points Wine Advocate

2001 Finca Valpiedra Reserva Rioja ($18.99) Close out price – was $21.99! Conde de Valdemar’s single estate Rioja, Finca Valpiedra is a spectacular 80 hectare plot characterized by pebbles and limestone. The grapes are hand picked, manually sorted and aged in new French oak for over 12 months. We’ve always loved this Rioja and when the distributor had to close it out, we bought all of their stock. Let this breathe for 20 minutes to release its concentrated black cherry flavors. Earthy with balsalmic notes, Valpiedra has silky tannins and a persistent finish. Wonderful with lamb chops or paella!

NEW SHIPMENT

Clay Portuguese ceramics. Olive serving dishes in assorted styles and colors: brown, white and gray. They make great gifts!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Sincerely,

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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Paris Grocery

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

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

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

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

Paris Grocery hours:

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

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

Back in stock at Spanish Table:

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

Horchata de Valencia

Basque Guindilla Peppers

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

Chocolate covered figs

Hearts of Palm

Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rafael Salgado Smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil

FLAMENCO PERFORMANCES

Arte Flamenco, Camino de Luz October 3, 8pm

Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater , 2322 2nd Ave. For more information, contact veronken@msn.com

Carmona Flamenco Saturday September 26th Cafe Solstice For more information, contact http://www.fanw.org

Ines and Juan Bacan and Arte y Pureza From Spain!

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

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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From Sevilla to Limoux

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                       October 8, 2009

One of our most memorable trips began in Sevilla, in southern Spain, during the Feria de Abril. We reveled along with the Sevillanos, drinking copas of fino sherry and eating plate after plate of jamon serrano. When we could take no more, we headed north towards Madrid, stopping in Cordoba for lunch. Our hedonistic trip eventually ended in the Languedoc, where we foraged and dined on the rich bounty of southern France.

If ever near the city of Cordoba, do not hesitate to dine at El Churrasco Restaurant. One of the most popular tabernas in the city, the tapas bar showcases coolers full of meat and stacks of fresh vegetables.Cheese The dining room bustles with waiters juggling plates of grilled lamb and fish. One of El Churrasco’s signature dishes is eggplant, sliced, delicately fried and seasoned. We’ve never found vegetables anywhere outside of Andalucía that are so perfectly prepared! Click on El Churrasco’s website link to view their menu: http://www.elchurrasco.com/espanol/restaurante/espanol.htm

Our final stop was in Limoux, France to visit our friend Héléne’s relatives. The Languedoc region is a foragers’ dream, with asparagus and mushrooms growing wild alongside the road, rivers full of fish and pastures full of snails, ready to be gathered. One can live off the land in southern France very, very well. And the village of Limoux is famous for its production of Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wines. Locals claim that fermentation in the bottle was developed here before it was used in the Champagne region.

We were fortunate to be invited to Héléne’s grandparents house near Carcassone for a langorous and memorable lunch. Tossed greens from the garden were followed by fish caught by grandpa, served with mayonnaise made from grandma’s own eggs. A small hen was roasted and served with a sauce of foraged porcini mushrooms. Uncle Andre and cousin Xavier who are winemakers, brought their Corbieres red wines to serve with lunch. A blend of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache, the wine was so delicious that we brought some bottles home to enjoy in Seattle. Those were the glory days, when security didn’t bat an eye at a few bottles of wine in the hand luggage!

Welcome to Isaac Rivera, our new manager! Isaac has been a great asset to our Santa Fe store for the last three years and, ready to live in a larger city, he moved to Seattle this week to take over as store manager. Isaac was a chef at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant in Chicago, then worked in the wine business, and is, not surprisingly, an avid cook. Isaac is an expert on olive oils — the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper published his in-depth article on the subject. Feel free to ask him for any recipe advice, or help with any food or wine-related questions.

NEW WINES FROM SPAIN

White wines

NV Vilarnau Brut Cava, Penedes ($14.99) Vilarnau is owned by the Gonzalez Byass family and is a crown jewel among their wine producing properties. Vilarnau’s vineyards are situated in the highest area of the Penedes region and the cooler temperatures contribute to a slower maturation of the grapes and higher acidity. Made from 100% estate-grown fruit which is uncommon in Penedes, Vilarnau has aromas of toasted brioche and citrus flavors. Soft mouth-filling bubbles and zesty acidity spill out of the glass and provide a lot of pleasure for the dollar.

2008 Abadal Picapoll, Pla de Bages ($19.99) Spanish Table exclusive!

Picapoll is the Spanish name for the grape called Picpoul in French, which translates to “lip stinger.” That unfortunate translation is not at all discriptive of the Abadal Picapoll which has ripe pear flavors, a rich texture and energetic acidity. Round and full-bodied, Abadal is an elegant white wine with notes of sea shell and subtle mineral notes which make for a clean, interesting finish. This is a great wine to serve in the fall with cheese or rich cream sauces.

RED WINES

2005 Banda Azul Crianza Rioja ($11.99) This silky Rioja has legions of fans in Spain and America. Very traditional in style, Banda Azul spends 18 months in used oak barrels, which give it a refined earthiness. It’s bright red cherry fruit is medium-bodied, balanced by vibrant acidity. This is a great choice for those who like a wine low in tannin and Banda Azul is exactly the type of wine you’d be served by the glass in a Spanish tapas bar.

2007 M1 Monastrell, Valencia ($9.99) From the region of Valencia, M1 is full-bodied and fresh with great concentration. With silky tannins and notes of mineral, it has a smooth and persistent finish with flavors of cacao. Made of 100% Monastrell, M1 is a great choice to serve with a cheese and fruit plate.

2008 Quo Grenache, Campo de Borja ($9.99) Quo is a fruity melange of strawberry and red cherry flavors and a pure expression of Grenache. Dry and medium-bodied with an exotic spicy black pepper edge, it is delicious with spicy Mexican foods, such as carne adovada.

LIMITED PRODUCTION WINES

2004 Roquette E Cazes Xisto, Douro ($63.00) 1000 cases are produced by this venture between renowned Bordelais wine producer Jean-Michael Cazes and Jorge Roquette, owner of the Quinto do Crasto estate in Douro. 2004 was a classic Douro vintage with perfect harvesting conditions. The wine’s name “Xisto” refers to the schist soils in its steep, terraced vineyards. Powerful and opulent, nuanced and complex, Xisto has muscle and staying power. Elegant and supple tannins provide backbone for this rich and lengthy effort.

6 bottles available

RED WINES FROM FRANCE

2006 Domaine Grand Lauze La Mariole Vin de Pays D’Oc ($12.99)

We were thrilled to locate the wines of Hélène’s uncle right here in Seattle! The vineyards are subject to the burning heat of the Midi and the grapes subsequently ripen to perfection. Grand Lauze is biodynamic and the grapes are hand harvested. A blend of 80% Carignan, 15% Grenache, 3% Marselan and 2% Syrah from vines averaging 105 years old, La Mariole is medium-bodied and rich with a hint of smoke. Silky smooth tannins lead into a wonderfully finessed finish. Highly recommended!

2006 L’Archet

Cuvée Occitane, Vin de Pays D’Oc ($19.99) From the Languedoc Roussillon region of France, Cuvee Occitane is a blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan. Loaded with rich, ripe red fruits, it has an earthy character and is deep and voluptuous. Aged 9 months in French oak, it has terrific balance, notes of chocolate and spice, and a lingering, dry finish.

2003 Château Coutelin-Merville Cru Bourgeois, St Estephe ($27.99) This was my favorite wine at our French tasting dinner last weekend! A left bank Bordeaux, it is a blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, 30% of which has been aged in oak. Concentrated, full bodied, opulent and balanced, it paired beautifully with the rich short ribs and polenta.

PARIS GROCERY NEWS

It’s been a hectic two weeks since Paris Grocery opened. We’ve already added more hard-to-find French cheeses and charcuterie, and will be adding additional wines and other delicacies as soon as we are able. Thanks for your support in these early days!

CHEESES

Cone de Port Aubry is a raw goat’s milk cheese and a cousin of the famous Loire cheese Crottin de Chavignol. The cheese is made close to Selles sur Cher and aged for two to three months on rye straw mats in caves, giving a natural mold rind on the outside and a firm interior. The pliable texture of Cone de Port Aubry has a nose of melted butter with an almost dusty earth undertone. The flavors are complex, starting with buttered popcorn and mushrooms, then fading into a pronounced acidity like crème fraiche with a hint of lemon and a subtle finish of hazelnuts. This cheese is hard for me to not swoon over! Wine pairing: Try with a Loire white, such as a Sancerre. SALE $36.99/lb.

Herve Mons Gabietou Aged by one of Europe’s best affineurs! Gabietou contains raw cow & sheeps milk from animals that graze on alpine grass, wild herbs & flowers. Washed with brine made from warm local salt springs, this is sweet & richly complex with a silky creaminess & nut aromas. Exquisite! SALE $29.99, $7.49 per quarter lb.

Gres des Vosges Alsace has exceptionally rich soil & is full of beautiful cherry trees from which the farmers make their own local liquor. Each oval of Gres des Vosges is washed with saltwater & then kirsch which lends a fruity fragrance. Slightly salty with a touch of onion & a luscious texture make this cow’s milk cheese a favorite!

The following cheeses just arrived today via airfreight!

Picadine Chève mini logs

Le Picandou goat cheese buttons

Explorateur

Petit Supin

Crottin de Chève

OLIVES

French Country Olive Mix A colorful blend of green, pink and black olives with Lupini beans and bell peppers. These are tossed in a lively French marinade of spices, peppers and vinegar. Perfect for any gathering!

Picholine Olives The Picholine is the queen of green olives! Crisp, yet tender and slightly salty, these fresh Picholines are unpasteurized and bright.

Fresh Luques Olives These fresh (unpasteurized) French olives are meaty, sweet and crisp. The green flesh is firm, bright and fruity.

Pitted Nicoise-Coquillos Olives This olive is the same variety as the authentic Nicoise, though generally grown in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Its flavor parallels that of Nicoise: rich and faintly smoky. This olive is naturally cured and a key ingredient in Salade Niçoise.

CHARCUTERIE

Goose Mousse Suprème Pâté Made with goose & duck liver, duck & chicken fat with sauternes and topped with aspic and oranges. No artificial ingredients.

Pâté Provençal My favorite pâté. Course spreadable pork liver with herbs de Provence, and sweet and savory spices.

Our first shipment of cured meats and specialty products from D’Artagnan will be arriving early next week! We’ll have sliced Jambon de Bayonne, Wild Boar Bacon, Chicken and Truffle Sausages, Veal Demi-Glace and Foie Gras, just to name a few of the specialty items that are arriving next week.

OTHER PRODUCTS

We have Caviar, Crème Fraîche and French butter in stock now!

Baguettes from Macrina Bakery are delivered fresh each day to both Paris Grocery and The Spanish Table.

WHITE WINES FROM FRANCE

2007 Cuvee Francoise Blanquette de Limoux ($12.99) This festive sparkler comes straight from it’s traditional home in Limoux, France. Cuvee Francoise is fresh on the palate with fine soft bubbles, white fruit flavors of pear and ripe apple. It finishes dry and clean with refreshing acidity. This is great with sushi.

2008 Novellum Chardonnay Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes ($10.99)

Producer Lafage has crafted one of the best Chardonnays we’ve ever tasted, and it’s a very affordable price. 30% is aged in oak on the lees of Viognier which give it a rich creaminess. With flavors of citrus, apricots, apple and toast, Novellum is lush and balanced. “…hints of caramel and brown butter, vanilla and nutmeg. What’s more, there’s a savory saline, mineral streak all the way through the considerable finish of this “little Chardonnay”.

89 points Wine Advocate

Have a great week and we invite you to come on down and check out our new products!

Sincerely,

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 Cava, Cheese, Fish, Food, france, Meat, Recepies, Red Wine, Spain

Explorations

Gomera, Canary Islands

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter October 30, 2009

Explorations

Traveling as wine specialists aboard the National Geographic vessel Explorer for the past 2 ½ weeks, we’ve been following the route of Christopher Columbus and Charles Darwin. Our voyage began in Lisbon and ended in Salvador Brazil, with stops in some of our favorite places: Madeira, The Canary Islands, and Cape Verde. We just got home last night and are still wobbling about on sea legs.

Seattle-based Lindblad Expeditions (http://www.expeditions.com/) invited us to choose wines for the voyage and then come along to educate guests about them. Lindblad has a superb on-board staff of naturalists, historians and professional photographers that speak about history, culture, the natural world and how best to photograph it. Their trips cover the Antarctic, the Arctic, and everything in between.

A week ago we were photographing schools of whales and cavorting dolphins near La Palma, Canary Islands. The Canaries are a group of seven islands less than 100 miles off the coast of Morocco. Just as Cuban refugees flee to Miami, so the Canary Islands attract thousands of desperate Africans each year. The lure of the European Community with all of its opportunities is irrestible, especially when it’s just a stone’s throw away.

Aside from the immigration issue, life in the Canaries moves slowly and residents have a deep appreciation for the islands’ spectacular beauty. One memorable day began in the mist forest of Parque Nacional de Garajonay on the island of Gomera. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the forest sits on a 3300 foot high ridge and divides the island’s wet side from the dry. Two hours of hiking took us through laurel forests, past villages growing bananas on terraced hillsides, and a spectacular cliff-side trail shrouded in mist.

Our guide recommended dining at Restaurant La Placeta in Santa Cruz de la Palma which was excellent. Being Sunday night in the off season, the proprietor had plenty of time to talk about the local wines, how he ended up in the Canary Islands, and the thriving rabbit population in La Palma. We tucked into a terrific rabbit pate as we talked, which was served with a sweet but not cloying tomato jam. What a fantastic combination! The main course was grilled fish and papas arrugadas with mojo sauces, a Canary Island traditional dish, served with El Nispero Tinto Barrica, a local red wine from La Palma.

Now that we’re home, we’ll be getting back into kitchen to recreate some of the tasty dishes we had along the road. Here’s a traditional recipe from the Canary Islands:

Papas Arrugadas (Serves four)

Warning: This recipe uses the traditional amount of salt, which may be overwhelming to American palates used to low sodium. Feel free to adjust to your taste!

8-10 Small New Potatoes

Sea Salt to taste

Add the potatoes to a pot of very salty water (in the past the Canarians used sea-water).

The potatoes should float in the salty-water, if they don’t you need to add more salt.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Now drain most of the water from the pot and cover the potatoes with a layer of salt.

Turn down the heat and gently shake the pot so that salt crystalizes on the potatoes.

Finally, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a tea-towel for 5 minutes (so that the potatoes turn ‘wrinkly’). Serve with one or both of the Mojo sauces below.

Mojo Picon Sauce

5 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

3 small dried nora peppers, rehydrated in boiling water and drained

1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar to taste

5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Using a mortar and pestle, mash cumin, garlic, and peppers with salt until well mixed. Add paprika, vinegar and oil, and continue to blend. If necessary, add water until desired consistency is reached. This is delicious served with boiled potatoes, with or on fried fish.

Mojo Verde Sauce

3 cloves garlic, peeled

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Sherry Vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

Water as needed

Process the cumin, garlic, cilantro and salt in a food processor or blender to create a paste. While blending, drizzle in olive oil gradually. Add small amounts of water until the sauce is a thin paste. Add 1-2 tsp vinegar or more, according to your taste. Drizzle over potatoes or fish and serve.

WINE NEWS

Being on board a ship for 13 nights gave us the chance to revisit some of our favorite, inexpensive wines from Spain and Portugal. These wines were all-around big hits with the guests on board, some of whom have placed case orders!

White Wines

2008 Protos Verdejo, Rueda ($10.99) Protos Verdejo has just the right combination of grapefruit flavors and zesty acidity to pair with fish in buttery citrus sauces.

2007 Diamante, Rioja ($10.99) Classic Diamante is a unique wine. Semi sweet, it is made from a blend of Malvasia and Viura grapes. Round and full on the palate, the addition of Viura gives it a crisp, clean finish.

Red Wines

2003 Esporao Alicante Bouschet, Alentejo ($13.99) Balanced and full bodied, this Portuguese red was phenomenal with beef tenderloin.

2005 Evel, Douro ($15.99) One of our perennial favorites, Evel is a blend of the same grapes port grapes. Great with flavorful chicken dishes, it has lift and elegance.

2005 Altos de Luzon, Jumilla ($14.99) 50% Monastrell, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Tempranillo, this hearty red goes down all too easily on a cold, wet night with a plate of grilled lamb chops.

PARIS GROCERY NEWS

Our new shop features French cheeses and wine, and other foods with a French mood. It’s located 1/4 block south of Spanish Table at 1418 Western Avenue. It’s currently open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM.

New cheeses:

A Casinca is a classical goat’s milk cheese from the Casinca region of Corsica, where the climate is gentle. Herbaceous, tart, and slightly salty, this cheese has a semi-soft texture that offers a balanced, satisfying finish on the palate.

Tome d’Aquitaine: This aged goat’s milk cheese gets the benefit of washings in Sauternes in the caves of famous affineur Jean d’Alos. The snow-white interior has a dense texture and a delicately balanced, sweet and fruity flavor.

Brebirousse d’Argental: This pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from Lyon has a creamy, brie-like texture and a faintly sweet finish on the palate. Hints of meadow and hay lend a bit of complexity.

Le Grain d’Orge: From the Basse-Normandie region, this pasteurized cow’s milk cheese is soaked in Calvados according to Norman traditions. A soft-textured, washed rind cheese. Delightfully fruity and milky with hints of mushroom and apple.

Meats

We have a new shipment of D’Artagnan charcuterie, including foie gras, pates, frozen (uncooked) sausages, merguez, puff pastry and many other specialty French shelf groceries. We also now have baguettes from Macrina Bakery, delivered daily Tuesday through Saturday.

Please come on in to one or both of our shops and pick up some wonderful cheeses and fall wines. Best wishes for a great weekend!

Sincerely,

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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