Tag Archives: Douro

Saturday Raul Perez Tasting; Rare Madeira, Sherry & Port

Saturday Wine Tasting
On Saturday, March 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., stop in at The Spanish Table to taste a legendary Albariño made by Raul Perez, one of Spain’s top winemakers.   Some trade veterans believe that Raul is among the handful of best winemakers in the world.   He hand makes hundreds of artisanal wines in infinitesimal quantities, so the opportunity to taste one of them is rare.  We’ll be pouring a sample of2014 Leirana Finca Genoveva Albariño, Rias Baixas ($49.00) which is 100% Albariño made from vines planted in 1862.   Aged 12 months in 4 year old foudre of 2500 liter.   The 2014 vintage has not yet been reviewed by the wine press, but the 2013 vintage scored 93 points from Stephen Tanzer/Vinous.
Rare Sherry, Port and Madeira Arrive
Lustau Emperatriz Eugenia Very Rare Oloroso, Jerez ($22.99/500 ml)  A stunning Oloroso which has not been available in our market for several years.   From a solera established in 1921 when Eugenia de Montijo (born in Granada) was the last empress of France, visited Jerez.    This Oloroso is the only bottling in the Gran Reserva series from Bodegas Lustau and it has become one of their flagship wines, with an average age of 20 years.
  Displays heady aromas of sandalwood, orange zest and smoke.  Notes of toffee, fig and nougat are viscous with a velvety texture on the palate.   Concentrated notes of dried fruit, molasses, caramelized almonds and toffee are nuanced and seamless with a hint of sweetness.  Hazelnut flavors, baking spice notes and citrus have gentle herbal notes.  The finish is dry with a briny element which adds more depth and complexity.     92 points Wine Advocate  


NV Niepoort 10 year Tawny Port, Portugal ($54.00) We’re so excited to have this revered tawny onto our shelf!   “Amazing aromas of orange and lemon peel, with hints of toffee, caramel and honey. Full-bodied and luscious, with lots of sweet fruit and a long, subtle finish that goes on and on. A benchmark for 10-year-old tawnies.”  95 points Wine Spectator
1968 D’Oliveiras Bual Madeira ($236.00)  “Balanced and plush, with concentrated buttercream, hazelnut, dried apricot and tropical fruit flavors that are still fresh and lively. Citrus zest and sea salt notes show midpalate. The finish lingers with cream, dried tarragon and Asian spice details. Drink now through 2035. 40 cases imported. ” 96 points Wine Spectator

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Filed under Albariño, Events, Madeira, Port, Portugal, Sherry, Spain, Wine

An Excuse to Revist Portugal

Pulpo in Portugal

We were thrilled to attend our former employee’s June 4th wedding in Oporto, Portugal. (Many long time Spanish Table customers met Claudia Soares-she worked at Spanish Table for eight years, from her Ballard High School days until graduation from college.) It was a pleasure to watch her grow up and become a great friend, and incredible to share her Portuguese wedding day! After the ceremony where they were read their legal rights as a married couple, the reception began.  Plates of fish- or meat-filled pastries were served, along with fresh shrimp and crab, feijoada, ribs, assorted cheeses and glasses of vinho verde. Then we sat down to a four course dinner followed by a dessert buffet, then danced until 3:00 AM when the cake was cut and toasts proposed.

Before and after the wedding we’ve had a chance to revisit some favorite Portuguese villages and find out if the food is as good as we remember. We’ve been lucky to eat the superb Serra da Estrella cheese almost every day – we just cut the top off and eat it with a spoon.   And it’s even better on top a slice of toothsome Portuguese bread!

In the beach town of Nazaré where women traditionally wear knee length skirts with aprons and petticoats, bacalhou (salt cod) is served everywhere and can be purchased from friendly vendors at local markets. Grilled sardines and mackerel are fantastic;  clams are superb as ever. And then there is frango and the duck rice…

Have I mentioned the glorious Portuguese red wines? By far, the wines have gotten exponentially better every year. In the Douro region, we spent two nights at Quinta de la Rosa and tasted through their new wines and ports after a visit to the barrel room under the lodge; and over lunch at Niepoort winery, we drank their silky and elegant reds. And the wines of the Dâo region have been a revelation! They are supremely balanced, full-bodied and velvety reds which pair wonderfully with roast duck or meat. We’ll be looking to bring in more of these wines at Spanish Table after we get back to Seattle late next week!

For the next three days, we are in Spain.   In both Spain and Portugal there talk about the economic crisis, but really, people just can’t wait for the first soccer world cup game on Friday.

VISIT US ON LINE! Shop our wine website at Spanish Table Wines. For food, cookbooks, paella pans and all non-wine items, go to The Spanish Table website. For the latest product news from Paris Grocery, visit the PG Facebook page.

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Filed under Fish, Food, Port, Portugal, Red Wine, Spain, Uncategorized

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 4, 2010

We gladly waved goodbye to the construction equipment on lower Western Avenue this week. The chasm at Union and Western has been filled in and the street is now reopened to two way traffic. The detour is gone. Lots of street parking is now available, so don’t hesitate to come on down and see us!

Spectacularly beautiful, the Douro River’s precipitous terraces are the birthplace of port, Portugal’s celebrated fortified wine. But this region also produces sensational table wines which we’ve recommended for years, and these wines are finally gaining traction with wine critics.

We were fortunate to get a personal update on this area from Sophia Bergquist, owner of Quinta de La Rosa over lunch last week. Somewhat similiar to France’s wine estate classification system, in the Douro, grapes are graded from A to F based on the quinta (estate) that produced them. The steeply terraced vineyards can only be harvested by hand which guarantees gentle treatment of the grapes and selection of the best fruit. Sweltering summer heat ensures that grapes are fully ripened and generate structured reds with long ageing potential. Four out of the last six vintages (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) in the Douro were outstanding.

Quinta de La Rosa’s fruit is all Grade A and the estate has been family owned since 1815. One of the first in the region to produce table wines, they are such a hands-on operation that owner Sophia herself has even jumped in to pick grapes during harvest. For fans of plush, complex, full-bodied reds, the wines of the Douro should not be missed!

THE WINES OF QUINTA DE LA ROSA

2007 Vale da Clara, Douro Red wine ($11.99) Quinta de La Rosa purchases the fruit for this wine, which is a perennial staff favorite here at The Spanish Table. 2007 was a very good year in the Douro, giving Vale da Clara rich and perfectly ripened black fruit. With notes of black olive and a touch of herbs, it has ripe tannins and a long, smooth finish. It’s a great quaffer!

2006 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Tinto ($19.99) A blend of grapes that are used in port wine, this elegant red table wine is made from hand-picked, estate grown fruit. Enticing floral and ripe fruit aromas make it hard to tear your nose away from the rim of the glass. On the palate, delicate flavors of black cherry and currant have lift and a persistent minerality. Silky tannins and great balance make this wine a pleasure to drink.

2005 Quinta de La Rosa Douro Reserve ($42.00) Vintage 2005 in the Douro was rated 93-95 by The Wine Spectator, producing “balanced and powerful reds.” The Quinta de La Rosa Reserve is no exception. A rich and juicy red, it displays notes of coffee and smoke, earth and minerals. It’s got the stuffing to age well for another five years, and it will be a big hit now with any fan of muscular reds.
2006 Poeira 28 Barricas Douro ($54.00) Quinta de La Rosa’s winemaker, Jorge Moreira, owns his own north facing plot uphill from QdLRosa and Poeira is his personal project. Made from old vines, only 28 barrels (barricas) were produced. Terroir driven, Poeira is distinctive, angular and restrained. Loaded with elegance and finesse, it’s brooding black fruit is concentrated with notes of crushed rock. It’s got the backbone to age well for through 2017, although it’s absolutely delicious right now.

Throwing a Super Bowl party? Our favorite party foods are grilled chorizo sausages (try the GEM Basque chorizo which is now back in stock!) served with slices of Ibsa Roasted Red Pepper strips.

A cheese plate is always a hit – we recommend a mix of sheep’s milk cheese such as Roncal or Nisa, Caña de Cabra goat cheese, Young Mahon cow’s milk cheese and a creamy blue cheese such as Bleu de Basque. Serve alongside Spanish Tapas Flatbreads which are now back in stock, in Rosemary and Manchego Cheese flavors.

And which beer to serve? We’ve got Estrella Damm beer from Spain, Casa beer from Morocco, Sagres beer from Portugal, Tecate and Bohemia beer from Mexico.

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Available next week by special order (6 bottles available):

2007 Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita, Priorat ($672.00) Alvaro Palcios is one of the star winemakers of the Priorat, and was an early pioneer of this region. 100% old-vine Garnacha produced from 70-year-old, head-pruned vines from a dramatically steep 2-hectare hillside. Harvesting is by hand, with multiple passes to pick optimal fruit. Aged in 100% new French barrique. Only 250 cases produced. “Bright ruby. Intense, mineral-driven aromas of spicy red berries, candied cherry, blood orange and potpourri, plus a sexy Asian spice quality. Tangy and sharply focused, with striking purity and energy. Sweet raspberry and cherry flavors are framed by silky tannins that are quickly absorbed by the fruit. Manages to be deep as well as vivacious, showing strong finishing minerality and a lingering note of star anise. This plays Lafite to the Dofi’s Latour.” 94 points Stephen Tanzer

Our new sister store, Paris Grocery, has an outstanding Facebook page with their newest cheeses, charcuterie and wines. Check it out and become a fan.

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites. Visit

The Spanish Table wine website for Spanish, Portuguese, South American vinos as well as Madeiras and ports. Orders are shipped from our Berkeley CA store which may have different inventory and prices than our Seattle store.

Click on The Spanish Table to purchase food, books, cookware and other non-wine products.

NEW PRODUCTS/BACK IN STOCK

Padron pepper seeds: Spring can’t be far behind when the seed packets roll in the door! Start these indoors early, so that the plants will be full size by June and ready to start producing peppers.

Mloukia Leaves: We searched high and low for this herb after reading about it in Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (p. 158). As described in the cookbook, the flavor is “fascinating – tastes like nothing else.”

5 liter plastic jugs of EVOO $49.99 We’ve had many requests for large containers of extra virgin olive oil since we ran out of the Ybarra brand. We’ve now got Sol de La Mancha brand in stock.

A new shipment of cazuelas arrived Monday. We’re now restocked with all sizes, in charcoal, and traditional earth color.

We look forward to Saveur Magazine’s “Top 100”

issue every January. It’s a compendium of the best kitchen products, new personalties in the culinary world, places foodies should know about, and implements of the year.We’ve stocked these hard to find items from Saveur’s list:

Salt cod (called Bacalao in Spain; Bacalhau in Portugal)

Argentinean Malbec wines (we’ve got 50 + Malbecs to choose from)

Lupini Beans

Olive Oil Tortas (new flavors Seville Orange and Sesame Sea Salt)

Sumac

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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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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Count Down to New Years

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

December 30, 2009

The year 2009 is almost behind us. It was the year in which spring time brought not only daffodils but a letter from E&J Gallo Winery’s attorney, Kristi Whalen, Kristi.Whalen@ejgallo.com . The letter demanded that we cease and desist selling Pastas Gallo fideo and fideuá from Spain even though the Spanish company markets its pasta in thirty countries. Pastas Gallo was established as a brand in 1874 and thus predates E&J Gallo Winery by half a century.

We resisted them until June when their attorney, Paul Reidl, reidl@sbcglobal.net, formally served us with legal documents to appear before the Federal District Court in Fresno, California (E&J Gallo Winery’s home turf). So you don’t, don’t, don’t, get to buy Pastas Gallo fideo at The Spanish Table any longer. The E&J Gallo publicist, Susan Hensley, susan.hensley@ejgallo.com, could explain this madness but probably won’t.

Our new cocker spaniel, Marcello, got a big rubber El Gallo, for Christmas. He calls his new toy E&J Gallo. Something to chew on in 2010.

Special Wines for New Year’s Eve

We had planned to write about our top 10 wines of 2009, but we found out yesterday that our allocation of these sensational wines are arriving today. Serve one with a special New Year’s dinner, or cellar a few bottles for the future!

2007 Bodegas El Nido Clio, Jumilla ($47.00) 24 bottles available “… a blend of 70% monastrell and 30% cabernet.. A pungent, smoky bouquet displays rich dark berry preserves along with notes of licorice, violet, cured meat and black pepper. Brighter red fruits on the palate, which is surprisingly energetic for such richness. Tangy cracked pepper and mace notes build with air and carry into the finish. Leaves sweet red and dark berry notes behind on the very long, sappy and sweet finish. This energetic wine is already delicious.” 93 points Stephen Tanzer

2006 Quinta do Crasto Douro Reserva Old Vines ($45.00)12 bottles available. “Aromas and flavors of kirsch, chocolate and dark plum are the hallmarks of this sumptuous Portuguese red. Very silky tannins and zesty acidity carry the long, sandalwood- and cherry-filled finish. Drink now through 2014.”

92 points Wine Spectator

We are great fans of the wines of R. Lopez Heredia. Drinking one of their red silky Gran Reservas is a singular experience. And from time to time, a few historic Gran Reservas are released from the Bodega’s cellars, where they have been aging since they were bottled. We placed a special order for some of these Gran Reservas which are arriving today, direct from the winery. Prices are close estimates, to be confirmed upon arrival.

1976 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva $180.00 1980 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva $150.00 1985 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva $130.00 95 points Stephen Tanzer

For people who are curious about what it is like to be an American living in Spain, check out cookbook author Janet Mendel’s blog, including recipes, it’s a great read!

We’ve got several of her cookbooks in stock, including Cooking From The Heart of Spain and My Kitchen in Spain ($16.99 each).

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.

Back in stock: Kaikou cheese from the French Basque country.

Come and choose from our selection of French grower Champagnes and Cremants. There’s nothing better than a bottle of bubbly on New Year’s Eve!

Visit our websites!

The Spanish Table wine website has wines organized 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. All orders are shipped from our Berkeley, CA store.

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!

Come in and see us before the New Year!

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- Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, except

Paris Grocery is closed on Mondays

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Filed under Books, Cheese, Food, france, Port, Portugal, Red Wine, Spain

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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Filed under Cheese, Fish, Food, france, Meat, Recepies, Red Wine, Uncategorized