Tag Archives: Mendoza

Sole Sips: TempusAlba, Argentina

This week we are heading to Mendoza, Argentina’s principle wine making region, to sip and compare two single varietal wines from Tempus Alba. But first, a little background on these two important grapes.

Merlot grapes

Merlot grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two widely cultivated red grape varietals. While ‘Cab’ is one of the world’s most renowned red varieties for wine production, Merlot surged into popularity in the 1990’s as consumers discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. One thing they have in common: they’re both major grapes from the Bordeaux region of France.

Cabernet Suavignon grapes

Cabernet Suavignon grapes

Merlot grapes are identified by loose bunches of large berries with a blue-black color, lighter than Cabernet grapes and with a thinner skin and fewer tannins. Compared to Cabernet, Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content, lower malic acid, and normally ripe up to two weeks earlier.

Merlot is softer, fruitier, and contains smoother tannins than cabernet sauvignon, yet displays many of the same aromas and flavors – black cherry, currant, cedar, and green olive – along with mint, tobacco and tea-leaf tones.

Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Cabernet is its ability “to travel”, to set down its roots in distant lands and still produce something that is recognizably as Cabernet whatever the circumstances. Cabernet Sauvignon is admired for its intensity and classic flavors of currant, plum and spice, often with distinguishing herb, olive, tobacco, cedar and anise notes, among others. The style of Cab is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When they are picked early, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavors. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed black currants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine.

TempusAlba Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 An exceptional wine made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a bright red brown color. On nose it offers black pepper and ripe plum with touches of vanilla and cocoa. On palate it is deep and complex; green pepper and toasted notes appear with velvety tannins that envelop the mouth. Full bodied, with a long and pleasant final. Pairs excellently with beef and mushroom sauce ($13.99).

TempusAlba Merlot 2008 – This wine was made under a prefermentative cold maceration, preserving intense red fruit aromas and lending it complexity. Very well balanced with soft and ripe tannins, good structure, and notes of ripe plums and cassis ($13.99).

– Soledad Claveria

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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!


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.


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)


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


Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

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

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.


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


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!


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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Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

January 8, 2010

Our Spanish Table brand Lemon stuffed olives arrived today! A perennial customer favorite, the buttery flavor of the Manzanilla olive is a perfect foil for the piquant lemon flavor. Serve them at a tapas party and you’ll be amazed how quickly they disappear. Or put one in a martini to take it up a notch!


2007 Vivir, Vivir Ribera del Duero ($9.99) “The 2007 Vivir, vivir is 100% Tempranillo sourced from 20- to 60-year-old vines in La Horra. Dark ruby-colored, it features racy aromatics of mineral, spice box, black cherry and blackberry. Silky on the palate with no hard edges, this tasty wine will provide pleasure over the next three years. The wines [El Arte de Vivir and Vivir, vivir] from Bodegas J.C. Conde are sensational values from Ribera del Duero.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2007 El Arte de Vivir, Ribera del Duero ($16.99) “The 2007 El Arte de Vivir is also 100% Tempranillo sourced from 60- to 80-year-old vines. It was aged for six months in French and American oak. It s more substantial and structured than the Vivir, vivir cuvee with layers of fleshy fruit, excellent concentration, and 1-2 years of aging potential. The finish is lengthy and sweet. Drink this pleasure-bent wine over the next six years.” 91 points Wine Advocate

2006 Don Tiburcio, Mendoza ($9.99) A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon with a smattering of Petit Verdot and Merlot, this full-bodied red is fresh and lush. Aged 10 months in French oak casks, Don Tiburcio has aromas of mature red fruits and a touch of chocolate vanilla. Intense and fruity, with soft tannins, it has an impressive and persistent finish. Recommended!


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.

Paris Grocery is now carrying an expanded selection of Zoe Meats charcuterie:

Artisanal Ham: A lean and flavorful single muscle ham that gets laid out flat in the applewood smokehouse. An eclectic ham that boasts no nitrites and is great as a breakfast ham or used in croque monsieur! $11.99/lb

Coppa: A traditional coppa, made without red wine during the curing process as some modern coppas are, allowing the flavors of the pork and salt to shine. $19.99/lb

Finocchiona: This subtle masterpiece features whole fennel seeds, black peppercorns, salt, and garlic, with a little orange zest, smoke, and pink peppercorns for a sophisticated flavor profile. $18.99/lb

Salami: This uncured salami is made with sherry, garlic, and black pepper. It has a bold, full flavor and a delightfully juicy texture. $14.99/lb

Spicy Coppa: This dry-cured pork shoulder with cayenne peppers and cracked red peppercorns has a warm heat that sneaks up on you. Its unique flavor and silky texture complements other meats on a charcuterie plate. $19.99/lb

Paris Grocery now has a Facebook page. Become a fan and learn about new products as soon as they arrive! Click here to sign up.

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.

We’ll see you soon and Happy New Year!


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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A New Twist on an Old Favorite

63August 21, 2001

Numerous years ago, before we discovered Spain, we took many a road trip to Northern California in the old Dodge van. We camped at Crater Lake, spent time in Mendocino, and loaded up the van with Zinfindels from Napa and Sonoma. So when we were invited to do a cookbook signing and paella demonstration at the Point Reyes Farmer’s Market last weekend, we couldn’t pass it up.  

62Point Reyes is located about an hour north of our Mill Valley shop. It’s a forty mile long peninsula jutting into the Pacific ocean and is populated with dairy farms whose placid bovines roam bucolic pastures and provide the raw material for the famous Point Reyes cheese.

The best part of making a paella at a farmer’s market, aside from the great breakfast choices like pork-tomatillo panini, is the array of incredible fresh ingredients.64

We brought Zoe Meats chorizo with us, and added fresh onions, garlic, squash, peppers, green and purple beans, piquillo peppers, Ferrer brand Sofrito sauce, saffron, rice and chicken stock and finished it with squash blossoms. It looked amazing and the flavor was sublime! It was the best kind of make-it-up-on-the-spot recipe but also may be tough to replicate.

And the next time you’re in Point Reyes, make sure to dine at Osteria Stellina. It was fantastic!


Being close to our Bay Area locations meant that we also cooked paellas at each store.

Our Amontillado and Chicken Paella with Chorizo is always a crowd pleaser and the ultimate in simplicity, perfect for a paella demo. Recipe from The Spanish Table cookbook: (serves 4)65


1/4 cup Spanish olive oil

4 chicken thighs

Approximately 16 strands of saffron

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 links Spanish chorizo

2 cups Spanish short-grain Valencian rice, preferably bomba

1 cup medium dry Amontillado sherry

3 cups chicken stock

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch paella pan and brown the chicken. Stir in the onions, sautéing until wilted, and then add the garlic, cooking another minute or two. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat is released. Then stir in the rice to coat and add the sherry.

Bring to a boil. When the sherry is absorbed by the rice, add the stock and saffron, reduce the heat, and simmer until the rice is done, about 20-25 minutes.


66Jehan cleaned up the pan in front of our Berkeley store.




2008 Cabriz Encruzado, Dao ($13.99) A single vineyard wine, Cabriz is made from the Encruzado grape, and produced in limited quantities. Aged 6 months in oak using the battonage process, it has flavors of crisp pear and buttered toast . A creamy texture with a dry and lingering finish make this a wonderful accompaniment to seafood in cream sauce.

2008 Sete Cepas Albariño, Rias Baixas ($17.99)

Very much a family project, Sete Cepas refers to the wine making team of 7 brothers. Produced near the coast, each sip has the tang of sea air with aromas of white peach. Loaded with minerality and lemon zest flavors, Sete Cepas has lively acidity with notes of stone fruit, pear and great finesse. Excellent with shellfish!

Luis Pato Maria Gomez Bruto Vinho Espumante ($14.99) The Maria Gomez grape (called Fernáo Pires in other regions of Portugal) has extraordinary aromas and capacity to produce distinctive wines with strong character. Maria Gomez Bruto is a light and crisp sparkling wine showing the delicate floral and orange-lime citrus flavors characteristic of the grape. A persistent, dry finish with soft bubbles make this a terrific choice for pairing with rich cheeses or seafood.

Luis Pato Casta Baga Bruto Rosé Vinho Espumante ($14.99) Luis Pato is one of the most respected oenologists in Portugal and has earned the nickname “King of Baga”. The Baga grape is complex, with powerful tannins and ripe berry flavors and Casta Baga Bruto Rosé exemplifies Luis Pato’s mastery of this grape. A crisp and dry sparkling rosé wine, it shows minerality along with its full fruit flavors. The typical structured tannins are subdued into a silky finish in this delightful rosé. Absolutely divine with roast suckling pig, the signature dish of Pato’s region.


2007 Andeluna Malbec, Mendoza ($8.99) Hand crafted in collaboration with Michel Rolland, Andeluna Malbec has a touch of Merlot and Cabernet, and 7 months aging in French and American oak. Round and ripe flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry are rounded out by notes of chocolate. Lush black currant and coffee compliment the sweet tannins and produce an exceptional value. Serve it with grilled lamb burgers!

2005 Rondan Crianza (Rioja) $11.99 The new vintage of Rondan Crianza is one of our favorite value Riojas. Produced from 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, the grapes are hand picked and aged in American oak for 18 months. With intense depth of black cherry flavors and notes of pepper and musk, this is a traditional Rioja with clean fruit flavors. Ample but not overpowering tannins with balanced acidity make this a great food wine. Serve it with pork or rice dishes.

2001 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Rioja ($60.00) Just arrived! 2001 was a legendary vintage, and this wine was featured in last week’s New York Times Rioja article. “Impressively complex bouquet of dried red fruits, tobacco, cedar and potpourri. A spicy, subtly sweet midweight, offering lively redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors and very soft tannins. The smoky finish features a strong echo of cedary spice.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

To read the New York Times article, follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/dining/12pour.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=rioja&st=cse

2006 Don Nicanor Blend, Mendoza ($17.99) A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, this Argentinean red is full-bodied with concentrated ripe berry and casssis notes. 12 months of aging in new French oak provide notes of vanilla and lush tannins. The pure finish has a touch of cherry skin and black tea. This is a complex wine, extremely well balanced and a fantastic match for grilled steak with blue cheese.


Zoe Meats Chorizo

New Sale Price $20.99

Our all time favorite chorizo is now on sale. These ‘food service’ size chorizos are over a pound and a half. They are the definitely the best value and the tastiest chorizo in our case. We recommend slicing and serving as a tapa or making Bocadillos.

Zamorano Cheese

Most of you are familiar with this artisanal Spanish cheese produced in Castilla Leon, in the Zamorano province. It is made with milk from the Churra Eve sheep which is high in fat and gives particularly high-quality milk. Complex, full bodied, moist and subtly tangy with lingering parmesan notes. Serve Zamorano with ham, melon, pears, tomatoes, crusty bead and a solid Spanish red wine.

Now available pre-cut in our deli grab-and-go case. Sale price: $17.99/lb.



The New Portuguese Table cookbook by David Leite ($32.50) Written by the American-born son of an immigrant Portuguese family, David Leite learned to cook hearty Portuguese dishes at his grandmother’s side. Traveling to Portugal, the author discovered the traditional ingredients reimagined in modern cuisine and was inspired to write this cookbook. Leite melds the classic and contemporary, introducing innovative modern dishes in over 100 recipes.

Dende Oil – Also called palm oil, it is an essential ingredient in moqueca, the sumptious Brazilian seafood stew

Homemade Plum Membrillo from Spain, made from quince and plum.

Valenciano crackers flavored with Rosemary

Reganas Andalucian tapas crackers made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Guarana Brazilian soft drinks, now including Diet!

Wild Lavender Honey from Murcia Spain – Excellent with goat cheese!



Join us at Taberna del Alabardero for a selected tasting of Jorge Ordonez wines, on Wednesday Sept. 2nd, 6 p.m. Special attendance by Sara Floyd, M.S. who will talk about the five wines, each paired with a separate course. $75.00 (tax and service charge not included). For reservations and information: 206.448.8884, for more details, click this link:




Saturday August 22nd Carmona Flamenco, featuring guest artist Ana Montes. 8:00 p.m., Solstice Cafe, 4116 University Way $20.00 information: 206.932.4067 http://www.fanw.org


Have a great week!




Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table

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A Segovian Gold Mine

SegoviaThe Elusive Pago de Carraovejas

July 30, 2009

Segovia3Established by Segovian restauranteur and sommelier Jose Maria Ruiz, Bodegas Pago de Carraovejas has become one of the crown jewels of Ribera del Duero wines. Jose Maria’s insistence on excellence has driven these wines onto the “must have” list of all quality restaurants in Spain. Only 10% of production is exported. Every vintage quickly sells out and allocations are becoming more difficult to come by. Our Bay Area stores have been lucky enough to obtain a small amount of the recent vintages, and it knocked my socks off when I tasted it earlier this year. We’ve had countless customer requests for this wine and for months the distributor has repeated “it’s coming..” it’s coming…”Segovia4

Happenstance rewarded us once again in Spain. Unwittingly, we stumbled into a tapas gold mine at El Descanso de Juan Pacheco in Segovia. Along with fantastic food, Pago de 

Carraovejas was being poured like water!

Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva… by the glass… by the bottle… no limits.

And now that we’ve returned from Spain, finally, last week we received two cases of the 2006 Crianza. Another case “is coming..”

A single vineyard wine, 2006 Pago de Carraovejas Crianza is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Aged for 12 months in oak barrels, it is an intense cherry color with purple tones. The nose is filled with ripe fruit aromas of black berries and spices. Flavors of tar and boysenberry slowly spread over the palate with glycerin contributing a rich fruity mouth feel. Well integrated oak, notes of coffee and cacao with supple tannins. Concentrated and intense, it has herbal notes with a smooth and persistent finish. A powerful and effusive wine, here is a rare opportunity to experience this wine outside of Spain! 2006 Pago de Carraovejas Crianza (Ribera del Duero) $40.00. Only 34 bottles available.



2007 Torres Sangre de Toro Tempranillo, Penedes ($7.99)  The Torres family has been producing wines in Catalunya since the late 1800’s. Their consistent production of quality wines at all price levels has earned them a loyal customer base. Sangre de Toro Tempranillo is a new wine developed by Torres. An absolute bargain, its juicy cherry flavors with hints of smoke have solid complexity for the price. “Impressively supple wine with strong finishing sweetness and focus. Packs a lot of punch and honest fruit for the money.” 87 points Stephen Tanzer

2007 Vina Gormaz, Ribera del Duero ($9.99) A former co-op, this recently-privatized company controls the majority of acreage in Ribera del Duero’s Soria province. Containing the highest remaining percentage of old vine, head-pruned Tempranillo, Vina Gormaz’s focus is upon complexity and elegance without oak aging. The 2007 vintage has deep wild berry aromas, fruit forward juicy blackberry flavors and ample but balanced tannins. This tasty wine is one to enjoy young.

2007 Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha, Calatayud $9.99)  Exemplifying all of the wild red fruit and spice of pure Garnacha, Tres Ojos is a pleasure to drink. Juicy black cherry flavors have just enough white pepper spiciness to provide zest. Clean, with energizing lift and a persistent finish, Tres Ojos a great all-around food wine and a great value!

2007 Finca Resalso, Ribera del Duero ($13.99) Producedby Bodegas Emilio Moro, Finca Resalso is a wine produced from Moro’s younger vineyards. Four months of aging in oak give structure with fine tannins, vibrant fruit flavors, and well balanced acidity. “Dark ruby-colored, it emits an enticing perfume of mineral, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it reveals an elegant personality, savory, spicy flavors, good depth, and a fruit-filled finish. Drink this tasty effort over the next four years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2006 Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva, Mendoza ($19.99) Produced from low yielding vines at an altitude of 960 meters, made of 100% Malbec, it is aged 12 months in oak casks. Full bodied with aromas of bing cherry, it has flavors of concentrated kirsch liqueur, notes of coffee, spices and pepper. Elegant, with round and sweet tannins, this has the potential to age for up to 10 years. When we tasted this against a limited release ($120.00) Malbec, Luigi Bosca completely over delivered for a fraction of the price. Highly recommended!


Last week’s New York Times article about wines from D.O. Ribera Sacra generated a ton of inquiries. We’ve located another wine mentioned in the article: 2007 Guimaro, (Ribera Sacra) $17.99 “Light bodied, juicy, inexpensive wines with a welcome earthy touch.”



When the thermometer tops 90 degrees and your house has no air conditioning, what do you do? My favorite heat-beating activities: Go swimming in Lake Washington, have a picnic at Lincoln Park, and sip a cold, cold, beverage.

Some our our favorite cold drinks:

Estrella Damm Beer from Spain: $9.99 per six pack

Cusquena Lager Beer from Peru: $9.99 per six pack

Sagres Lager Beer from Portugal: $8.99 per six pack

Casa Beer from Morrocco: $1.99 per 11 oz bottle

Estrella Damm Inedit Beer: Developed by Ferran Adria of El Bulli, this beer was specifically developed to serve with food. $9.99/750 ml bottle

2007 Senorio de Sarria rose, (Navarra) Seafair Special — Was $9.99, now $5.99! Navarra is the traditional home of Spanish rosados. Senorio de Sarria’s bright aromas and flavors of fresh strawberries are front and center in this tasty rose. 100% Garnacha, it is crisp, dry and the ultimate refreshment on a hot day.

2009 Casal Garcia rose vino verde ($8.99) took Seattle by storm during our first heat wave. We couldn’t keep it in stock and neither could the distributor. But thankfully it’s back, just in time for the hot weather! Light berry and pie cherry flavors with a thirst quenching effervesence and 10.5% alcohol make this a perfect wine to sip at an afternoon get-together.

2008 Protos Verdejo, Rueda ($10.99) The grapes for this wine are hand picked and kept at low temperature to preserve freshness. Protos Verdejo has clean aromas of grapefruit with lush citrus flavors, vibrant acidity and a persistent green apple finish. Pair this with ceviche for a light and cooling dinner.



Gardunha: A washed rind goat cheese from Portugal made with a milk thistle rennet. The semi-soft creamy texture is complimented by aromatic citrus zest. It’s lighly piquant flavor is grassy, slightly tangy & floral with white pepper and onion tones. $7.99/quarter lb.

Abrigo: 5 month-aged goat cheese in the format of Tronchón from the town of Catí in the region of Valencia. Abrigo is wonderfully herbaceous,sweet, grassy, slightly piquant and full-flavored with a lingering tangy finish. $5.99/quarter lb.

Serra de Estrella: Queijo Serra da Estrela comes from one of the coldest and highest regions of Portugal. These savory wheels of raw sheep’s milk cheese are made with cardoon thistle, raw sheep’s milk, and salt and can boast Portugal’s DOP name protection. Traditionally scooped out of its leathery cloth-bound rind with pieces of hearty peasant bread, Serra is a a soft, gooey, mildly herbaceous delight. As the wheels age, the paste becomes harder and chewier, but no less delicious. Pair Serra da Estrela with spicier reds like Pinot Noir or Syrah. $10.75/quarter lb.



Roland brand Duck and Pork Pates

La Espanola brand Piquillo Stuffed Olives

Dried Red Guindilla Peppers

Despana brand Chorizo and Morcilla

Costa Peruana Aji Amarillo chili paste from Peru. No preservatives!

Grey Mullet Bottarga Powder


Stay cool, enjoy the Blue Angels and the Hydroplane races this weekend, and stop in to pick up your picnic supplies!




Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

Spanish Table

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Filed under Cheese, Food, Meat, Red Wine, Spain

Travels in Rueda

Travels in Rueda


July 1, 2009

Driving out of Segovia raving over last night’s tapas of grilled asparagus, zucchini, shrimp, garlic and smoked salt, we head for La Seca in the heart of D.O. Rueda. Now widely renowned for its fresh white wines made from Verdejo, in the 1970s, the Verdejo grape was practically wiped out by more prolific varieties such as Viura and Palomino. Visionary Angel Rodríguez realized the treasure in his 17th-century Martinsancho Verdejo vineyard and refused to uproot it. For his untiring efforts in reestablishing Verdejo’s prominence in its region of origin he was officially honored by King Juan Carlos.


Angel Rodriguez in his vineyard

The majuelo (plot) of Martínsancho is less than an acre of gnarled vines, preserved in isolation as a museum of prephylloxera viticulture and as a continuing source of undisputed varietal authenticity, treasured by nurseries throughout Europe. In 1976, Angel regrafted 25 acres of his best vineyard, using Martínsancho cuttings. Rodriguez makes one wine: Martinsancho, produced from 100% Verdejo and made in the historic bodega that they’ve occupied since 1780. They still utilize the subterranean bodega which is 3 stories underground, replete with 5,000-liter oak bocoyes in continuous use for centuries.


Underground bodega at Bodegas Angel Rodriguez

At the opposite end of the winemaking spectrum but with every bit as much reverence for the Verdejo grape, is Bodegas Jose Pariente. Oenologist Victoria Pariente (one of only four women winemakers in Spain who also own their bodegas) inherited the passion for winemaking from her father Jose, who produced his own artisan wines. A new state of the art winery is still under construction and without a sign, it looks unoccupied from the highway. But drive around back and there’s a bee hive of activity! Every step of the winemaking process here is analyzed and controlled with the latest technology to preserve freshness and avoid oxidation, which easily happens with the Verdejo grape. The hand picked grapes are brought from the surrounding vineyards directly to a refrigerated storage cooler and then crushed and piped under refrigeration to temperature controlled fermentation tanks. The bodega uses nitrogen in all of the must handling to minimize oxidation. The pebble covered vineyards are from 40 years to 100 years old, situated in the “Golden Mile” of Rueda, the highest part of the plateau, whose Atlantic climate has strong variations of day and night temperatures.


In the vineyard with Victoria Pariente and her assistant


2008 Martinsancho Verdejo, Rueda ($18.99) The harsh continental climate and extreme altitude, together with the soil’s austere inhospitality to all types of insects and bacteria, allow for the practice of completely organic viticulture. From free-run juice, the new wine is racked into centuries-old subterranean bocoyes prior to clarification and bottling. 2008 was a cool, late harvest producing a full bodied, freshly fruity and minerally complex Verdejo.

2007 Jose Pariente Verdejo, Rueda ($21.99) Ecologically produced from 40 year old vines planted by Jose Pariente, the winemaker’s father. Daily battonage provides a creamy texture, backed up by fresh aromas of citrus and delicate pear flavors. …”The 2007 Varietal Verdejo is a superb expression of this once under-rated grape variety. The fruit was sourced from a 40 year old, 6-hectare estate vineyard. Medium straw-colored, the wine has an alluring fragrance of mineral, lemon-lime, citrus, and floral notes.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2007 Martina Prieto Verdejo, Rueda ($15.99) The daughter of Victoria Pariente makes this wine using extreme methods such as harvesting grapes at night to lock in the fresh aromatics. Martina Prieto bursts with flavors of creamy grapefruit, ripe pineapple, lime, flint, and a hint of cinnamon. Vibrant with acidity, this is the perfect wine to serve with octopus ceviche.

2007 Marques de Irun Verdejo, Rueda ($12.99) Fresh and lively on the palate, with aromas of white grapefruit. Unctuous on the palate, with flavors of citrus, a hint of honeydew melon and palate cleansing minerality. With a persistent, crisp finish, it pairs wonderfully with shellfish.



Gear up for barbeque weather this weekend! These are stellar reds to match with grilled ribs or lamb burgers:

2007 Vale Da Clara, Douro ($13.99) The new vintage of this red table wine is a staff favorite! Complex black fruit flavors are nicely structured by accessible tannins. Smooth and well balanced, this tasty red is perfect for quaffing when you’re sitting around with friends on the deck.

2007 La Planta, Ribera del Duero ($15.99) I had a glass of this at a tapas bar in Valladolid. It was sensational with my tapa of roasted eggplant, onion confit and carmelized cabbage. 100% Tempranillo, it has been barrel aged 6 months. There’s a hint of smoke behind the smooth boysenberry, licorice and black cherry fruit. With great food pairing acidity, it is full bodied, balanced, with a dry and pleasing finish. Recommended value wine under $25.00 by Wine Advocate.

2007 Clos de los Siete, Mendoza ($18.99) “Bright, full ruby-red. Crushed black fruits, mocha, bitter chocolate, licorice and smoked meat on the nose. Sweet, penetrating and firm-edged; … I like this wine’s balance of sweetness and acidity…” “There may be no finer red wine value in Argentina than this superb blend of 48% Malbec, 28% Merlot, 12% Syrah, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon… This lengthy effort over-delivers and then some.” 89 points Stephen Tanzer, 91 points Jay Miller


Winemaker tasting: Meet Martina Pariente, producer of Martina Prieto Verdejo at Tango Restaurant on Sunday July 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A selection of tapas will be paired with three red wines and the Martina Prieto Verdejo. $30.00. For reservations, contact Tango Restaurant 206.583.0382



Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

Spanish Table

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Filed under Events, Red Wine, Spain