Join us for a wine tasting this afternoon! Sun is in the forecast and we are celebrating by opening this year’s vintage of rosé. Stop by Paris-Madrid Grocery from 4-6 pm, Friday March 31st, and sample some wine, shop around, and toast to Spring!
Two New Cheeses From Spain!
We’re introducing two new cheeses this week: Queso Los Beyos and Queso de la Serena.
Queso Los Beyos is a cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk (as well as ewe or goat’s milk, but never mixed), that’s ripened for at least 20 days, and for 60 days, if raw. It’s made by skilled craftsmen from the mountainous region of Asturias known as the Picos de Europa. Its paste presents a yellow-ivory color, with a firm texture, no elasticity (or very weak) and medium to high flakiness. Possessing primary aromas, and milk nuances, this cheese offers a persistent aftertaste that is both harmonious and delicate. Ideal as a snack, in sauces, salads, or with fruit. $30.99/lb.
Queso/Torta de la Serena-D.O.P. is the only cheese made with raw Merino sheep’s milk and vegetable rennet. It’s a traditional, farmhouse cheese, from Extremadura, made according to traditions passed down from father to son. It possesses a characteristic aroma of sheep´s milk, with an intense, slightly bitter flavor, which is not at all salty. Buttery and persistent on the palate, with a slight piquant quality in very ripe cheeses. The texture varies from creamy to spreadable. Because of its creamy consistency, it can be scooped out after cutting a circular lid along the top of the rind, hence the torta description. $22.99/lb
Fabada Asturiana (Asturian Bean Stew)
Many cuisines, the world over, feature regional dishes that are prized by food lovers practically everywhere, and become recognized as signature dishes. Fabada Asturiana, Asturian Bean Stew, is such a dish. Asturias, in Northern Spain, is famous for its ciders and hearty dishes. Like cassoulet, this bean stew is a rich, filling dish that’s perfect for the cold, blustery weather that characterizes this part of Green Spain. So popular is this dish that it has tended to eclipse other equally distinctive dishes from this region. In her The Food and Wines of Spain (Knopf, 1982), Penelope Casas tells of an undoubtedly apocryphal tale about the invading Moors, in the 8th century, whom upon arriving in Asturias were fed fabada by their Christian hosts. Later, in the afternoon, the story goes, the Moors feeling so sated by the meal, offered little resistance and the Christians were able to easily regain control of Asturias. While you may not have any invading hordes at your door to repel, Fabada Asturiana is the perfect dish to serve to friends for a long evening of camaraderie, wine and good conversation. The Paris-Madrid Grocery stocks all the ingredients necessary to prepare this signature dish: the beans (fabes de Asturias from La Tierrina Vaqueira, D.O.P, $16.49). These beans are an essential ingredient for any Asturian dish requiring beans. Once cooked, the beans remain whole, with a smooth skin, a soft center, and buttery to the palate. The meats, such as chorizo, blood sausage (morcilla), smoked or salted pork hocks, are also availble, including a pre-packaged, Asturian Fabada Stew Kit (Compango Para Fabada Asturiana), that assembles all the required meat ingredients in a single package, $24.99. Talk about convenience! We also stock the earthenware crockery, cazuelas, used to cook fabada, as well as a wide variety of Spanish olive oils, salts, pimentón, Asturian ciders (Castañon, Trabanco), and Spanish wines to complement your meal.
Three Wines To Pair With Fabada Asturiana.
Given the richness of this dish, it’s imperative to match the weight of the wine with that of the Fabada Asturiana–no wimpy, light-bodied wines will do. Keeping that in mind, and focusing on wines that hail fro Spain, we recommend the following three wines as ideal matches for Fabada Asturiana.
2014 Finca Villacreces ‘Pruno’ Ribera del Duero $19.99
We can’t say enough good things about the Pruno wine from Finca Villacreces. It hails from one of the most highly-regarded pieces of land in Ribera del Duero, the estate of Villacreces sits adjacent to Vega Sicilia along the Duero, and at the center of the Golden Mile. In 2003, the Anton family – owners of a Rioja bodega and one of Spain’s most famous Michelin-starred restaurants in the Basque country – purchased the estate and invested in revitalizing the property. Finca Villacreces is situated at 2,300 feet above sea level on poor soils comprised of lime, gravel, sand and quartz, which naturally keep yields low. The proximity to the Duero river helps protect the vines from and reduce the effects of the frosts that are common in the Ribera del Duero. The 2014 Pruno is a young, fruit-driven and straightforward blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from young and older vines in Finca Villacreces’s 63-hectare organically-farmed estate. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.
“Plum and boysenberry flavors are ripe and juicy in this plump red. Notes of tar and mineral impart a savory aspect, while firm tannins and orange peel acidity lend focus. Drink now through 2024. 5,000 cases imported.”
90 points, Wine Spectator.
2011 Bodegas Mauro ‘Mauro’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon $36.00
Mauro is the winery owned by Mariano Garcia, winemaker at Vega Sicilia for over 30 years, and perhaps Spain’s greatest winemaker. Mauro is his own wine.
“The 2011 Mauro contains 10% Syrah to complement the Tempranillo from different plots around the villages of Tudela de Duero, Traspinedo, Santibanez and Quintanilla de Onesimo in the province of Valladolid. The wine aged for 16 months in French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels, of which 30% were new. Right now, it’s slightly reduced and should do well with energetic decanting. It has ripe fruit, balsamic and exuberant, with spicy oak aromas and smoky notes. It’s an opulent and round wine, with glycerin and dusty, chunky tannins which ends a little warm and very dry. Drink 2014-2017.”
91 points, Wine Advocate.
92 points, Stephen Tanzer.
2014 Celler Vall Llach ‘Embruix’ Priorat $25.99
Cellar Vall Llach was founded at the beginning of the 1990s by the singer Lluís Llach, and the notary Enric Costa in Porrera, one of the nine villages in the south of Catalonia that together form the Qualified Designation of Origin (D.O.Q.) Priorat. Embruix is a multi-grape blend that changes with the vintage, and this year was Garnacha (42%), Cariñena (24%), Merlot (22%), and Syrah (12%) from younger vines (20 to 25 years old). The wines are always ripe, this is 15% alcohol and low in acidity (4.9 grams with a pH of 3.6) but generously oaked in light and medium-toasted, fine-grained, new French barriques. A surprisingly concentrated wine given the relative youtrh of the vines (6-12 years of age).
“This plush red delivers ripe, generous flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, lilac and vanilla, supported by well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Harmonious and lively. Drink now through 2024. 3,500 cases imported.”
90 points, Wine Spectator.
2 pounds very large dried white beans
3/4 pound morcilla (blood sausage)
3/4 poound chorizo sausage
1 pound smoked or salted pork hocks, cut in several pieces (if hocks are salted, soak several hours before using)
3/4 pound slab bacon, cut in chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon paprika
The night before, soak the beans in water to cover. Using the same water in which they have soaked, place the beans on the stove, adding the blood sausage, chorizo, hocks, and bacon. Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 cup cold water to cut the boil. Cover and simmer very slowly–the beans will probably take over 2 hours to become tender. Test frequently to avoid overcooking and remove from the flame immediately when they are done. Taste for salt.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil, garlic, and paprika until the garlic begins to sizzle. Add this to the beans, stir gently, cover, and let sit at least 1 hour.
To serve, reheat and transfer to a large, shallow casserole, arranging the meats on the top. Once you have presented the dish to you guests, cut the meats into serving pieces and serve with the beans. Guests should then proceed to cut up the meats so that they mix with the beans. Vina Pomal, a full-bodied red wine, is an appropriate choice.