Redondo Iglesias bone-in Jamon SerranoThe centerpiece to any Spanish-theme gathering is Jamon Serrano.   If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own leg of Jamon, we are offering a 13.65 lb leg of bone-in Jamon Serrano for $100.00.   Normally, a jamon of this size would sell for $250.00 or more. This Jamon is not perfect, however; we sliced off part of the end before we realized it was a bone-in jamon, not a boneless ham…. yikes.   Made by Redondo Iglesias in Valencia, it has a mildly nutty, cured pork flavor.  There is only one available at this price, and it’s first come, first served!   (We also have an intact Redondo Iglesias bone-in Jamon Serrano which is $400.81 and weighs 17.31 lbs).

Amboise marketIn May Steve and I took a 7-day walking trip through France’s Loire Valley.   What a fantastic way to see historic, rural France up close.  Immense chateaux are as common as stones in the Loire River Valley, with incredible gardens and water features. We always shop farmer’s markets, but the Loire Valley markets were off the charts!  In Amboise, the regional market is famous and sells everything from bedding plants, prepared food including paella, cheese, fresh produce and fruit, wine and clothing.  Luscious strawberries and white asparagus in all sizes were in season and served everywhere, including on our picnics.  We hiked through villages, past farms and vineyards, beginning in Amboise and finishing in Saumur.   This area is a mecca for food and wine lovers.  After walking 10-12 miles per day, there were stellar culinary rewards waiting at the end of each day.

Cow & goat blend Loire cheeseBuche Vache-Chevre Melusine – A new cheese from the Loire Valley that just arrived, it is 50% cow and 50% goat’s milk, produced in the Poitou-Charentes region in the Loire Valley. A soft, bloomy log, it has a creamy texture and flaky center. The white pate reveals a complex, bold taste of goat cheese with sweet flavors of cow’s milk and caramel notes.  Very typical of the delicious cheeses we enjoyed daily on our trip.

Loire Valley wines:
Domaine du Haut Bourg MuscadetDomaine du Haut Bourg Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, 2017 ($14.99) The Côtes de Grandlieu vineyards are situated southwest of Nantes, close to both the ocean and the Loire River. The microclimate is as temperate as it gets in France, with very little fluctuation between day and night, allowing the grapes to ripen early.  The soils here are composed of sandy mica-schist and granite.  Aged sur lie for about six months and bottled unfiltered in March, the Côtes de Grandlieu offers a stony minerality and richness that is rare in a Muscadet, especially at this price point.    With bright acidity, it offers up notes of melon, citrus, and crushed rock.  Very dry, fresh, briny and opulent.  A perfect match for shellfish, and so delightful with oysters that Muscadets are known as ‘oyster wines.’

Joguet Chinon roseCharles Joguet Chinon rosé 2017, ($20.99)  When we reached each day’s destination on our Loire walking tour, we’d halt at the first appealing wine bar and order glasses of rosé and a snack.   (Later in the trip we started getting pichets of rosé for our room so that we could collapse in comfort).  The rosés from Chinon were our favorite and now that we’re home, we are reminiscing about our trip with glasses of the stunning Charles Joguet Chinon rosé.   Made of 100% Cabernet Franc, Joguet is practicing organic viticulture and is renown for his Cabernet Franc wines.  The rosé is produced by the saignée method (bleeding off some of the juice from a red wine), with attention paid to gentle extraction.  With a long, slow fermentation in stainless steel, the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation – a choice made to keep the freshness of the grapes.   The result is a bright and structured rosé that shows a purity of fruit.   A touch of savoriness adds complexity to juicy notes of cherry and spice.  Focused, dry and exceptionally thirst quenching.

Bourgeois Le Vert Galant roseFamille Bourgeois ‘Le Vert GalantCoteaux du Vendômois Rosé 2017,($13.99)   Loire rosés are made with a variety of grapes, allowing a wide range of flavors and textures.  ‘Le Vert Galant’ is made from Pineau d’Aunis, a favorite of Henri IV, whose romantic leanings earned him the nickname of “Le Vert Galant.”    Lean and fresh, it offers up notes of garrigue and is pure refreshment.

Pierre Guindon GamayDomaine Pierre Guindon Gamay, Coteaux d’Ancenis 2016 ($9.99)  – From a maritime-influenced 50-year-old vineyard, this lightweight wine is excellent at either ambient temperature or chilled.  Just 12% alcohol, its delicate dried red fruit notes dance across the palate.  Light and silky, it is marvelous with charcuterie and salads.

Domaine Thulon Beaujolais VillagesDomaine du Thulon Beaujolais-Villages 2016 ($11.99) – Another tasty Gamay red that can be chilled, this is from further south, in Beaujolais.     A cheerful red that pairs well with roast chicken or pasta, its supple tannins make it a perfect summer quaffer.  At this price, buy it by the case because It goes down very easily.

Thanks for reading.  We look forward to seeing you soon at the shop!    Sharon Baden