padron pepperIt’s August and Padrón pepper season is peaking. This is great news, as the price has now dropped significantly!  We carry peppers which are grown locally, in West Seattle, about 5 miles from the shop.  Our cool nights preserve the mild pepper flavor so that they taste just like the padróns in Spain. They are best when fried in olive oil until all sides are blistered, then dusted with salt.   Or, make a montadito (open-faced sandwich) by layering bread with a slice of jamon serrano and top with a sautéd padrón pepper.   Now:  $11.99/16 oz, $5.99/8 oz, $2.99/4 oz.

Cabrales cheeseCabrales blue cheese ($30.99/lb) is back in stock, and this is one of the best wheels of Cabrales we’ve ever had.   It’s got a gorgeous golden color with veins of blue cheese running throughout.  Its dry texture allows it to crumble easily into bite-size morsels.  With a flavor of sweet cream, nutty hints, it is flavorful but milder than other Cabrales wheels we’ve received.  Put a slice on grilled tenderloin steak.  Or just enjoy on its own with a white Godello wine from Spain, such as Bolo Godello ($15.99).

Fleur-de-ré-cendreeFleur de Ré Cendré goat cheese ($11.99 each) – I’ve been hankering for some great Loire Valley cheeses like the exceptional fromages that we found everywhere on our May walking trip.  We’ve now scored big with the artisanal Belevaire Fleur de Ré cendré!    These 5.25 oz rounds of goat cheese have been lightly salted with Fleur de Sel from the Ile de Ré, off the western coast of France (long famed for its salt production).  The rounds are then dusted with ash (cendré), which ages the cheese – softening the paste from the outside in.    The flavor is intense and delicious: slightly salty, creamy, with the sweet, dusty flavors of goat’s milk – clean and fresh, mouthwateringly tangy but not astringent.    Pair this with a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc or a bottle of Charles Joguet Chinon rosé 2017 ($20.99).

chateau peyrassol roseCháteau Peyrassol rosé, AOP Côtes de Provence 2017 ($35.00)  This blend comes from the oldest grapes in the domaine. Their low yield produces full-bodied grapes which bear the hallmark qualities of the terroir.  The grapes (Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Ugni Blanc and Rolle) are picked when the temperature is coolest and are vinified at the peak of their freshness, then aged in stainless steel vats for 6 months.  Pale in color, with soft rose-tinted overtones, Château Peyrassol radiates freshness. Its subtle nose of citrus, vine peach, apricot and fine floral notes is inviting. It has a beautiful, dense palate, delicate and lively, and is notable for its balance and full body, punctuated by a long, fruity finish.   It is the perfect accompaniment to fish soups, charcuterie and all varieties of grilled fish, but will also add sparkle to red berry desserts.

Enjoy Seafair weekend!  Sharon