Paella Santa FeIt’s time to kick off summer as Memorial Day weekend is here!  Picture languid days at the beach coming up, boating, camping and biking trips, and dining outdoors.  Cooking paella on a barbeque or gas burner outdoors is delightful, especially for a crowd, although it tastes delicious any time of the year.   It’s fantastic party food and the ingredients are a snap to take on camping trips.  And it can be cooked anywhere on a gas paella burner. This Thursday, May 23 starting at noon, and again on Saturday, June 1 at noon, come down to Paris Madrid Grocery and find out how to make this fabulous rice dish.  It’s quite easy to prepare, and it’s a crowd pleaser; kids and adults alike love it!    During our demonstration, you’ll see how to put together all of the ingredients, cook the complete dish and then receive a small serving when it’s finished.    The cost is $5.00 per person including a copy of our recipe.

Mercedes with Bomba RiceWe stocked up on paella ingredients last week with 1-kilo and 5-kilo bags of Valencian paella rice and Bomba rice from Spain.   We’ll be using Bomba rice for the demonstration, so if you haven’t yet tasted paella made with Bomba rice, come and try it!   (Bomba rice is a special strain of Valencian rice and it absorbs more liquid broth, giving the rice more flavor).   You can pick up essential ingredients such as rice, cured meats, saffron, Spanish paprika, broth, roasted piquillo peppers, and beans at Paris-Madrid Grocery and be ready to start making paella.   Our selection of paella pans is unsurpassed in the northwest, and we have ringed gas burners in sizes ranging from one-ring models up to professional sizes with 3 rings and extra BTU’s.    And get wine at the shop to serve with paella.  We recommend red wines from Rioja or Ribera del Duero with meat and chorizo recipes, dry and crisp rosês, such as Ostatu Rioja Rosé 2018 with seafood paellas.

Padron PlantsWe’re still selling padrón pepper plants and it’s time to put them in the ground.   Start harvesting in mid-July, if the weather is warm enough.

LA RIOJA ALTA WINES ARRIVE – The stellar 2009 vintage of Viña Ardanza Reserva and La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva are now in stock.    They are fabulous with paella.

Viña Ardanza wineLa Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2009 ($40.00):  “… one of the flagship wines from La Rioja Alta is the 2009 Viña Ardanza Reserva, the second year it has contained 20% Garnacha grapes. The balance of the blend, 80% Tempranillo comes from vineyards averaging 30 years of age. The two varieties were aged separately, 36 months in used American oak barrels for Tempranillo and 30 months for Garnacha, and racked every six months. It was initially closed, shy and serious, riper and a little darker than the 2008 but still very balanced, serious and harmonious. The palate combines power with elegance, with some tannins, focused flavors, some chalky texture and a rustic touch that gives it character.  93 points Wine Advocate

LaRiojaAlta_904_Gran ReservaLa Rioja Alta 904 Rioja Gran Reserva 2009  ($77.00)   “This super classical cuvée showcases the wines from Haro, silky and elegant after long aging in oak and a good future in bottle. 2009 was a powerful vintage, ripe but with good balance. The blend is approximately 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, fermented in stainless steel with a 78-day natural malolactic. The aging was in four-year-old American oak barrels crafted by their own coopers; the wines aged from April 2010 until April 2014. During that time, the wine was racked every six months, to be finally bottled in November 2014. This is usually my favorite wine from the portfolio, where the balance between aging and youth reaches its highest point. It’s developed but it keeps some fruit character, plenty of spices and balsamic aromas. The palate is polished but has some clout, with clean, focused flavors and a long, spicy and tasty finish. 95+  points Wine Advocate