Amboise marketNext Tuesday is Groundhog Day which is also the midpoint between Winter and Spring solstice.  Based on the current weather forecast, Punxatawny Phil won’t see his shadow in our region and we’ll have an early spring.  I’m ready for longer days and spring produce!

Paris kitchen towelsUntil sunnier weather arrives, you can bring a touch of Parisian cheer into your kitchen with Parisian-theme towels and Swedish kitchen cloths.   Now back in stock, themes include Macarons, Eiffel Tower and French dogs.

NEW!  Esporao EVOO in 3 liter format – We now carry this popular Portuguese EVOO in family-size.  Blended from olives grown in the south of Portugal, this oil is offers a green, fruity aroma with a light spicy aftertaste.

Chocolate and ChurrosChurros “Porras” are back in stock!   This thick style of churro is called a “porra” and ours are made in Spain.  They come frozen and only require 3-5 minutes of baking in a 350F oven.   Pair them with one of the thick Spanish hot chocolates that we carry (Blanxart, Valor or La Casa a la Taza) and enjoy a warming treat on a cold or rainy day.   Churros and chocolate also makes a fantastic dessert.

Fabada AsturianaOther popular products back in stock:
Fabada meat kit and auethentic Asturian beans to make this hearty stew
Picos and Regana crackers from Spain’s Andalucia
Monte Enebro ash coated goat cheese – a world’s best cheese award winner
Rabitos in gift boxes for Valentine’s Day

Preserved lemon creamPreserved Lemon Cream:   Preserved lemons add a depth of flavor to tagines or other dishes and we carry them in stock.  Now we also carry L’Epicurean Preserved Lemon Cream from France, and wow, did it elevate a tasty Cornish game hen into a bird so incredibly luscious that I was almost hoarding it.  This creamy paste contains lemons preserved in salt, sunflower oil, onions, extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, curry, mustard and celery.  Give it a try!  The flavor is amazing and it’s simple to use – just brush it over the poultry (or fish) and bake.

Zarate AlbarinoZarate Albarino 2019, Rias Baixas
$22.99  Fresh citrus aromas and rich vibrancy characterize Zarate Albariño.  With wild-yeast fermentation and aging on the lees, this wine offers a chiseled minerality and fantastic mouthfeel.  Weighty on the palate with briny marine notes and hints of salt.  This is a seriously delicious Albariño, excellent with Dungeness Crab. From 35 year old estate vineyards, the viticulture is almost fully biodynamic; the soil is worked manually, cover crops provide genetic diversity and biodynamic teas are used for vine and soil treatments. The estate uses no chemical fertilizers or herbicides.  A minimal amount of sulfur is added at bottling as required for the wine’s stability. “…a vintage with structure and acidity, still very young, a powerful vintage with more of everything and probably a long-distance runner. It’s varietal and clean, characterful, powerful and with a long, tasty finish, vibrant and almost salty.”  92 points Wine Advocate

Vallado TintoVallado Douro Red 2013 $16.99   This Portuguese red is a spectacular value that offers tremendous complexity for a modest price.  Balsamic aromas with notes of earth and mushroom are backed up by concentrated red fruit and hints of violets.  Medium to full-bodied with flinty and savory notes.  Smooth, balanced with mature round tannins, the lengthy finish is mineral-laden and refreshing.  It is drinking beautifully right now.  30% Touriga Nacional, 20% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, 5% Sousão, from a mix of vineyards, some over 80 yrs old. 25% was aged for 16 months in neutral French Oak.

Bouland Cuvee MelanieDaniel Bouland Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Mélanie 2019  $35.00  Don’t let the price of this wine put you off – tasting it reveals what an incredible value it is! A Cru Beaujolais with the grace and elegance of a red Burgundy, it is 100% Gamay from 70 year old vines.  Grown in volcanic blue schist soils, Cuvée Mélanie is lively on the palate with succulent black fruit and spicy notes.  Offering a pebbly texture with a mineral layer underneath, this is a gorgeous and textured wine.  “Medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety with a fleshy core of fruit, melting tannins.  Bright and charming.”  92 points Wine Advocate

LAN CulmenLAN Culmen Rioja Reserva 2015 ($66.00)  The jewel in Lan’s crown, Culmen comes from the oldest, low-yielding, Riojan bush vines within the most expressive block (Pago El Rincón) of Rioja Alta’s famed Viña Lanciano. 2015 Culmen is one of the best vintages ever.  Only the 2004 vintage received an equally high score (96 points) from Wine Spectator, which is notoriously stingy with high scores for Spanish wines.  “Full-bodied and dense with flavor, this big red is a gentle powerhouse, remaining plush and approachable, with currant, quince, tangerine, cola and vanilla flavors, supported by well-integrated tannins and bright, citrusy acidity. Harmonious and complete, this delivers a successful blend of traditional and modern styles. Drink now through 2035. 100 cases imported. 96 points.” — Wine Spectator