Wearing a mask at Paris Madrid Grocery is no longer required as Washington State is now fully reopened.  The staff is fully vaccinated so we will not be wearing masks, and it will be nice to see all of your faces again. If you aren’t ready to drop the mask yet, please feel free to wear it in the shop.  We will continue to have our three air filters on, to filter out particles smaller than the coronavirus.  We’re cautiously excited about this move towards normal life!

Pincho skewersThis Sunday is the 4th of July and Paris-Madrid Grocery will be open from 11 AM – 5 PM for your menu and beverage needs.   We will also be open Monday, July 5 from 10 AM – 6 PM. for post-holiday shopping.  This weekend will be perfect outdoor dining weather, unlike the stifling heat that we endured last weekend.

What will you serve on July 4th?  Paella is always a fantastic choice and it’s especially festive cooked outdoors on a ringed burner; we’ve got a wide range of pans and burners in all sizes in stock.   Or make a salad in advance to serve with a mixed grill, such as uncured Fermin Iberico de Bellota solomillo, uncured Aljomar Iberico ribs, assorted sausages, or juicy duck breast.  See below for several delicious make-ahead recipes.

espinaler piquillosNEW!   Espinaler anchovy-stuffed olives and D.O. piquillo peppers:   Espinaler began as Tavern Espinaler in 1896 Barcelona.  Their famous salsa for tinned fish was created in 1950; today Espinaler produces tinned seafood. vegetables, olives, and vermouth, all with the idea to create great tapas. Serve these at a gathering this weekend; the whole piquillo peppers can be filled with a tuna, mayonnaise, and caper stuffing for a delicious cold tapa.

vega siciliaBodegas Vega Sicilia wines on sale: (Prices shown are not eligible for any additional discounts).   Is there a special birthday or anniversary coming up?
To lovers of fine wines, Vega Sicilia needs little introduction. This is by far the most prestigious wine estate in Spain, with an almost mythical reputation for quality and rarity. In a good vintage, only about 20,000 cases of wine are made and subsequently sold on a strict allocation basis. Demand in Spain alone well exceeds the total quantity available. The grape varieties famously include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, first brought to the estate from Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé vineyards in 1864. The other unique particularity of Vega Sicilia is the long maturation in cask and bottle before release. The Valbuena is only released after five years—three years in cask and two years in bottle. The Unico is always at least 10 years old, sometimes more, upon release. The wines are truly remarkable, with enormous complexity, intensity, and richness. The soft velvety texture, gorgeous mature flavors of black fruit, leather, and oak are absolutely unique. Where in the world does one find a wine that is released in confidential quantities only when completely ready to drink? – Europvin, U.S. importer of Vega Sicilia wines

valbuenaVega Sicilia Valbuena 5° 2015, Ribera del Duero (now $184.00, was $206.00)  Valbuena is the second wine of Vega Sicilia and is made every year.  In vintages when Unico is not made, the best grapes go into Valbuena.  The 2015 vintage is 95% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 5% Merlot, grown at 700-900 meters elevation, fermented with native yeast.  Aged 3 years in cask and 2 years in bottle, it is ready to drink now but can be aged up to 25 additional years if kept in ideal conditions.  “It’s explosive and showy, with a complex nose that shows a mixture of flowers and wild herbs, balsamic touches, and great nuance. This wine has gained in complexity since the 2010 vintage, where they implemented some changes that increased the expressivity and precision of this wine. The tannins are fine-grained and there is very good balance.”   96 points Wine Advocate

unicoVega Sicilia Unico 2010, Ribera del Duero (now $489.00, was $569.00)   Unico is the flagship wine of Vega Sicilia, made only in excellent harvests and is renowned for its finesse and longevity. The magnificent 2010 vintage is described by the winery as a vintage that will go down in history.  A blend of 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented with native yeast and aged 10 years in French and American 225-liter barrels, new and used, and 20,000-liter tanks.  “This is, in my view, the best Unico in the last decade, with unmatched delicacy and complexity and the potential to improve in bottle over many years. Quite intensely perfumed with blackberry fruits and elegant hints of clove and coffee, the wine is magical on the palate, with its extremely fine-grained texture, a surprising freshness, and a never-ending finish. After 10 years of aging, it is still too young and needs a long time to reach its potential, but it is difficult not to drink it now. Still the greatest in its unique style.” Drinking Window 2020 – 2050  98 points Decanter, Top 10 Reds Worth Seeking Out.  

alionVega Sicilia Alión 2016, Ribera del Duero (now $100.00, regularly $125.00)  Alión is produced at Vega’s second winery in Ribera del Duero, using the same viticulture as the Unico wine.  Alión is 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), aged 12 months in 95% French oak, 80% new. 2016 was the first vintage to age 10% of the wine concrete. “There was a time (until recently) when Alión sat in Vega Sicilia’s shadow. It was the neighbor, and all too obviously the junior partner, without an apparent sense of direction. With this vintage, it has made a real step forward. It starts with vivid red fruit aromatics, charming the drinker. Notes of subtle oak follow through. The palate is plump, with a developing rasp of tannin, showing notes as of very fine Florentine leather. Finally, the line of acidity comes through to refresh the finish.  Drinking Window 2025 – 2035”  95 points Decanter

1982 Kopke ColheitaA limited quantity of rare Kopke Colheita tawny ports (all 750 ml) are arriving next week.    Please call the shop at 206.682.0679 if you’d like to pre-order one of these bottles.  They are a memorable way to toast a special occasion.   No further discounts are eligible for these ports; limited to quantities noted below.
Kopke Colheita 1944, 750 ml – $675.00 – 10 bottles available
Kopke Colheita 1941, 750 ml – $690.00 – 8 bottles available
Kopke Colheita 1958, 750 ml – $450.00 – 4 bottles available
Kopke Colheita 1938, 750 ml – $780.00 – 2 bottles available
Kopke Colheita 1940, 750 ml – $745.00 – 1 bottle available

Beans should show up at the table as often as possible.  Not just because they are filled with nutrition but because they taste great.  Adding the tuna makes this a hearty main-dish salad, but you can omit it if you want to keep it lighter.  The pasta complicates the texture but it is a mere fillip.  The egg, which may seem extraneous, binds the dressing.   Serves 2-4

2 cups Cooked White beans
1 cup Cooked Fideau noodles
2  Scallions trimmed and chopped, green tops and all
1  Piquillo Pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons Minced Cilantro
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
¼ cup Matiz Alioli
1 Hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
1 tin North Atlantic Bonito Tuna packed in olive oil (optional)
pinch Salt
grind Black Pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill until ready to serve

These skewers, pinchos in Spain, espetadas in Portugal, can be made with slices of chorizo or little cocktail-sized chorizo called cantimpalitos.  Marinating in wine adds complexity to the flavors.   Makes 20 – 24 tapas; prepare ahead.

24 Bamboo skewers
1 pound Spanish style cooking Chorizo, cut in ½  inch chunks
24 Crimini Mushroom caps, match their size to the diameter of the chorizo
12 Spanish laurel (Bay) Leaves
1 bottle Spanish Red Table Wine, such as Borsao or Protocolo

On each skewer put:
1  Mushrooms cap
2  Chorizo chunks

Put bay leaves in the bottom of a shallow container large enough to hold skewers.  Lay skewers on top then add red wine to cover.  You can get by on enough wine to come half-way up, just covering the bamboo skewers, if you turn them once or twice while they are marinating.  Marinate for several hours or overnight.  Drain and grill, until the chorizo is hot through to the center and starts to sizzle.    Note:    If you skip the marinating step, be sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water so they do not burn on the grill.

Henriques & Henriques madeiraSWORDFISH WITH MADEIRA MARINATED MUSHROOMS ON SKEWERS     Makes 6 skewers
This recipe containing Madeira is a perfect dish to serve on July 4th.  Madeira was the drink of choice in the 18th century, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence was toasted with Madeira.

¼ cup French Butter
6 Bay leaves
4 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 pound swordfish, cut into 1 inch square cubes
1 cup Rainwater or other Madeira
1 pound Crimini Mushrooms caps

Heat the butter, bay leaves, and garlic until butter melts.
Pour over swordfish cubes, toss and let marinate for 1-2 hours, refrigerated.
Put cleaned mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with Madeira.
When coals are ready, skewer alternate chunks of swordfish and mushroom caps.
Grill over hot coals, turning to ensure even cooking.