Tinto de VeranoWe’re excited about several new products that will rev up your summer dining and refresh you during this week’s scorching temperatures.  New specialties are actually coming in, even with supply and shipping issues.
Here at the shop, we’ve been busy this summer helping everyone plan and enjoy gatherings with friends and family. How wonderful that we can see people again!  Thank you for shopping here for paella ingredients, cured meats, cheese and other specialties to make gatherings and reunions more special.

Gazpacho & SalmorejoHida Organic Gazpacho and La Tejea Salmorejo are in stock, chilling in the cold case, ready to refresh.  Gazpacho is a cold soup, and there are as many recipes for it as paella.  Hida’s version is the traditional mix of uncooked tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumbers blended with EVOO and vinegar.  Salmorejo is a thick tomato and bread soup from Cordoba made with EVOO, flour, and garlic.  It can be garnished with chopped hard-boiled eggs and thin slices of Jamón Serrano. Hydrate with one of these chilled soups on a hot day.

GazzosaLa Nostra Gazzosa carbonated lemon beverage:  In Spain, a popular summer drink is Tinto de Verano, a blend of half red wine and half lemon soda such as Fanta Limon.  In a pinch even 7-Up can be used, resulting in a sweeter, less than optional combination.  La Nostra Gazzosa is the best lemon soda we’ve found to make an authentic tasting Tinto de Verano with just a moderate amount of sweetness.  To prepare, make a 50-50 blend of fresh red wine such as Señorio De Peciña Tinto with La Nostra Gazzosa.  Serve chilled over ice on a sunny patio or at the beach.  It’s a low alcohol drink that is refreshing on a hot day.

Petit-Vasco-Navarra Oveja New!  A raw sheep milk cheese from the Spanish Basque region. Very aromatic with delicate nutty and piquant flavors.  The texture is smooth and creamy, and medium salty.   Delightful served with fruit jam, especially Membrillo paste or Jose Gourmet pumpkin and nuts jam.

Jose JamsJose Gourmet Jams:  Known for their incredible tinned fish produced from the best available fisherman’s catch, they now make artisanal jams with the same commitment to quality and flavor.  Pumpkin and Nuts Jam contains 85% pumpkin, 3% walnuts and sugar, prepared with cinnamon sticks.  It is superb on toasted brioche, or layer it in apple pie for an extra kick of flavor.   Red Fruits Jam is a mix of 87% fruit: strawberry, plum, cherry, peach, and sugar.   Excellent with crepes, croissants, or afternoon tea and cookies.

Thivin Beaujolais roseChâteau Thivin Rosé 2020, Beaujolais ($20.99)
   Certified organic.  A spectacular rosé that arrived a bit later this year (last year’s vintage is pictured), it is 100% Gamay Noir produced from 50-year-old vines.  The vines grow in a tiny 1-hectare plot that is certified organic.  Made by direct pressing after macerating on the skin for a few hours to achieve a salmon color, then aged in stainless steel vats at low temperature.  This delicately flavored rosé offers up notes of red tree fruit that are fresh and bright.   A vein of minerality underlies the fruit which adds a gorgeous vitality.  This beautifully subtle rosé is stellar on its own, or as an accompaniment to grilled fish.

Philippe Viret “Horus” Vin de France Orange Wine, 2019 ($39.00)  Winemaker Philippe Viret is famous for developing Cosmoculture, a system of farming similar to biodynamic agriculture but with emphasis on the earth’s energy fields.  This might sound too esoteric if he didn’t produce amazing wines, but his cuvées are indeed spectacular. Horus is one of the best skin-contact orange wines we’ve found, with gorgeous floral aromatics.   Vibrant and fresh with spicy notes, it is well-structured with a lingering finish.   Horus is a blend of Grenache Gris, Vermentino, Viognier, Muscat d’Alexandrie, and the obscure Aranel, planted in pebbly limestone. Fermented half in amphorae built by a local artisan and half in steel, the wine macerates on its skins for six months, after which point it is pressed and returned to said vessels for another six months. Typically Philippe does not add sulfur at any point during fermentation or bottling.

Corisca AlbarinoCorisca Albariño Ecologico 2019, Rias Baixas ($22.99)  100% Albariño from 10-40 year-old vines grown in granitic soils, certified organic. A family-owned winery that practices minimal intervention winemaking, the grapes come from a 4-hectare vineyard.  The fruit ferments spontaneously with native yeast and is aged on the lees to add richness and body. Corisca offers up aromas of pear with a hint of tropical fruit.  Bright and vibrant, on the palate flavors of lemon curd are fresh with pervasive mineral notes. Corisca has a pleasing weight on the palate and a dry, lingering finish that repeats the mineral hints.   Fantastic with any seafood!

black slate prioratBlack Slate La Vilella Alta Priorat 2018  ($20.99)  This was the winner of our wine tasting dinner last weekend.   We taste blind by putting each bottle in a paper bag; after all the votes are cast, the wines are revealed.  La Vilella Alta is mostly Garnacha and Carinyena with a tiny bit of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in half concrete tanks, half French oak. The red fruit aromas are inviting, and on the palate, the wine is fresh and complex.  Notes of minerals, dust, earth, and wild herbs are subtle, mingling with velvety fruit flavors.  The finish is lengthy with well-integrated acidity and smooth tannins.  Medium to full-bodied, it paired wonderfully with a variety of meats and vegetable dishes.  This is a seriously great value!   JD 93 points