padron pepperPadrón Peppers are here:  The cool summer nights have delayed the ripening of this summer favorite, but now we’ve got a nice quantity!  More will come as hot weather rolls in.  To serve, sauté the peppers in Spanish olive oil until each side is blistered, then remove from the heat, top with sea salt, and serve as a tapa.  Easy and delicious.

HorchataHorchata de Chufa is in stock.  After a long hiatus, one of Spain’s most famous non-alcoholic drinks is here. A summer staple in Valencia, horchata is sweet and refreshing and often made with a touch of lemon and cinnamon. It’s healthy – full of iron, potassium, and antioxidants – and provides a great alternative “milk” for people who don’t drink dairy. In Valencia, horchata is served cold as a beverage or made into fabulous ice cream. Different than horchatas from other parts of the world which are made from rice or coconut, Spanish horchata is made from ground chufa nuts (‘tigernuts’ in English), which aren’t actually nuts at all – they’re the roots of a wetland plant called a sedge. From Mercado Little Spain:  The Chufa Sedge originally made its way to Spain during the al-Andalus caliphate, when Arabs ruled most of the Iberian Peninsula. The edible history of the plant goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt and Sudan, and it is mentioned in old Arabic and Persian texts as the central ingredient for a healthy, digestive drink. It has been cultivated in and around Valencia for nearly a millennium, and is considered so central to the region’s gastronomy that it has earned PDO status – a protected designation of origin.

Le Petit SalvardFriday & Saturday from 2-5:30 p.m., we’ll pop the cork on three wines.  Taste, before you buy, is our way to help you decide which wine to purchase.  Come every week and over time, sample a large selection of our wines.  This week, try Clos Alivu Corsican rosé, Petit Salvard Sauvignon Blanc, and Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial.   Whether you’re looking for cool refreshment or a great red to enjoy with food off the grill, one of these wines will fit the bill.

Load ZoneParkingUse the 15-minute load zone in front of our shop for quick shopping.  For longer stays, street parking has the best availability before noon on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.   Or use the Pike Place Market garage with 800 stalls, EV charging stations, and a new mobile pay option.  $4 per hour.  Early Bird Parking Rate: $13 for arrival by 9 am and departure by 9 pm.   Alternatively, place an order for curbside pickup at (follow the instructions on the home page) or call us with the order at 206-682-0679.

Tempier Bandol RoséDomaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2022 is here. ($49.00; pictured is the 2016 vintage)  A jewel of summer and an icon of the Kermit Lynch portfolio, this incredible and age-worthy rosé is in a class of its own. 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, the wine ferments and ages 50% in stainless steel tank and 50% in concrete tank for 7 months.  Certified organic.  “A classic Bandol, the 2022 Bandol Rose reveals stunning aromas of grapefruit, spring flowers, guava, lemon and iodine. The wine on the palate is medium to full-bodied, combining a fleshy core of fruit and racy acids with the impressive substance on the finish.” Drink: 2023-2026.” 93 pts Wine Advocate

Spanish vermouths:   Eric Asimov, wine writer for the New York Times wrote a terrific article this week about “La hora del vermut” or vermouth hour in Spain. Here is a link to the article, accessible just to subscribers to the New York Times.  Vermouth is an incredibly popular aperitif in Spain and Italy and singles out the following top Spanish vermouths which we have in stock:
Valdespino bodega tastingValdespino
Vermouth Jerez de la Frontera:  We are big fans of Valdespino sherries after visiting the winery a few years back and tasting through their sherry portfolio. It’s exciting to now carry their vermouth!  “This superb Spanish vermouth, from an excellent sherry producer, is made with aged oloroso blended with muscatel and infused with roots, herbs and dried fruits. It’s lightly sweet. But you get a whiff of the smoky, savory, umami of the oloroso, and it returns as you savor the dry, refreshing aftertaste. Great value alert!”  Eric Asimov, NY Times

BCN Ambre Vermouth MUT, Terra Alta:  A wonderful melange of wild herbs in this slightly sweet vermouth made from botanicals all within 25 miles of Barcelona.  “BCN Ambre Vermut “Mut”, Terra Alta is from Catalonia in northeastern Spain.  Made with garnacha blanca, or white grenache, macerated with a wide variety of herbs and spices. Some you can detect in this lovely, slightly sweet yet bitter and savory vermouth: clove, cinnamon, fennel, some sort of citrus. This is a superb example of a classic, modern Spanish vermouth, if that’s not an oxymoron, just right as an aperitif over ice, with a thin orange slice.”  Eric Asimov, NY Times

Alma de TrabancoAlma de Trabanco Quinquina en Rama, Asturias  We’ve carried this Quinquina for several years.  It’s apple notes from the cider give it an edgy and delicious complexity.  “Quinquina is a vermouth-like beverage in which cinchona bark, from which quinine is derived, is among the leading botanicals in the blend. This is doubly unusual because it is made with both white wine and unfiltered cider, which makes sense. Trabanco produces cider in Asturias, in northern Spain, where it is a traditional local beverage. This is bottled unfiltered, giving it a slightly hazy appearance. Yet it’s very much in the vermouth family, intensely herbal, moderately sweet and resolutely fresh and refreshing.”  Eric Asimov, NY Times