Gift BoxWhile dark and rainy lately, it’s bright and cheerful inside Paris-Madrid Grocery.  Stop in to pick up ingredients and wine for holiday parties, and specialty gifts for foodie friends. Spend a minimum of $75.00 and receive a free wooden wine box.   

standard platter plus fruitStart off gatherings with a charcuterie board from Paris-Madrid Grocery.  Our crowd-pleasing house board includes three cheeses – a cow, a sheep and a goat cheese, along with three sliced meats – Jamón Serrano, chorizo, and Saucisson de Vic.   And why not  add a rich compliment to the board?  A 2.8 oz. (4-6 servings) of Rougie Duck Rillettes.   These rillettes are slow cooked in wine and spices until melt-in-the-mouth tender and delectable.  2.8 oz of duck rillettes are $10.99 additional for 2-6 servings.

JUST ARRIVED:
La RetortaPasculet mini torta-style, raw sheep milk cheese – this is the perfect size for intimate evenings with up to 4 people. A 4.9 oz round of unpasteurized sheep’s milk, produced with thistle rennet and salt.  This is one of the glorious soft cheeses where the top is cut off and the interior is eaten with a spoon or spread on toasted bread.  Flavors of a field due to its vegetable rennet, and it has a very creamy texture, almost liquid, the result of daily and continuous care.  It melts deliciously on the palate.  Awarded World’s Best Spanish Cheese, 2017-2018.  Vegetarian.
Torta del Casar, raw sheep milk cheese– The ultimate party cheese!  Rich, buttery, nutty, herbaceous and surprisingly sweet with a long, piquant finish.  Serve by thinly slicing off the top and scooping out this unctuous, soft cheese.  This is a vegetarian cheese, made with a thistle rennet.

Cinco Jotas Iberico Bellota JamonRESTOCKED:   Now is a great time to stock up on these favorite products!
Fabada Meat Kits
Ham Hocks
Butifarra (garlic-style sausage)
5J (Cinco Jotas) 100% Iberico de Bellota (acorn-fed) pre-sliced and packaged Jamón
La Casa powdered hot chocolate mix
Cola Cao
Bilbao Chorizo

Lonely Siren is a Portuguese-influenced restaurant that just opened on the Pike Place Market stairs.  We’ve been talking to the chef and owner as they developed a menu; it sounds fantastic and is online at Lonelysiren.com.  The restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner (except closed 12/12 for a private event).

WINE CORNER:
La Bretesche Brut NatureLa Bretesche Brut Nature 2021, Loire Valley ($22.99) 100% Melon de Bourgogne grown on mica and schist soils.  This grape is also used to produce Muscadet, the glorious white wine nicknamed “oyster wine” for its excellent pairing with oysters.  La Bretesche is aged 12 months on the lees with no dosage, so it is quite dry. Aromas of pear and apple are fresh and compelling. With rich flavors of white orchard fruit, racy acidity and a mineral-laden finish this is a wine that is fantastic with shellfish.

Les Demoiselles Chateauneuf-du-PapeLes Demoiselles de la Font du Loup Rouge 2021, Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($38.00)  Grapes for this wine come from higher elevation, north facing slopes with cooler nights, which translate into higher acidity.  Fresh aromas of bright red fruit are well balanced with notes of spices and white pepper.  Hints of earth and mushroom add complexity to this medium-bodied red.  With finesse and roundness, the mouthfeel is textured and enjoyable on the lengthy finish.  Great value!   80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, aged in concrete.

2013 Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port 2013, Douro ($63.00)  This single quinta vintage port is ready to drink now.   “Very elegant, with plenty of floral notes to the dark fruit, mineral and Asian spice flavors. Shows plenty of grip on the powerful, suave finish. Drink now through 2040.”  94 points Wine Spectator 
There are two categories of vintage ruby port. The classic vintage port is when wineries make a general declaration that the vintage was excellent and produced age-worthy wines, deserving of the vintage port designation.  The second category is a single quinta vintage port, when only specific vineyards produced excellent quality wines; in this case, the wines are designated a single quinta vintage port.  Typically, single quinta ports are not as structured as a classic vintage port; they are less expensive and ready to drink earlier.   Vintage ports are not filtered and must be decanted before drinking.   A glass of port is an excellent finish to the evening, especially when it’s dark and cold.