Who isn’t looking for a bargain in good wine? Answering our prayers, Shopper’s Corner wine buyer and resident bargain-hunter Andre Beauregard managed to do “a little rearranging,” and has squeezed an additional two dozen Spanish wines onto those bulging wine shelves. This glittering array of new choices is happy news to those of us who have long since discovered just how cost effective are the wines of Italy and Spain.
To find a wonderful, drinkable, yet affordable red wine, you might stop mooning over those pricey Pauillacs and Gevrey-Chambertins (i.e. the French stuff, which I too adore, so don’t get me wrong), and check out the broad range of Spanish wines Beauregard has laid in for your enjoyment. An oeno-Sherlock, our Andre. “People love the Spanish wines because they offer incredible value,” Beauregard says. “Probably the fastest-selling import section in the store at the moment. I’m really excited about providing a larger selection for customers.”
He is, and so are we. Here’s what I’m talking about: We picked up an intriguing Montecillo Rioja, given 90 points by Wine Spectator—for a mere $13.99!—and brought it home. Here was a 2010 Reserva red wine that paired smartly with a filet of fresh steelhead and a side of garlicky braised kale. The wine’s medium weight of 13.5-percent alcohol carried hints of plum, leather, bay leaves and a finish of tangerine peel, all on a sturdy core of tannins. I can imagine drinking this wonderful, uncomplicated, yet solidly structured wine with just about everything—chicken, pasta, pork tenderloin, grilled cheese sandwiches. Now I regret even telling you about this wine. Please don’t buy it all up. I need to get more of it! And don’t neglect all of the other Spanish beauties on Shopper’s Corner’s shelves. Garnacha, Albariño and Tempranillo galore. Go make some new best friends. Affordable best friends. shopperscorner.com.
Product of the Week
Actually, make that products. We have fallen hard for Sir Kensington’s flavor-intensive condiments. Specifically the ketchup (thanks Meri!), the mayonnaise, and most especially, the Special Sauce. Here’s the deal. Sir Kensington’s products are the work of two enterprising New Yorkers (just reading the web descriptions of products reminds me of the heyday of Randall Grahm’s witty lingo-philic newsletter). It began, for us, with the ketchup, which I first tasted at Assembly. Somehow brighter and tangier than all other ketchups, this baby led me to the rest of the product line. We were smitten by Sir Kensington’s exceptional Classic Mayonnaise with its authentically pale yellow hue, loaded with free-range eggs, sunflower oil and hints of citrus. I put some of this atop a hard-boiled egg, added Ligurian capers and sighed. This label makes various mustards, egg-free vegan mayo variations, and chipotle-flavored items. But our favorite is the Special Sauce, the only sauce you will ever need. Think Russian dressing. Think rémoulade. Remember that trifecta of ketchup, mayo, and pickle relish? Well here it is with extra glamor. Tomato paste, dill relish, jalapeños, mustard seed, paprika, and garlic are the secret ingredients that add subtle kick and flavor distinction to a mayonnaise base. It is the condiment that hamburgers cry out for. You gotta try this stuff. Around $5 at food emporia such as New Leaf and Whole Foods. Total yum.
Lots of new food action in South County. Zameen has a spiffy new location across from Kaito and Verve on the Pleasure Point end of 41st Avenue. And an adventurous Italian eatery, Bella Vista, has just opened in Aptos’ historic Bayview Hotel. Looking forward to having a destination dining room in such a sweet spot. Stay tuned.