lummi island wine tasting april 3 ’20

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Wine Shop Remains Open for Wine Emergencies!

In Solidarity with our neighbors across the country and around the World, the wine shop will continue to remain closed while Social Distancing is mandated, especially rational for us Old-Timers. That means no weekend wine tasting and no Friday Bread. 🙁

It is a well-known fact of Economics that alcohol sales usually rise during recessions, and This Shutdown is no different. We are pleased and grateful to have helped several of you cope with imminent Wine Emergencies, and continue to offer this service as necessary to Maintain Civil Order.

Fortunately for Public Health the wine shop has seen only a few visitors in the last few weeks, and provides a neutral environment to visit and, while maintaining appropriate social distance, fill your wine bags and  enjoy a sample or two while we visit.

 

 

Twentieth Anniversary

Today as we go to press (Thursday, April 2) we are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary. Yep, it was 20 years ago today, a beautiful day here on Lummi Island. The ceremony was held at  the cottage at Ann Morris’s studio grounds (where many of us have been doing yoga for years with Constance), and was led by our old friend Eileen, longtime Buddhist teacher and recent new Island neighbor just a block down the street. About twenty old friends and family attended.

In part of the ceremony I got to sing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” So probably that’s what was going on in this photo at left. We served tea to our guests in raku tea bowls I had made for our guests, and closed with an informal procession through the magical grounds of the surrounding Sculpture Garden. It was a beautiful, sunny, and warm Spring Day.

In the afternoon we filled the Beach Store Cafe with good friends, many toasts, a great dinner, and lots of good cheer, smiles, and warm memories. A very good day!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Blue Slates, Red Slates

An article in today’s New York Times discusses the differences in political leadership strategies regarding Covid19 among States. In particular, many states in the South and Southeast–Republican Territory- have only recently (and half-heartedly) advocated for social distancing strategies in their states and cities. The question on the Floor is how these different strategies will now play out across the nation.

Metaphorically, in order to start a nuclear chain reaction it is necessary to achieve sufficient density of atomic collisions per unit of time to establish a Critical Mass. The strategy of Social Distancing aims to slow the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic to give the world more time to develop effective strategies against it. Social distancing is aimed at Stopping the pandemic from reaching a Critical Mass.

Therefore we would expect states that instituted social distancing mandates early in the pandemic to achieve a stable goal of zero net new cases before states which are only now adopting the strategy, and with a smaller proportion of the population infected. This is because without social distancing the number of new cases keeps increasing exponentially, as with more and more molecules moving faster and faster and closer and closer together– i.e. a critical mass.

Curiously, Governors of Blue States, including our own Jay Inslee, California’s Gavin Newsom, and New York’s Andrew Cuomo, were the first to grasp the gravity of the coming pandemic and take immediate steps to reduce impacts, including closing schools, restaurants, and businesses where people gather in close proximity. At the moment there are some preliminary indications that the practice is beginning to pay off with slowing of the growth rate of new cases.

Many other nations were much better prepared to mobilize widespread testing to identify who is carrying the virus and who is not. Along with slowing the rate of spread of the virus, identification of active cases is the next piece of essential information to help us improve strategies for controlling and even eliminating the Tweetster’s Virus. (That’s right we are naming it after him since he has played such an important role in helping it spread so successfully by not believing it was Real. Let’s have a Big Hand for Corona’s Best Fiend…er….Friend!)

We are glad to be living on our little Island in our Blue-Green State out here in Northern Ecotopia through all of this. We don’t know what is going to happen, but a couple of things seem pretty likely: 1) the better we practice social distancing in our ccommunities, the slower the spread of the virus around us; and 2) the longer Red State subpopulations assert denial that the pandemic is real, the more difficult it is going to be for everyone.

Sorry, weekly wine tastings temporarily cancelled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 26 ’18

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Open by Appointment  for…er…um…Wine Emergencies   🙂

In Solidarity with our neighbors across the country and around the World, the wine shop will remain closed through the end of March, perhaps longer. That means no weekend wine tasting and no Friday Bread. 🙁

However, in keeping with our long-standing policy to remain a Valuable Community Resource, we will do our best to be On Call for the inevitable Wine Emergencies that are sure to arise under these difficult conditions. The wine shop has seen few visitors in the last two weeks, providing a safe environment to catch up while maintaining appropriate social distance, filling your wine bags, and maybe enjoying a sample or two while we visit.

Let’s face it, if This isn’t a Wine Emergency, Nothing is!

 

 

 

 

Flattening the Curve

While COVID-19 is exploding around the world, we are all trying to get our heads around its progress against us vs. our progress against it. In theory, there are three data points to watch which will inform us of our collective progress in getting it under control.

In most countries the number of cases at first increases at an increasing rate, becoming steeper as case numbers increase to infect more and more people without precaution. As shown at left, from early January China case numbers accelerated through late February, when strict containment efforts reduced exposures and new cases in mid-February. Since then the number of total cases in China has remained more or less constant. So we know it is possible.

There are two noteworthy points on the blue line for China. First, when the total number of cases reached about 70,000 in mid-February, it was nearly vertical as new cases were increasing exponentially. Then, against all odds, over a few short weeks that nearly vertical rate of increase dropped to nearly horizontal, where the number of new cases equaled the number of completed cases, a point of sustainable dynamic stability. So That is also Our First Goal: to stabilize and start decreasing the number of new cases.

The Second Sign of progress will be to decrease our number of active cases to zero, which requires that such cases are resolving faster than new ones are arising. As is evident in the chart, we are about a month behind China in onset and have a far smaller population, yet have already surpassed their highest level of infection.

Tense times, stay Safe!

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Unbearable Lightness of the Tweetster

Since so many of our Regulars share a certain Been-Around-the-Block savvy, there is no need to mince words in this Time of Existential Peril for our Nation, our Planet, and the Magic of Life Itself on this Dear Planet.

Nothing is the way it is Supposed to be. (see video clip) The world has gone insane. Our so-called President has brought civilization to the brink of Disaster with his Breathtaking Stupidity, abetted at every turn by his Republican playground bullies. Collectively they have no sense of responsibility, no higher values than Blind Party Loyalty, and as Lt. Worf would certainly agree, No Honor.

In recent weeks we have seen the nation’s Mayors and Governors step forward  of necessity to take up the Mantle of responsibility against the existential threat posed by the Virus. They are setting the kind of example we expect from All of our elected officials, and we are grateful for their Leadership and Commitment.

Through it all not a day has passed when the constant coverage of the Tweetster’s bottomless ignorance and breathtaking incompetence has not brought us to our knees in fear for our Country, our Planet, and the Future of Life on Earth.

On one positive note, the mutual sacrifices of freedom we are collectively experiencing and practicing speak of the higher goals most of us share as human beings. And the big reduction in driving probably isn’t hurting our climate preservation efforts, either!

 

This week’s wine tasting

Cana’s Feast Vaso Bianco ’18 Washington $16
Pinot Gris-Chard, Gewürzt-Muscat blend; aromatic and light, with pretty floral highlights and buttery texture; palate of apple and pear fruits with a hint of toast.

Three Feathers Pinot Noir Rose ’18 Oregon $20
Pale pink, with nose of fresh flowers and palate of strawberry, green apple, and melon with hints of brioche. Crisp and refreshing.

Folie a Deux Dry Creek Zinfandel $15
Fermented 20% whole cluster and aged four months in neutral oak; the aromas are pure, bright and fruit filled, with notes of raspberry, ash, cherry and flower; light, elegant, smoky finish.

Cana’s Feast Bricco Red ’18 Washington $16
Ripe raspberry, boysenberry and cocoa on the nose. Full flavors of cherry, brown sugar, and coffee serve as a base for more subtle mineral and iron nuances. Generous acidity and tannic structure support a long, round finish.

Baer Arctos Red ’13 Washington $39
84% Cab, 8% Cab Franc , 8% Petit Verdot; displays rich aromas of black plum and cherry, with notes of pretty violet, anise, bay
leaf, and savory cigar box. Seamless and silky on the palate, with fine tannins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting Spring Equinox ’20

click on photos for larger images

Wine Shop Closed Through March

In Solidarity with our neighbors across the country and across the World, the wine shop will remain closed through the end of March, perhaps longer. That means no weekend wine tasting and no Friday Bread. 🙁

However, in keeping with our long-standing policy to remain a Valuable Community Resource, we will do our best to be On Call for the many Wine Emergencies that are sure to arise under these difficult conditions. We can maintain appropriate social distance while catching up, filling your wine bags, and maybe offering you a sample or two while we visit! Give us a shout.

In the meantime, stay tuned for Updates and stay healthy! We can do this! Yes, we can!

 

Ten Foot Poles

Our vocabulary has long had expressions about the social distancing that we are now all committed to practicing, usually variations on the theme of refusing to touch something with a ten-foot pole. This is believed to have originated some 2000 years ago with Roman surveyors, who regularly used a measuring rod known as a decempeda (decem pedes = ten feet) in their work. Btw, the “foot” was standardized in 29 AD by Agrippa as 29.6 cm, more or less the same as it is now. Now That is a Legacy!

As to the modern use of the term, we find several noteworthy historical references:

One is from the The North Carolina Standard, 12 June 1839 about the political rise of famous North Carolina politician Henry Clay, that the “whigs” would not touch him with a ten foot pole; but many now declare they will not vote for any one that is opposed to Clay. — (click link to see original newspaper)

Another story has it that New York District Attorney Asa Bird Gardiner, when asked if he might be a candidate for Governor, said, “I wouldn’t touch the nomination with a ten-foot pole.” Btw, his is an interesting story.

 

Spring Equinox

March is a pretty Big Month when you think about it. You’ve got the Ides, when Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate in 44 BC, just about 75 years before Agrippa standardized the length of a Foot. You’ve got St. Patrick’s Day, something of a worldwide excuse to get tipsy all ’round the World. And you have The Spring Equinox, when for a moment the Sun passes directly above a point on the Earth’s Equator on its way north toward its most northerly annual position at the Summer Solstice in June.

By the way, like St. Patrick’s Day, many ancient Christian holidays  coincide with ancient pagan holidays, many of which were tied to major events in the solar calendar– solstices, equinoxes, and “cross-quarter days,” which have ancient significance in the human psyche.

This photo was taken at sunset tonight, March 19. From our vantage point the sun is setting just behind Duncan, BC on Vancouver Island, a tad north of West.

 

Mar a Lago Update: The World At A Standstill

In the last few days even Republicans have started to get it that they are not going to be able to BS their way through this particular Crisis. All the Spin has changed from “Nothing to see here” to “It’s a major crisis and we have it under control due to the brilliant Leadership of the Tweetster.” And even He seems Sobered by the Global Magnitude of the Problem.

At this point we are at a loss for words; it’s just Too overwhelming. But we think THIS will fill in the missing pieces in a holistic, right-brain, and thoroughly enjoyable kind of way…

Strange times. Scary. And yet, more than anything we have experienced before, this Global crisis is touching our common vulnerabilities as a species and uniting the world in poignant and unprecedented ways.

An old friend and colleague had a long-standing theory that only some “Catastrophic Global Crisis” would be able to bring the World together in a Common Defense. Well, at the moment the Virus from Hell and Climate Apocalypse are camped out on the doorstep next to the usual Petty Differences, Corporate Carpetbaggers, and Religious Shills, and for the moment they have our Full Attention. Maybe he was right; something like this Could Pull the World together in Solidarity. Let it be.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date : 16,241 as of 01/24/20

 

The wines we woulda tasted this weekend… 🙁

Cana’s Feast Vaso Bianco ’18 Washington $16
Pinot Gris-Chard, Gewürzt-Muscat blend; aromatic and light, with pretty floral highlights and buttery texture; palate of apple and pear fruits with a hint of toast.

Three Feathers Pinot Noir Rose ’18 Oregon $20
Pale pink, with nose of fresh flowers and palate of strawberry, green apple, and melon with hints of brioche. Crisp and refreshing.

Folie a Deux Dry Creek Zinfandel $15
Fermented 20% whole cluster and aged four months in neutral oak; the aromas are pure, bright and fruit filled, with notes of raspberry, ash, cherry and flower; light, elegant, smoky finish.

Cana’s Feast Bricco Red ’18 Washington $16
Ripe raspberry, boysenberry and cocoa on the nose. Full flavors of cherry, brown sugar, and coffee serve as a base for more subtle mineral and iron nuances. Generous acidity and tannic structure support a long, round finish.

Baer Arctos Red ’13 Washington $39
84% Cab, 8% Cab Franc , 8% Petit Verdot; displays rich aromas of black plum and cherry, with notes of pretty violet, anise, bay
leaf, and savory cigar box. Seamless and silky on the palate, with fine tannins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 13 ’20

click on photos for larger images

Wine Shop Schedule and War on Coronavirus… 

Yesterday Governor Inslee declared War on the coronavirus across our State. As numbers of cases continue to grow rapidly here and around the world, and as it will likely be some considerable time before a vaccine can be brought to bear, we are all being asked to help slow down its spread by actively practicing “social distancing” by minimizing physical contact with each other. Because it will likely be many months before effective treatments or vaccines are designed, tested, and implemented, social distancing is the best strategy we have at the moment to slow the spread of the virus. It will be inconvenient and annoying as well as a little scary and isolating. But it is also Prudent and does offer us some protection both individually and collectively.

Until yesterday we had been debating whether to stay open for wine tasting this weekend, and now these new protocols have made the decision for us.

Therefore, here’s what you need to know about our schedule for the next few weeks:

We will miss you! Stay tuned and stay healthy!

 

Friday Breads This Week

Barley, Whole Wheat, & Rye Levain – made with a levain also known as sourdough which is built over several days and allowed to ferment before the final dough is mixed. Made with bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat, barley and rye flours. – $5/loaf

Le Pave d’autrefois – (aka “old paving stones”) This is a ciabatta like bread which has a lot of hydration so it isn’t really shaped so much as simply divided into approximate squares – hence the paving stones name. Made with a mix of bread flour as well as fresh milled whole wheat, rye and buckwheat flours for a lot of hearty whole grain goodness. -$5/ stone

Black Pepper Walnut- Bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and rye. A fair amount of black pepper and toasted walnuts give this bread great flavor with just a bit of peppery bite to it. Would go well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Heavenly Butterhorns – a delicious pastry made with a rich Danish dough full of eggs, butter & sugar. The dough is rolled out and laminated with more butter before being rolled up and sliced, topped with almonds and glazed fresh out of the oven – 2/$5

(breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)

 

Mar a Lago Update: Corona Crisis

The past ten days have felt like a hundred # of Mass stuffed under great pressure into a Five # bag. Disturbing. Threatening. Out of control. Not likely to resolve itself any time soon. And all on the Tweetster’s Watch. This is the first Real Crisis he has ever had to face, and he is completely incapable of dealing with it. His usual band-aid assurances are woefully inadequate, leaving him no Cover from his responsibility. The Buck is circling outside his door and this time could actually stop right on his desk.

There can be no Real Leadership without full acceptance of Responsibility. We are about to see over the next few months how this will all unfold.  If no one takes Responsibility, Someone will have to be Blamed. Fingers will be Pointed; a Story will be contrived

Maybe this time there will be Blowback…

 

 

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date : 16,241 as of 01/24/20

 

The wines we woulda tasted this weekend… 🙁

Cana’s Feast Vaso Bianco ’18        Washington     $16
Pinot Gris-Chard, Gewürzt-Muscat blend; aromatic and light, with pretty floral highlights and buttery texture; palate of apple and pear fruits with a hint of toast.

Three Feathers Pinot Noir Rose  ’18    Oregon     $20
Pale pink, with nose of fresh flowers and palate of strawberry, green apple, and melon with hints of brioche. Crisp and refreshing.

Folie a Deux Dry Creek Zinfandel  $15
Fermented 20% whole cluster and aged four months in neutral oak; the aromas are pure, bright and fruit filled, with notes of raspberry, ash, cherry and flower; light, elegant, smoky finish.

Cana’s Feast Bricco Red ’18        Washington   $16
Ripe raspberry, boysenberry and cocoa on the nose. Full flavors of cherry, brown sugar, and coffee serve as a base for more subtle mineral and iron nuances. Generous acidity and tannic structure support a long, round finish.

Baer Arctos Red ’13      Washington    $39
84% Cab, 8% Cab Franc , 8% Petit Verdot; displays rich aromas of black plum and cherry, with notes of pretty violet, anise, bay
leaf, and savory cigar box. Seamless and silky on the palate, with fine tannins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting