lummi island wine tasting st. patty’s weekend ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

No Bread this week

no bread todayJanice, our Stalwart Baker and indefatigable basketball fan, is away this week on an annual pilgrimage to some early tiers of March Madness. A long-time Spokane resident, she has a particular thang for Gonzaga, so the better the Bulldogs do, maybe the less bread there might be in your future…hmm

All you need to know is that there is no bread pickup this week. Those of you on the bread order mailing list should hear from her Sunday or Monday with the details of next week’s offerings.

It also means that for the first time this year we will be on the more “formal” tasting regimen (see wines below) both Friday and Saturday.

 

Robert Blake concert this Sunday

This Sunday, March 19,  we are hosting a return concert with our friend and singer-songwriter Robert Sarazin Blake, from 4-6 pm in the wine shop.

Robert is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest and in Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. Robert has visited the shop several times in the last few years, and we have grown fond of his engaging style. Almost exactly a year ago he did his first concert with us, and we are delighted to have him back for a repeat performance.

Btw, our shop is a great venue for acoustic music, and Robert’s concert last year was great fun!

Suggested performance donation is a modest $15 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass.

We only have room for about 20 people, and we are close to booked. If you want to attend, you should call or email asap!

 

Lost and Found

northfaceFrom time to time visitors to the wine shop leave behind various artifacts: hats, purses, credit cards, sunglasses, and jackets. Sometime around the Holidays someone left this quite new-looking North Face jacket on the much-admired Hat Tree in the bathroom.

It is black, very lightweight, with a hood. It is a men’s jacket, and fits me perfectly, thank you very much, so if someone doesn’t come to pick it up soon, it may get, um, conscripted into usefulness. So please contact us if it is yours or if you have an idea whose it might be.

 

 

 

 

 

Circling the Drain

photo by Gordon Wrigley

Tensions are running high in the New Amerika. As Rod Serling used to say, “you are traveling in Another Dimension,” in this case one where the Mad Hatter has become the most Powerful Person in the World, yet continues Speaking in Riddles and Blustering Nonsense, Filling the air with Confusion, and Ushering in the new Post-Fact Society.

And yet, despite his Madness, he seems to have reached deep into the Lovecraftian sewers, impossibly deep and hidden tunnels Below Us and called forth the Unspeakable Creatures of Loathing that have dwelt there Time Out of Mind. He has called them forth to be his Dark Lords and charged them with extinguishing All Hope and All Light, to fill every heart with Despair and Hopelessness, and Condemn them to an Eternity of Suffering.

On the other hand, it also fits the daily data dumps that somehow the Three Stooges have inadvertently taken over the country, and of course not being the Brightest Bulbs in the Box, have no idea how anything works, but are Completely Clear that the reason things don’t work the way they want is because there is a Conspiracy Against Them.

Bottom line: it doesn’t matter if this so-called Administration is the Embodiment of Evil or the Incarnation of Idiocy. Either way– or both ways at once– either way, the longer they are allowed to continue their Charade of Governing, the more grim becomes the Future of our Entire Planet.

If every single one of us committed a few minutes every day to do something concrete to fight this Menace, we can make a difference. This paragraph is what I am doing Today.

On that note, we hope to see you all this weekend, either Friday (no bread!), Saturday (low key and good for conversation), or Sunday’s Concert (another chance to celebrate Life)…!

 

This week’s wine tasting

Idilico Albarino ’15   Washington       $14
Pale lemon-yellow. Aromas of ginger apple and quinine; supple and easy to drink, showing moderate energy and lift to its apple fruit. A bit sweet/sour on the persistent, saline finish.

Altos Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda  ‘15   Argentina       $9
Bright ruby color; spicy aromas of fresh cherries and a balanced acidity that makes it fresh and juicy in the mouth, where fine tannins provide a long and pleasant finish.

Tenuta la Favola Fravolato
Fruity, with notes of strawberries and cherries; fresh, round, elegant and pleasant fruit extraction, with a strong aftertaste of cherries and plums. An elegant and charming wine!

Kaiken “Ultra” Malbec ’14    Argentina   $17
Floral, spicy aromas of blueberries and blackberries, with flavors of toasty and chocolate; inish is fresh, complex, and persistent with subtle spicy undertones.

Marqués de Valdueza Grand Vino de Guarda ’07 Spain $29
Old school Spanish style; lots of barrel time yields opaque cherry color with garnet edge; powerful, expressive nose of roasted almonds and sweet spices; and soft palate of dark ripe fruits and berries, with a textured palate softened by time.

Wine Tasting

You’re invited! Sunday Concert March 19 with Robert Blake!

Sunday Concert March 19!

Next Sunday, March 19,  we are hosting a return concert with our friend and singer-songwriter Robert Sarazin Blake, from 4-6 pm in the wine shop.

Robert is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest and in Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. Robert has visited the shop several times in the last few years, and we have grown fond of his engaging style. Almost exactly a year ago he did his first concert with us, and we are delighted to have him back for a repeat performance.

Our shop is a great venue for acoustic music, and Robert’s concert last year was great fun!

Suggested performance donation is a modest $15 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend!

Learn more about Robert’s music here.

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 10 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

dscn1364 (Modified)Buckwheat Rye- Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavor that really goes will with meats and cheese. This version is made with a mix of bread and buckwheat flours as well as some fresh milled whole rye meal. The rye and the buckwheat are mixed with the water for a few hours to get the enzymatic activity started and to allow the grain to hydrate before mixing the final dough, which also has some honey to balance the flavor of the grains. Neither buckwheat or rye has as much gluten as bread flour so this bread is a bit more dense that a white flour loaf -$5/loaf

Multi-Grain – Full of whole grain goodness as well as plenty of seeds! Made with a mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye flour Loaded up with a nice mix of flax, sunflower and sesame seeds as well. Made with a portion of the flour that is preferemented overnight to enhance the flavor and jump start the natural enzyme activity in fermentation. Makes great toast – $5/loaf

And for a bit of pastry –

Brioche Tart au Sucre A rich brioche dough full of butter and eggs, rolled out and topped with a bit more sugar, eggs and cream before baking. Makes for a rich and decadent pastry. As always I can only make a limited number and when they’re gone, they’re gone and you have to wait for the next appearance- 2/$5

Friday-Saturday Wine Tastings

dscn1247 (Modified)For the next few weeks we will continue the Impromptu Tasting model that has evolved when we are away. That is, when people come in to pick up their bread, someone (anyone) can select a bottle of wine from the displays which is then shared in the community tasting. This continues as more bottles are opened and distributed, like, you  know, Loaves and Fishes, until Empty, and a Good Time is had by All!

Then on Saturday we have the more structured tasting; see list below.

Why not come Both Days?..!

 

 

 

 

Letters to Congress

rally sign mod1When one becomes disoriented, or traumatized (shades of the same thing), the default mammal response is to raise your head, Get your Bearings, and Reorient. As the signs used to say: Stop, Look, and Listen…and wait for the panicky part of you to integrate your current experience into Some Kind of Meaning.

When Disorientation is Too Much for us to handle, we feel like that painting called The Scream, where  things are too Out of Control to make sense of, at least at the moment. These days I can only get so far toward integrating what has happened to Our Country in the last few months, as summed up in this sign I saw at the local Women’s March in January; it pretty well captures how I feel about the current state of our Nation, and why it feels rational to refuse to accept it.

Although we as individuals are powerless, I believe, as Bernie has emphasized, that if millions of us commit to even small actions, it will make a difference. Therefore my commitment is to write a daily, somewhat personal letter to someone who might have a Voice for Change. So far I have only sent three: John McCain, Steven Beshear, and Susan Collins. However futile, it feels curiously nourishing. I do believe that if we All do it, it Will make a difference!

 

Letters for Algernon

Curiously, when I started writing the above paragraph tonight, the title of this section popped into my head, and I was a bit baffled by how my Unconscious connected Algernon to current politics.

As some of you older folks will recall, way back in the late fifties Daniel Keyes wrote a short story, “Flowers for Algernon,” that won many awards, eventually becoming first a novel and then the movie “Charly,” for which Cliff Robertson won an Academy Award for Best Actor. The basic theme is that an intelligence-enhancing drug makes a lab mouse named Algernon super-intelligent. It is then tried on a retarded young man named Charlie, who jumps from an IQ of 68 to 185. But the effect is temporary, as for-some-months-brilliant Charlie figures out, and his awareness of his inevitable reversion to his former state evoked a particularly poignant sense of grief in the reader. Heavy stuff.

Upon reflection, some two-thirds of our entire Nation is somewhere between the Denial Stage and the Angry Stage of Grief that somehow Yet Another Republican Coup has taken place in our country, with Truly Alarming implications for the future of our Country and, indeed, Civilization As We Know It.

So. Algernon is a symbol of the Profound Sadness we have all been experiencing since November. It feels like the End of the World. But even though we are just lab mice in the latest Republikaaner Experiment, we can still write our millions of little letters, squeak our millions of little squeaks, and make every tiny step they take an Excruciating Ordeal. Mmmmm. Ahhhh, It’s a Curiously Soothing Fantasy…!

 

Saturday’s wine tasting

Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes ’14   Argentina    14
Highly perfumed aromas of lemon drop, white flowers, peppermint and white pepper. Supple, pliant and easygoing, with citrus, herbal and floral flavors joined by a hint of licorice.

El Castro de Valtuille Bierzo ’12    Spain     90 pts    $15
Pungent aromas of dried cherry, blackcurrant and licorice. Juicy, concentrated and focused, offering smoky, mineral-accented cherry and licorice flavors and a clinging, spice-tinged finish.

Celler Can Blau Can Blau ’14         Spain      91pts    $15
Aromas of ripe black and blue fruit with smoky mineral and licorice notes; Seamless texture, with sweet boysenberry, floral pastille and snappy spiciness. Finishes silky and long, with a sneaky tannic grip.

Rubino Punta Aquila Rosso     Italy     $15
Fragrant and rich, with fascinating mineral aromas, with notes of brandied cherries, mulberry jam, blueberry and blackcurrant, and spices; warm, complex, generous and vibrant.

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 3, ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

dscn1364 (Modified)Black Pepper Walnut- this bread made its debut last summer to rave reviews and has become a reliable favorite Made with a mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye flours, toasted walnuts and a generous portion of cracked black pepper to give it a nice spicy bite. A great bread to go with meat and cheese -$5/loaf

Rosemary Olive Oil – Made with a portion of the flour that is preferemented overnight to enhance the flavor and jump start the natural enzyme activity in fermentation. Made with bread flour and fresh milled whole white wheat, a little olive oil keeps the crumb soft and fresh rosemary from the garden gives it a nice flavor boost. This bread has a crisp crust and great flavor and is a good all around bread – $5/loaf

And for a bit of pastry –

Palmiers – aka “Elephant Ears”- A buttery puff pastry dough is rolled out, spread with sugar before being rolled up and sliced and baked to a delicious caramelized sugar goodness. Peter says these are one of his favorites so get your order in before he orders them all! I can only make a limited number and when they’re gone, they’re gone and you have to wait for the next appearance- 4/$5

 

Kicking and screaming into 2017

This weekend we reopen on our regular schedule after our winter break. Friday nights will continue on the Janice and Sue format, with our helping out as needed so as not to fatigue these Blessed Volunteers who have turned the lights and heat on the last two months of Fridays, and poured Wine for the Faithful, i.e., mostly Wine Club members.

Even after having experienced it firsthand last Friday, we are still trying to sort out exactly how their structure works. It is reminiscent of the zany explanation in Catch-22 of how Milo Minderbinder’s Officers’ Mess made a profit buying eggs and selling them for less than they cost. All we know is that guests get to pick out a bottle of wine they are curious to taste, pay a variable fee which is somehow calculated on the fly as the evening unfolds, lots of bottles get opened, everyone has a good time, and costs somehow get covered. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

The One True Dog 

Last week I talked about a growing Superstition that there is only One True Dog, continually reincarnated as our Next Dharma Teacher. As I mentioned last week, when we lost our Dear Girl Sylvie 10 years ago, I dreamed a dog like Cooper, and a few months later he Manifested in our lives in a most Unlikely way…too Unlikely to be Coincidence, maybe.

So this time while still grieving we threw our Prayers into the Cosmic Yellow Pages by calling Coopie’s breeder to see if any puppies were, you know, going to be available soon. And she said (I’m not making this up) “that is so interesting, because I had one puppy ready to head off to his ‘Forever Home’ (as she calls it) today, and due to an unfortunate circumstance he has just become available again.” So we went to meet him. We liked him. Tator liked him. Well, let’s say she tolerated him. Which is a Big Deal, as there are only about five dogs on the Planet she tolerates, which is to say she did not run directly at him at High Speed, Bite Him on the Nose, and Issue him a Ticket on, you know, General Principles.

His kennel name was Yule Tide (born Xmas Eve), which we have shortened to Ulee, a sometimes nickname for “Ulysses,” as introduced in a 1990’s Peter Fonda movie about a beekeeper, and which because of it’s many vowels, often appear in Crossword Puzzles. Our goal is for Ulee to meet 100 people in the next 100 days, of all sizes and shapes, in all kinds of Outfits and Hairdos, so he won’t be Weirded Out by People doing Their Things.

There’s no Cure for losing a beloved companion animal. But a new manifestation is the only Therapy we have been able to come up with over the years, and though we just brought Ulee home last night, he is already a Sweet Comfort. We hope to have him at the wine shop a little bit this weekend so you can all meet him and Welcome him to The World…!

This week’s wine tasting

Maryhill Viognier ’15        Washington       $14
Vibrant aromas of orange zest, honeysuckle, and pink grapefruit; flavors of lemon, pear, and white peach. The mouthfeel is delicate, yet full-bodied, with lingering notes of fresh flowers.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Pinot Noir ’10   NZ    $14
Mid-red, going slightly brick on the edge. Dark cherry and strawberry on the nose, but with savoury, earthy, forest floor complexities and velvety tannins.

Rubino Marmorelle Rosso ’14      Italy        $11
Negroamaro-Malvasia Nera blend; aromas of cherry, black currants, blueberries and blackberries; hints of nutmeg and cocoa that follow through on the warm and satisfying palate.

St. Cosme Little James Basket Press Grenache ’16      France $11
An old favorite from an ongoing solera* with an aromatic nose of cassis, cherry and lavender; rustic Old World style, with a firm mineral spine giving clarity and lift to the dark berry and bitter cherry flavors.

Lar de Maia 5°  ’13     Spain   $15
Tempranillo, Garnacha and Syrah; mouth-filling notes of concentrated fruit leather with lingering notes of cherry and pomegranate; lively and fruity with hints of vanilla, coconut and liquorice.

 

Wine Tasting