lummi island wine tasting nov 17 ’17

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Bread this week

Something a bit different this week to help everyone get ready for Thanksgiving—a selection of dinner rolls, 6 rolls per order, 2 each of three different kinds. Pick them up on Friday, throw in the freezer, straight into the oven frozen just before dinner and have delicious fresh rolls for Thanksgiving without the work!!!

Septieme Rolls – Made with mostly bread flour and a bit of fresh milled whole wheat, mixed and fermented overnight in the refrigerator results in crusty roll on the outside with a soft, fragrant crumb on the inside.

Petite Polenta Boules – Made with bread flour, polenta, milk and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness, then loaded up with pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch.

Cranberry Walnut Rolls – Made with bread flour, milk, brown sugar and eggs. Then loaded up with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

Two rolls of each flavor per order for $5; all orders come with 2 each of the three flavors.


Thanksgiving Week Schedule

History has shown that Islanders have Plans for Thanksgiving Week that do not involve coming to their neighborhood wine shop. And we are among them, off to Oregon for a family dinner, while Janice our dutiful Baker will be cooking dinner at home for a Crowd. Therefore, please note that the wine shop will closed both Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving weekend. We will reopen the following weekend, December 1-2 (OMD! December?…already??!) for our regular hours. We wish all of you a safe, warm, and congenial Holiday, and look forward to seeing you in two weeks!




Madeira wine has been around for a long time. It was poured at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, was so widely available that it often perfumed ladies’ handkerchiefs, and was known as the “Milk of the Old” for its restorative properties. It comes from the island of the same name in the mid-Atlantic, a shipping crossroads in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since ocean voyages of the day were often very long, it was not uncommon for wines to spoil from heating and oxidation. Madeira, it turns out, thrived on changes in temperature, developing appealing nuances of flavor when heated and showed no change in flavor with oxidation.

Thus Madeira became the only wine that is deliberately heated in the making, to simulate the effects of the long sailing voyages to the East. After fermentation the wines are fortified to 17-20% alcohol content, stored in “estufas” heated to 45 degrees C for at least 3 months, then cooled slowly to rest for several years. Bottom line: it travels well, stores well, and can stay fresh for years even after opening!

Madeira is made from various combinations of six local grape varietals, chiefly Tinta Negra Mole, a cross of pinot noir and grenache. Depending on the grapes used, it is classified into four levels of sweetness: Dry (Seco), Medium Dry (Meio Seco), Medium Sweet (Meio Doce) and Sweet (Doce). These terms refer to both the levels of residual sugar (which varies according to varietal), and also to other nuances of flavor, acidity, and balance. As a result, the sweetness designation does not necessarily predict one’s experience of “sweetness” of any particular bottle. Sweet or dry, it is a comfort on long, dark evenings. This weekend we are pouring a 5-year Reserva Madeira, a nice finish for your Holiday dinner.


Mar a Lago Update: Lost in Translation

The First Thing to go was Civility. That became clear very soon after the ’92 election, when Rush Limbaugh began his daily mean-spirited rantings about “dope-smoking” President-elect Bill Clinton and wife “Queen Hillary.” It was hateful and slanderous, and it broke all the Rules about Civil Dialogue. That was twenty-five years ago, and it has only gotten Worse.  Now we live in a deeply polarized Society with a Congress that is Unwilling or Unable to negotiate across party lines on Anything. And to a large degree ordinary citizens have also become barricaded in the Prisons of our own Beliefs, and most “News” has been replaced by Commentary and Interpretation.

The Surprising Polarities that emerged right here on Lummi Island over the past several months regarding a pretty inconsequential proposal to establish a bit of local Autonomy by forming a Parks & Recreation District demonstrate the challenges of community dialogue anywhere these days. The standing joke defines our Island as an Argument Surrounded by Water.” And that’s just in our one tiny community with (as far as we know) No Russian Social Media Intervention. The Takeaway seems to be that every community may have developed its very own Blend of Distrust and Fear that Someone wants to Take our Stuff, Invade our Privacy, or in any number of ways Thumb their Noses at the Values we hold Dear.

We have all developed the habit of Translating What Someone Says into What We Think We Heard Them Say. There is an ongoing process of Translation in any conversation which is deeply affected by our Fears and Expectations, making many conversations into adjoining monologues rather than Dialogue. As Richard Nixon once said, “I know you think you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is exactly what I meant.” To this day No One has Any Idea what that meant. Like more and more of our Political Discussions, Much is irretrievably Lost in Translation.


This week’s wine tasting

Kiona Red Mountain Riesling ’16
From 40-yr old vines on Red Mountain, off-dry style with well-developed bright fruit, pronounced minerality, and crisp acidity.

Sanguineti Cannonau de Sardegna    ’15     Italy      $12
This cannonau– a Sardinian varietal known elsewhere as grenache– offers dry and dusty aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate and plum that leave lingering, crisp, earthy and briny flavors that beg for food.

Jordanov Red ’15      Macedonia   $11
Cab, merlot, and vranec from limestone and sandy soils; shows n
otes of blueberry and densely concentrated fruit with a dusty, rich, long minerally finish of cherry and cherry pit.  read more

Tres Picos Garnacha ’14  Spain  92pts    $15
Heady, exotically perfumed bouquet of ripe berries and incense, with a smoky minerality and spice. Vibrant flavors of raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola show power, depth and finesse with velvety tannins.

Henriques Full Rich 5 yr Madeira
Dark gold with strong aromas and flavors of ripe fruit, with caramel, floral and spice flavors that turn toward tobacco and walnut on the finish. Mellow and very rich on the palate; ideal as an after dinner drink.


Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting november 10 ’17

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Bread this week

Barley & Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds –  Fermented overnight with a levain then mixed with a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled rye, barley and whole wheat flours. Some buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and toasted pumpkin seeds add to the flavor and texture. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/loaf

Kamut Levain – Kamut, also known as khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that has more protein than conventional wheat. Some people who can’t tolerate wheat find kamut to be more digestible. The bread is also made with a levain that is fermented overnight before being mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole kamut flour. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

And for pastry, a rich and delicious treat…

Chocolate Babka Rolls – A sweet pastry dough full of eggs, butter and sugar, rolled and spread with a chocolate filling, rolled up and cut into individual rolls that are placed in baking forms for baking and then brushed with sugar syrup after baking. I’ve heard some people say they hide these to keep them all to theirselves. As always, quantities are limited, be sure to get your order in early – 2/$5


Montreal Murals



Saint-Laurent Boulevard, aka “the Main,” has for centuries been Montreal’s primary artery, splitting the city in two. It has also characterized Montreal’s inviting culture of art, food, and expression. Since 2000 it has become a unique expression of cultural, gastronomical and social avant-garde.

(compare this with last week’s Leonard Cohen mural...)






There are currently over a hundred of these murals along or near the Boulevard, punctuating block after block of shops, cafes, bistros, and boutiques with bold, incongruous, sometimes puzzling, sometimes profound imagery.







The Really Nourishing Takeway here is that Community Art like this can make any wall, any neighborhood, any Corner or any Block into Something Unique and Special…!





Tator Talk

We returned from our two weeks away to find Tator still holding her own– alert, good appetite, defending her Territory against Ulee the Barbarian. She is again able to take our daily mile-or-so walk down along Legoe Bay and back, and doesn’t seem to tire. She is having a little more trouble going up stairs than before, but we think that will pass as she weans from her meds.

Given how she was two months ago, not able to stand up or walk on her own, we are relieved and grateful that she is doing so well. We have all our paws crossed hoping she continues on this healing path. We all like to make Dog Happy whenever we can…!


Mar a Lago Update: Science and Opinion

At my recent 50th class reunion, I had an enjoyable but troubling dinner conversation with a classmate about politics. He and his wife are Trump Supporters, while Pat and I are Trump Resisters. So some serious Polarities. At some point the conversation turned to Climate Change, and my friend asserted that there were valid arguments that “Climate has Always been Changing,” with the implication that our current changing climate is as likely Random Chance as due to Human Burning of Fossil Fuels.

While I think we achieved some degree of rapprochement around a general disgust, disdain, and disappointment with Political Players of both parties, Acceptance of the Reality of Anthropogenic (human-caused) Climate Change seemed a Bridge Too Far for them. And that is Troubling.

That which we call the Scientific Method generally holds that at any moment in time the “Truth” is the Best Answer human inquiry has been able to come up with to date on whatever subject. Science is never finished or complete. However, it is Content to accept the Best Conclusion available at any point in time about any particular issue. In the case of Climate Change, for over forty years mathematical Climate System Models have observed the relationships among fossil fuel consumption, concentrations of CO2 and other “greenhouse gases,” ocean currents, atmospheric and oceanic temperatures and salinity, winds, rainfall and wind patterns, polar ice melting, flooding, high wind events, and so on. With each year’s new data, models are updated.

These kinds of models cannot predict particular weather events in particular places on particular days. However, they have become increasingly accurate in predicting Trends: more heat overall means higher temperatures, higher winds, more evaporation and rainfall, desertification in some areas and flooding in others, more forest fires, and so on. These are Not Opinions. Scientific Conclusions provide us with the our Most Informed Guess about what will happen if we do X, or Y, or Z. “Most Informed” means “taking Everything we know into Consideration.” It’s not Opinion. It’s What’s Left after all the other Conflicting Opinions have been shown NOT to be true. Another way of saying this is: if 97% if the World’s Scientists agree on something, that makes it As True as anything can possibly be, and we ignore Warnings at our Peril!



This week’s wine tasting

Domaine de l’Amauve La Daurèle, Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret ’16    France    $17
Grenache blanc, clairette, viognier, & ugni blanc; expressive nose of white fruits, mirabelle plum, and acacia honey; soft on the palate with lively citrus flavors…very Food Versatile!

La Rocaliere Tavel  Rose ’16      France       $14
Scents of dark berries, cherry, and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

Quinta des Aves Noctua Syrah ’14   Spain  $15
Bright cherry red with purple hints. Deep and long-lasting aroma of red fruits and crisp, spicy strawberry; soft and fruity, silky and long on the finish.

Brunelli Apricale  ’16    Italy  $14
Sangiovese Grosso with a little Merlot and Cab Franc; Fruity and persistent nose of wild berries and spice. Soft and balanced with fine tannins this Sant’Antimo Rosso works well with any meal!

Syncline Subduction Red ’15   Washington    $18
Syrah dominant Rhone blend; perfumed aromas of fresh blue and purple fruit, spice, and herbs lead to rich fruit flavors and a plush texture that persists effortlessly through the finish. Delightful!



Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting november 3 ’17

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Almost home!

As mentioned last week, we will be away through November 4, so the wine shop will be open Friday but closed Saturday. Janice your baker will open the wine shop for Bread Delivery and Wine Tasting November 3, but the shop will be closed on Saturday.

We will be open again for regular hours 4-7 Friday November 10 and Saturday November 11. See you then!

Btw, the photo shown here is of the annual Round the County Sailing Race, which usually affords great viewing on Saturday as sailboats of all sizes brave the Fall Weather to sail around Orcas Island. Look for them sailing up Haro Strait in late morning, spinnakers flying in what is often Challenging weather!


Bread this week

Multi Grain –  made with an overnight pre-ferment; next day it is mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye, then flax, sunflower and sesame seeds are added for a nice bit of crunch and some extra flavor. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Pear Buckwheat – the preferment in this bread is a poolish, made with bread flour, water and a bit of yeast and fermented overnight. Mixed the next day with bread flour and fresh milled buckwheat. The addition of toasted walnuts and dried pears soaked in white wine makes for a really flavorful bread – $5/loaf

And for pastry, baker’s favorite…

Pain aux Raisin – made with the same laminated dough as croissants. The dough is rolled out, spread with pastry cream and sprinkled with a mix of golden raisins and dried cranberries that have been soaked in sugar syrup. Rolled up and sliced before baking.  – 2/$5



Here it is Thursday night and time for another weekly blog. At the moment we are ensconced at our apartment in Montreal relaxing before heading out to Yet Another self-indulgent group dinner. So far this week:

Monday: Holder

Tuesday: Hvor

Wednesday lunch: Pintxos

Wednesday night: Toqué

Today we visited the Montreal Fine Arts Museum.  Besides a wide range of exhibits within, the top floor of the Museum also boasted a terrific view of the nearby building-sized mural of Leonard Cohen, possibly Montreal’s most well-known Citizen.





This five-day fine wine and dine experience was put together on short notice by long time Friends of the Wine Shop Ryan and Ryan, who now live in Montreal about half the year. Shown left a Quiet Moment in our apartment before stepping out tonight for Yet Another Fabulous Meal, this time at Au Pied de Cochon, an Anthony Bourdain favorite!




This week’s wine tasting
Wine tasting Friday will follow Janice’s Plan, which we have never quite figured out. All you Friday Regulars know what we mean!

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting oct 27 ’17

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Yes, we KNOW it’s Upsetting, but…

As mentioned last week, we will be away through November 4, so the wine shop will be open the next two Fridays but closed the next two Saturdays. Janice your baker will open the wine shop the NEXT two weekends for Friday Bread Delivery and Wine Tasting.

Friday, Oct 27: OPEN for bread pickup and wine tasting

Saturday, Oct 28: CLOSED

Friday, Nov 3: OPEN for bread pickup and wine tasting

Saturday, Nov 4: CLOSED

We will be open again for regular hours 4-7 Friday November 10 and Saturday November 11. See you then!


Bread this week

Rosemary Olive Oil – made with bread flour and a bit of freshly milled white whole wheat for a little more flavor and texture. Fresh rosemary from the garden and olive oil to make for a nice tender crumb and a nice crisp crust. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Black Pepper Walnut- made with a nice mix of flours, 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 for pastry this week – a special Halloween treat!

Pumpkin Brioche: A brioche full of fall flavors – rich brioche dough full of eggs, butter sugar and honey then flavored with pumpkin puree! As well as all those pumpkin spices that make pumpkin pie so delicious – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  – 2/$5


Last week we stayed at a very comfortable B&B a few miles south of Annapolis, on a little peninsula called Arundel on the Bay. Anne Arundel is also the name of the county which includes Annapolis, also the Capital of Maryland. They are named after Lady Anne Arundell , who at the age of 13 was married by arrangement to Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore.

Mostly it was sunny and warm, with daytime highs in the mid-seventies, cooling toward 60 at night. Everything was still green, in the lovely light shades of the area.



We planned to stay in a little cottage near the coast. Arrived at 0130 after a delayed flight to find a completely unacceptable accommodation, and wound up at an unlikely motel in Bucksport, Maine perched on the water with a great view of Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. Even on a rainy day the view is soothing and still showing lots of fall color…(click photo for larger view)



more fall color near Blue Hill







Any trip to Maine involves lots of “chowdah” tasting…






This week’s wine tasting
 Wine tasting Friday will follow Janice’s Plan, which we have never quite figured out. All you Friday Regulars know what we mean!


Wine Tasting