lummi island wine tasting aug 8 ’20

click on photos for larger images

New: Saturday Outdoor Wine Tastings By Appointment!

We have tidied up the wine shop entrance area to accommodate limited Saturday afternoon outdoor wine tasting appointments for two parties of up to four people each. To minimize overlap between groups we are scheduling the first group for 2:30 and the second at 4:00. Tasting fee is $5 each for a flight of four wines. Social distancing rules will be observed, and hand sanitizer will be provided. See guidelines below.

Social Distancing Rules:

1. Everyone must wear a mask whenever they are not seated;
2. Groups sharing a table must be a “pod” like a family or close friends that regularly share space together or otherwise take responsibility for managing social distance within their group; and
3. Everyone agrees not to arrive before their appointment begins and to leave before it ends.

Obviously seating is very limited; call number next to our logo (above, right) or email us at to make a reservation.

 

Wine Shopping: Online or By Appointment

We are grateful for the continuing support of your phone and email wine orders while the Shutdown continues. We think we have put together a worthy selection of better-than-average-for-the-price wines to suit the demands of this stressful time.

Wine orders can be ordered by email or by phone for pick up here at the wine shop by arrangement, or during Friday Bread Pickup at the ferry parking lot. Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings.

When you have made selections, you can submit an order as follows:

 

 

Chateau de Donjon, an Old Favorite Back in Stock

Back in October 2011, driving north from Carcasonne, we tracked down an old winery called Chateau Donjon, in the somewhat rustic region of Minervois. It was located in an old castle-and-former-monastery dating back to the 12th century, and less than 30 minutes from Carcasonne. We had  been buying these wines for several years, enjoying their reliable quality and modest prices, the two most important characteristics of wines we prefer to carry.

As it turned out, we arrived around mid-day on a Sunday, and knocked on the Door (which was ajar) (remember, this building is essentially a huge medieval castle, with a huge door like an old Cathedral!). As there was no answer, we were heading  back to the car when the door opened and we met Jean Panis, the owner-winemaker, whose family had been making wine there for five hundred (we are not making this up!) years! Though the place was officially closed, he gave us a very brief tour and tasting in what must be one of the oldest rooms we have ever been in. Might have been a dungeon, or prayer room, or who-knows-what back in the 12th century.

The whole interaction took less than a half hour, yet felt like a very kind gift. Indeed, after we had left and were driving away, M. Panis came jogging across the street with a bottle of wine for us. Charmant, n’est-ce pas?  All you need to know is that the wine he gave us is one we have carried for many years, and of which we have just restocked the most recent vintage. It tastes like Real Wine, and some of us are quite fond of it!

Chateau du Donjon “Grande Tradition” Minervois 2016  France     $15
Powerful primary aromas of ripe black fruit and hints of strawberry/raspberry. Very dense on the palate, with black fruit and red cherry flavors. Firm, structured and exceptionally rich.

 

Mar a Lago Update: Stressful Times

A recent update from the American Psychological Association (APA) predicts the mental health effects of stress caused by the Covid pandemic will be serious and slow to heal. Their recent national poll found that nearly half of American parents are experiencing stress levels between 8 and 10 on a ten-point scale (higher than non-parents) suggesting that managing education at home during school closures on top of providing for basic family needs during the economic slowdown are constant burdens.

Similarly, a related article in the NY Times (lost link) discussed the effects of stress that all of us have been feeling as familiar routines and social contact have been disrupted for so long. When we add our most recent six months of the pandemic to the previous three years of Reality-Twisting Mad-Hatter-ness from the White House, we can see how completely Reasonable it is for us to feel adrift, worried, confused, and helpless.

Sadly, it has been clear from Day One that neither this Administration nor its loyal Republican members of Congress have even dimly grasped the magnitude of the threat posed by the virus nor embraced a cogent national response. They assured us the virus was not serious, predicted it would simply disappear, downplayed the need for masks, and pressured governors to reopen businesses and schools even while daily new cases were still rising.

According to one estimate based on outcomes in Australia, early focus on testing, social distancing, and quarantines could have saved the lives of most of the 150,000 Americans who have died and will continue to die from the virus under this Administration. So the truth turns out to be not only that the T could shoot not just one person on Fifth Avenue and walk away, he has killed over 150,000 of us with his unaccountable Stupidity and Hubris, and nothing whatsoever has changed! It is hard to grasp the magnitude of what this Nation has lost in the past four years in honor, in trust, in respect, in intelligence, in loyalty, and in friendship, all lost to ignorance and personal ego, the pettiest of reasons.

This leaves us in what feels like our weakest position of the past four years. As the election approaches, we can feel the Rules we have counted on and taken for granted all our lives as our Solid Foundation looking vulnerable and under attack from the highest levels, from the White House and Congress, through the Executive Departments and even the Supreme Court. Things could get Very Ugly over the next couple of months as Republicans amp up their vote-rigging operations across the nation, closing polls here, losing ballots there, disenfranchising voters here, finding uncounted favorable ballots there. Not to mention launching attacks, declaring martial law, cancelling the election altogether, or disappearing the opposition. There is cause for concern, and we all feel it.

On a positive note, there are more of us than there are of them, and every year for the next decade or two that trend is likely to continue based on simple demographics. No one really knows Why TF any sane person would become a Republican, but whatever those reasons are, their numbers are dwindling as the nation grows more culturally diverse. If we’re very lucky, maybe they will all run to a cliff and throw themselves into the sea while smugly thumbing their noses. And we would all Cheer wholeheartedly at the sincerity of their Vision. Nothing personal. Just, you know, the Darwin thing.

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 31 ’20

click on photos for larger images

New: Saturday Outdoor Wine Tastings By Appointment!

We have tidied up the wine shop entrance area to accommodate limited Saturday afternoon outdoor wine tasting appointments for two parties of up to four people each. To minimize overlap between groups we are scheduling the first group for 2:30 and the second at 4:00. Tasting fee is $5 each for a flight of four wines. Social distancing rules will be observed, and hand sanitizer will be provided. See guidelines below.

Social Distancing Rules:

1. Everyone must wear a mask whenever they are not seated;
2. Groups sharing a table must be a “pod” like a family or close friends that regularly share space together or otherwise take responsibility for managing social distance within their group; and
3. Everyone agrees not to arrive before their appointment begins and to leave before it ends.

Obviously seating is very limited; call number next to our logo (above, right) or email us at to make a reservation.

 

Ordering Wine Online

We are grateful for the continuing support of your phone and email wine orders while the Shutdown continues. We think we have put together a worthy selection of better-than-average-for-the-price wines to suit the demands of this stressful time.

Wine orders can be picked up here at the wine shop by arrangement, or at Friday Bread Pickup at the ferry parking lot. Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings.

When you have made selections, you can submit an order as follows:

It’s that Simple!

 

 

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier

Over the past few months we have brought in a couple of very tasty and very inexpensive chenin blancs from South Africa that have sold out quickly. (Btw, we just restocked the MAN chenin blanc, so plenty on hand! ) This weekend we will probably be pouring a chenin blanc/viognier blend from Napa Valley’s Pine Ridge winery. Here are the winemaker’s notes:

Crisp, bright, and vivacious, CB+V 2019 is an aromatic white blend boasting a bouquet of honeysuckle, orange blossoms, ruby grapefruit, white peach, and jasmine tea. The entry is both bright and mouthfilling exhibiting refreshing acidity and roundness, opening to flavors of tangerine, lime, and lemon curd, lemongrass, ginger, white peach, and green apple. This delicious wine finishes clean and long with a lingering hint of lime.

We find on the nose an dominant aroma of used whiskey barrel floating over the fruit, an unusual characteristic in any wine, particularly a white wine. It has crisp, lemony-grapefruit acidity and a lingering aftertaste of whisky barrel with a touch of, hmm, let’s see…orange creamsicle…? All in all it seems to be going in two flavor directions at once and both remain distinct. Very unusual…hmm…maybe one more taste will sort it out…!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Darwinian Economics

Both law and environmental economics are largely concerned with the murky intersection between individual rights and social responsibilities, sometimes referred to as the tension between “property rights” and “amenity rights.” Both recognize the need  for a definable balance between the two. One current local example involves a conflict between a fellow in our county who has claimed for some eight years the right to have a motocross course on his Private Property while his neighbors claim their own right not to have to bear the substantial nuisance of the noise that spills widely across a large area. (case for; case against)

The legal thinking around these kinds of conflicts has generally taken a page from King Solomon in that as each conflict arises, a court determines who gets what shares of the baby. Over the course of human history the same battles over the limits of the right to hurt others have been fought over and over to the point where there is now a fairly well-formed general consensus in law that property rights, like punches, are constrained by liabilities for the disamenities imposed on others.

Indeed it is widely accepted in law that willfully causing another person physical harm or life endangerment is subject to both legal and civil penalties. These principles are such commonplace elements in our social and legal fabric that is impossible to grasp wtf is going in the “minds” of those in the Tweetster Base who militantly insist they have the Right Not To Wear a Mask regardless of the harm they do by spreading the disease. Indeed, there have already been several senseless deaths, including two fatal murders ( a security guard in Flint, Michigan and the victim of a security guard in Southern California) as well as a police killing of a man involved in a different confrontation in Michigan. It’s insane.

To a large degree the Tweetster has deliberately undermined all attempts by public health officials to encourage the universal use of face masks in public spaces. His ambivalence since the beginning of the Covid epidemic has led some millions of his base supporters to join him in ridiculing social distancing and refusing to wear face masks in public. Any normal human being in his position would have immediately grasped the gravity of the Covid threat, mobilized and led an appropriate set of damage control measures, and minimized damages. A recent study from a credible Rhode Island research group suggests that if appropriate policies had been deployed by mid-February, over a hundred thousand American lives could have been saved.

Think about that for a minute. And then think about the many other hardships these idiots have brought us with their arrogant incompetence. Politicizing the wearing of protective face masks could conceivably wind up costing Republican Covid Denier Louie Gohmert his life, but he still insisted on talking to his staff about it in person, and claims he will begin taking hydroxychloroquine, presumably because he believes whatever the Tweetster says about anything.

Which brings us to the Darwin awards, a mock honor reserved for people who are killed and removed from the gene pool as a result of Fatally Stupid Decisions. Will their refusal to wear masks reduce their numbers enough to improve the average intelligence of the surviving gene pool? Or will it wreak such havoc that no one at all survives? Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion! Read more

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 24 ’20

click on photos for larger images

New: Saturday Wine Tastings By Appointment

We have tidied up the wine shop entrance area to accommodate limited Saturday afternoon outdoor wine tasting appointments for two parties of up to four people each. Last Saturday we had three groups at intervals through the afternoon, and it worked very well for both our guests and us. This week we are accepting reservations for two groups of four people, the first at 2:30 and the second at 4:00. Tasting fee is $5 for a flight of four wines. Social distancing rules will be observed, and hand sanitizer will be provided. See guidelines below.

Two weeks ago we had a trial  run of an outdoor tasting for four on the front deck of the wine shop. We learned a lot, and had a good time in the process– it was good to be back!

As shown at left, our local sales rep you all recognize continues to keep us stocked up with tasty wines at attractive prices. See offer below for one we tasted just today (Thursday).

There are Three Rules for Tastings:
1. Everyone must wear a mask whenever they are not seated;
2. Groups sharing a table must be a “pod” like a family or close friends that regularly share space together or otherwise take responsibility for managing social distance within their group; and
3. Everyone agrees not to arrive before their appointment begins and to leave before it ends.

Obviously seating is very limited; call number next to our logo (above, right)  or email us at  to make a reservation.

 

Ordering Wine Online

We are grateful for the continuing support of your phone and email wine orders while the Shutdown continues. We think we have put together a worthy selection of better-than-average-for-the-price wines to suit the demands of this stressful time.

You can order wine for pickup here at the wine shop or at Friday Bread Pickup at the ferry parking lot. Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings.

When you have made selections, you can submit an order as follows:

It’s that Simple!

 

 

Attention Shoppers!

We are happy to offer our Faithful a limited-time opportunity to order a very tasty Spanish blend of garnacha and carinena (grenache/carignan packed in a wooden case for $96 (that’s right, $8.00 per bottle!). The wine is from Castillo de Monseran with these tasting notes:

An easy drinking, fruit-driven wine. Herbal overtones on the nose, bursting with ripe berry and plum fruit typical of Garnacha. Soft and round on the palate with gentle, well-integrated tannins making it suitable to be enjoyed while young. Lingering red fruit on the finish.

Folks, this is a great deal! In full disclosure we admit a certain bias toward any blend that includes carignan (aka carinena in Spain). If you like red blends with big  fruit flavors and a soft texture you will find this a great value. Let us know asap if you want some; minimum orders six bottles.

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Existential Fear of Chaos

Most of the polls are now showing Joe Biden leading by 10 or 15 points in polling surveys. It should be comforting, but it isn’t. And the main reason it is not comforting is that the last four years have taught us that Facts– you know, the observable and verifiable measures of Reality Itself– have been rendered largely obsolete by the Cognitive Quicksand of the New Republicanism. Examples include the 20,000 (Twenty Thousand) documented Public Lies told by the Tweetster in Chief since taking office; every single thing ever uttered by Senate Majority Leader McScoundrel; the shameful, adolescent whining of the Republicans on the House Impeachment Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, dedicated Authoritarian AG Barr, and many, many more.

At every turn leading Congressional Republicans have supported every action of the Fake President to destroy the global climate and Life that depends on it, to destroy the prestige and power of the United States around the world, and to continually  put a heel to the poor to favor the rich in their legislative agenda. And by the way, during these last four years they have turned their backs completely on the historic Republican “values” of strong alliances, strong military, and balanced budgets.

We have discussed over recent months the many parallels between the messaging of the Republican Party and the deliberate, ongoing, crazy-making destruction of facts under Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Mao, and many more as described in On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder. These are precisely the same tactics. Right-wing network giants like Fox and the associated array of religious radio stations use to advocate and amplify the same politics. It is appropriate to fear these forces. These are powerful people with no sentimental attachment to the Constitution or other noble values.

Our deep-seated Fear is that the Right has split so far from the founding values of our nation that they no longer have any will to support them. On the contrary, the indications are everywhere that they now see their role as to start a rebellion against those values, ultimately perhaps to strip away much of the Bill of Rights in the process. They have gone this far, our Unconscious tells us, without apology or ethical concern. And it is logical to fear that no set of rules will keep them from playing every dirty trick in the book to win.

As economist Joan Robinson put it many years ago: Every economic system requires a set of values, a set of rules, and a will in the people to carry them out.

If the values are not universally shared, the system is in Big Trouble.  No wonder we are uneasy…

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 18 ’20

click on photos for larger images

New: Wine Tasting By Appointment

For the past couple of months we have been exploring how we might recapture some of the living energy of our usual weekly wine tastings at the ferry overflow parking lot for a couple of hours on Friday afternoons. Since Janice had already established the venue for weekly Bread Pickup and Happy Hour, it seemed worth a try. But after some reflection on how that has gone, we have decided NOT to continue the practice. Instead, we will drop down to pick up our bread, put out our chairs, and join you to schmooze, share a little wine, and visit in the relative safety of the spacious outdoor setting.

We have tidied up the wine shop entrance area to accommodate very limited Saturday afternoon outdoor wine tasting appointments for groups of up to four people at a table. There will be the usual tasting fee of $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Social distancing rules will be observed, hand sanitizer will be provided, and masks are encouraged.

The current plan is for two sittings per Saturday, at 3:00 and 4:30. Our goal is to have little or no overlap between parties, and adequate social distancing both between and within the separate parties. Any group that chooses to share a table takes responsibility for appropriate distancing among its members.

Obviously seating is very limited; call number next to our logo (above, right) to make a reservation!

 

Ordering Wine Online

We have been enjoying filling your phone and email wine orders since the Shutdown began in March, and are planning to continue that practice until we can reopen safely. For the many of us of a Certain Age, that probably won’t happen until there is an effective vaccine.

You can order wine for pickup here at the wine shop or at Friday Bread Pickup at the ferry parking lot.  Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings.

When you have made selections, you can submit an order as follows:

It’s that Simple!

 

 

Art Will Save You

Last fall,when the world seemed normal and maybe even a little hopeful, our artist for Studio Tour was Kim Obbink, with her beautiful water colors of plants and sea creatures. A few weeks later when she took down the show, she gave us a handful of  cards that just said “ART WILL SAVE YOU,” without saying much about them. We have had some in the wine shop and one on our refrigerator in the house since then. They seemed a little mysterious, but having spent twenty years or so as a potter, it had some resonance. You can find out more at the website of the same name.

When I noticed one of the cards this week in the wine shop, it reminded me of how much I enjoyed watching the conversation between Governor Inslee and Paul Simon on Zoom last week. The card reminded me of how insightful I found Paul Simon’s ability to tie art and music to the deeper truths that keep us sane in difficult times. He spoke of how unifying it has been for him to play music with people of widely varying cultural backgrounds from all over the world.

Art and music seem to be some kind of common denominator that all people share, a language of feeling that can express realities and common human experiences that cannot really be expressed in any verbal language. When we paint, we only paint. When we sing, we only sing. No language to trap the mind. It brings a certain freedom that is its own kind of salvation. Take time to make, write, build, paint, craft, sing, sew, doodle, or play something, however simple. It’s a crazy time, and Art may be the mercy that will keep you centered.

 

Mar a Lago Update: 108 Days Till Next Election

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock. The referee waves his (or her) arm…the clock is ticking. And it sounds Ominous.

We now approach a National election that could either restore or extinguish our National commitment to the values of Liberty and Justice for All that we Old-timers were nurtured in and willingly committed ourselves to as children in the Fifties. Today’s news included discussion of how the Republican Party has increasingly morphed toward pandering entirely to the Tweetster’s simplistic Populist Messaging.

We saw in the words and behaviors of Republican members of Congress during the Impeachment hearings last Fall a preference for mock outrage over Reason. All of their little speeches were clones of each other, aimed mockingly, angrily, and emptily against the truths and values we were trained to hold dear.

Over the last few months we have seen a continuing practice among Republican Senators, Representatives, and Governors to tell outright lies in support of their Party’s President with full knowledge that he has, in the most profound sense Star Trek’s Lt. Worf could imply, “They have NO Honor!”

At present there is considerable speculation as to whom Joe Biden will select as his running mate. Over the past couple of weeks we have seen several interviews with former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, very much formatted as public vetting for the job. With all of the Dark Forces that seem to be gathering before us, not unlike something from Tolkien, she has presented herself as intelligent, poised, experienced, and competent, and we are happy to provide her with the full endorsement of our tiny wine shop on our tiny island our here in Northern Ecotopia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting