Saying hello to aught-fifteen

Reminder….Closed for January!

Yes, folks, just reminding the Faithful that we are closed through January.

Grand Reopening scheduled for the second weekend in February. Stay tuned for updates as Groundhog Day approaches. In the meantime, here are some photos from our Tenth Annual East Coast New Year’s Party. As always a good time was had by all! It’s become a bloomin’ Tradition!

Special thanks for the 3 liter Jeroboam of Prosecco donated some while back by our friend and wine merchant extraordinaire, Tristan. Yes it’s a BIG bottle! And it’s Heavy! And it was Delicious!

 

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Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting december 27 ’14

Closed Friday!

That’s right, it’s the day after Christmas, “Boxing Day” over the border, when hordes of shoppers are out looking for Bargains. Well, we have learned from experience that Lummi Island is not like that, PLUS there will be no fresh bread this week, so we are giving ourselves the day off.

But please come by on Saturday for the usual hours 2-6, taste some good wine, and relax away any lingering Holiday Tension!

 

 

 

Last chance for the Amazing Holiday Case Sale!
 

Our annual Holiday Case Sale ends this weekend. Buy any twelve bottles, and we will pay the sales tax (8.6%)! Even betterWine Club members get an additional 5% off! Offer good through closing time on Saturday, December 27!

We have brought in a lot of new wines in the last few weeks, so the selection has never been better. OMD, better hurry, only TWO SHOPPING WEEKENDS LEFT THIS YEAR!

AND REMEMBER: STOCK UP! WE WILL BE CLOSED THROUGH JANUARY!

 

 

Tenth Annual “East Coast” New Year’s Eve Gala Extravaganza!

Yes friends, it’s here again! From 7-9pm on New Year’s Eve we provide the wine, you bring something delicious to share, and when the Ball drops in Times Square we hoist our glasses and toast the Year of the Goat! (huh?…GOAT..?? There’s a whole YEAR of the Goat? What’s that about???).

Afterwards, as usual, you young folks can move on to your next party, and we old timers can get to bed at a decent hour! We have grown quite fond of this annual chance to thank all of you who have visited, schmoozed, chatted, laughed, and enjoyed yourselves with us this past year, and to look ahead together to more fun in aught-fifteen. Wine Club members free; Non-members welcome, donations appreciated.

Here’s the deal: We provide the space and the wine, and you bring your most delectable finger food to share. BEST DISH* WINS A NICE BOTTLE OF WINE! Mark your calendars and start planning your finger food.

*(Best Dish to be decided by an Independent Secret Judge who promises to taste every entry and make a completely subjective decision!)

 

Another Winter Solstice

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Dancing with Davy Jones

dscn1054Having followed the ongoing saga of the Green Ketch (“Ning Ning”) in recent posts, a little over a week ago we were surprised and saddened to see her sunk again, this time completely submerged. Arrrrr, we thought, there it is, lads, Davy Jones has finally gotten the upper hand, and a soberin’ thing it is…”

 

 

 

 

dscn1068 (Modified) So a couple of days ago we were delighted and amazed to see that like the proverbial phoenix, Ning Ning seems to have had other plans, because there she sat, fully afloat once again, another little Victory in our collective Ongoing Struggle against Entropy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Sutra

There’s been a lot of troubling news lately from nearly every direction, to the point that I find myself wondering many times a day, “Wtf is Wrong with people?” In part this little mantra provides a moment of comic relief that in some curious way makes it maybe a little more bearable. But really, at some deep level, it is easy to become discouraged at the increasing scarcity of basic Kindness and Compassion. Here’s a lovely passage from the Metta Sutta  that is a quieting reminder of whom we can aspire to become.

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings,
Radiating kindness over the entire world

 

This week’s wines

Scherrer Chardonnay ’11 California $30
Pale yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, pear, ginger and anise, with a suave floral quality; smooth and fleshy on entry, offering juicy orchard fruit and melon flavors with a bracing touch of lemon zest.

Ultimo Passo Primitivo ’13 Italy $13
Rich, ripe, almost untuous, with 15% raisined grapes, double-fermented on indigenous yeast to produce a perfect balance of acidity, aromatics, and pleasing palate.

Podere Ciona Montegrossoli ’12 Italy $14
Merlot from a hilltop vineyard in Chianti Classico, showing bright red fruit, subtle smoky notes, and a full-bodied, lush, feminine style.

Writers Block Cab Franc ’12 California $14
Complex aromas of fresh dark berries, black cherry, plum, and a subtle brambly profile. Tobacco, chocolate, and herbal flavors blend with a floral component and notes of toasted oak.

Betz Besoleil ’12 Washington $45
Grenache- based Rhone blend; Serious, densely packed wine with musky, brooding nose of deep black smoky and gamy fruit and pomegranate, with intense dark fruit flavors and bright acidity.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting dec 20 ’14 winter solstice

Bread Friday

20140724-123524.jpg- Sonnenblumenbrot (German Sunflower Seed bread) – white flour, rye, and loads of yummy roasted sunflower seeds. $5/loaf

- Buckwheat with walnuts and honey -  gorgeous and loaded with flavor. $5/loaf

- Breakfast treats
……..Chocolate Babka rolls in honor of Hanukkah; sweet egg bread dough filled with chocolate, butter and a hint of cinnamon
………Gibassier- a traditional Provence treat  with candied orange peel, tossed with sugar.

 

Holiday Case Sale continues  through Dec 27!

Our annual Holiday Case Sale continues through December! Buy any twelve bottles, and we will pay the sales tax (8.6%)! Even betterWine Club members get an additional 5% off! Offer good through closing time on Saturday, December 27!

We have brought in a lot of new wines in the last few weeks, so the selection has never been better. OMD, better hurry, only TWO SHOPPING WEEKENDS LEFT THIS YEAR!

AND REMEMBER: STOCK UP! WE ARE CLOSED THROUGH JANUARY!

 

 

Solstice Thoughts

Over this blog’s six year (OMD!) history, I have often taken the opportunities presented by solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days to muse about our ongoing astronomical situation. For example, last year at this time you were presented with this link to a fascinating little video illustrating the limitations of our childlike tendency to imagine the Sun as fixed in space while all the planets, comets, and its light-year-wide Oort Cloud revolve around it. No, the video suggested, the overall motion is more of a Vortex, because the Whole Kaboodle is moving through space at 45,000 miles an hour carrying the Sun and its orbiting disciples with it. This year we take the opportunity to stretch our creaky minds a little more.

Click on the image or here to run the next video, which imagines the path our Small but Beloved Solar System takes around the Milky Way every 226 million years. Each of those sinusoidal waves represents the 26,000 year precession which keeps moving our Pole Star around, wreaking Havoc in those eras when the Earth’s axis doesn’t happen to point to any particular star. For you sailors our there, it just means this is a Golden Time for Navigation, because there IS a North Star, and it has come in very handy over the last several centuries.

 

Tenth Annual “East Coast” New Year’s Eve Gala Extravaganza!

Yes friends, it’s here again! From 7-9pm on New Year’s Eve we provide the wine, you bring something delicious to share, and when the Ball drops in Times Square we hoist our glasses and toast the Year of the Goat! (huh?…GOAT..?? There’s a whole YEAR of the Goat? What’s that about???).

Afterwards, as usual, you young folks can move on to your next party, and we old timers can get to bed at a decent hour! We have grown quite fond of this annual chance to thank all of you who have visited, schmoozed, chatted, laughed, and enjoyed yourselves with us this past year, and to look ahead together to more fun in aught-fifteen.

Here’s the deal: We provide the space and the wine, and you bring your most delectable finger food to share. BEST DISH WINS A NICE BOTTLE OF WINE! Mark your calendars and start planning your finger food.

 

Winery dogs

It’s hard to say if this wine (see notes, below) is as good as I thought when I first tried it. Ordinarily I am not seduced by just another Pretty Label– you know, it’s What’s Inside that Counts, right? But alas, we all have our little Weaknesses, and yeah, like many of you I am a sucker for cute dog photos. So you should all buy this wine just for the label, and if it’s any good, well, all the better. As it turns out, it’s from a pretty reliable source; the fruit is from Washington State’s most hallowed wine region (Red Mountain), and the producer is Hightower Cellars, usually a source of pretty good wine.

Then there is also the other thing– almost every winery has a Winery Dog. For some reason they are usually getting on in years (it’s a senior position), are pretty laid-back, and pretty friendly. The big events of the day often involve standing up, shaking, and ambling to a more comfortable spot as the sun moves the shadows around. You know, sunny spot to sunny spot on cold days, and shady spot to shady spot on hot days. They have something to teach us, these icons of the wine industry…!

 

This week’s wine tasting

Shooting Star Chardonnay ’12   California    $12
Big aromas of citrus and apple; round on the palate, with stone fruit flavors and nice minerality on the crisp finish.

Casa Contini Biferno Riserva ’09 Italy $12
80% montepulciano, 20% aglianico; wonderfully smooth and balanced, with smoky blackberry, chestnut, and peppery aromas.

Monte Tondo Valpolicello  ’12    Italy    $16
A blend of some ripe and some raisined grapes gives this wine body and texture, along with notes of sour black cherry, spices, roses, and violets.

Steele Outkaste Red ’11 Mendocino $16
53% zinfandel, with syrah, tempranillo, petite sirah, and petit verdot; aromas of black pepper, raspberry, and cobbler, with palate of brambly blackberry, cassis, and spices.

Hightower Murray Syrah ’11 Washington $16
From legendary Red Mountain grapes; Ripe, rich and utterly enjoyable; lush red berry fruit followed by a complex, meaty mid-palate and a long finish.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting december 13 ’14

(as always, some photos will click open to larger versions)

Bread Friday

20140724-123524.jpgFresh bread is back for two more weeks through Dec 19th!

This week’s breads:

 

Holiday Case Sale continues  through Dec 27!

Our annual Holiday Case Sale continues through December! Buy any twelve bottles, and we will pay the sales tax (8.6%)! Even betterWine Club members get an additional 5% off! Offer good through closing time on Saturday, December 27!

Not only is this a great deal for both members and non-members, but it is also a good time to stock up for January, because the current plan is to close the wine shop until the first weekend of February!

 

 

The Italians (and a Croatian) have arrived!

Twice a year our favorite Seattle wine importer Small Vineyards puts on a tasting for area restaurants and retailers. They have a great selection of high quality, seriously underpriced wines from relatively small, mostly Italian wineries, and we will be pouring newly arrived selections (that we ordered in August) for the next few weeks, beginning this weekend with two of the new SV arrivals. The white, as it turns out, is not from Italy, but rather is from across the Adriatic in– I’m not making this up– Croatia! The wine is a lovely pinot grigio, see notes below.

In addition we will be pouring a lovely wine from the Chianti region of Italy, the Le Rote Chianti Riserva Colli Senesi  ’10. Because the grapes are grown a little outside the boundaries of the designated region, it can’t be called “Chianti Classico,”  which basically means you can get a great buy on a lovely Chianti.

 

Christmas Decorations

dscn1053 (Modified)It’s been a very long time since we’ve put up a Christmas Tree of any dimension. We do have a little fir in a big pot outside that in some years gets moved into the house for a few days with a decoration or two on it. It’s a little festive and takes a hand truck, but it has been easy and “enough” for our needs. We understand that those of you with children and grandchildren have different obligations, and the Whole Scene is no doubt de rigeur each year. But generally we are pretty minimalist around our place for the Holidays.

A couple of days ago, however, we received a curious package (thanks to Hans, filling in until Island Icon Bill C. recovers from a recent setback) via UPS, containing the little Live Tree shown here. It came pre-decorated with a little string of lights, red bow, and power supply. It’s easy, it’s comforting in an understated way, and it can be planted after the holidays to grow into a Real Tree someday. It is not something we would ever have bought for ourselves; but on this windy December night, with a fire in the stove, it supplies a measurable amount of Comfort for an absolute Minimum of Effort, and we toast the foresight and generosity of our benefactors with a hearty “Thanks!”

 

 

This week’s wine tasting

Krauthaker pinot grigio  ’13    Croatia    $14
From Croatia; Vibrant and harmonious, with well pronounced fruitiness and freshness; straw-yellow colour, crystal clarity; Nose hinting at apples, pears, peaches, kiwi, lemon peel and hay. Salty on the palate, with refreshing acidity.

Le Rote Chianti Riserva  ’10  Italy      $18.
95% sangiovese, 5% canniolo; lovely notes of cherry, black tea, sage, and red clay, with a delightful rustic flair.

Domaine Moulinier Rouge ’10 France $13
70% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 5% Mourvèdre; Nice spice and garrigue on the nose, with a broad palate of ripe red fruit, with a bit of orange note on the finish. Smooth and soothing.

Orowines Bluegray Priorat ’11     Spain     $16
Named for the llicorella slate of Priorat, which yields intense, terroir-specific wines from the harsh soils that challenge local varieties like Grenache and Mazuelo to the utmost, yielding tobacco and spice notes to the raspberry jam flavors. Rustic, earthy, spicy, and wildly aromatic.

Waitsburg ‘Three’ ’12    Washington     $23
Merlot, Malbec and Mourvedre; Cool aromas of blackberry, redcurrant, tobacco, spices and fresh herbs, complicated by rose petal and hints of licorice and menthol. Moderate density and texture with light dusting of tannins.

Wine Tasting