lummi island wine tasting july 19-20 ’19

Friday Breads

Kamut Levain – Kamut, aka khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain with more protein than conventional wheat. The bread is made with a levain that is fermented overnight before being mixed with with bread flour and fresh milled whole kamut flour. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. A great all aroundbread – $5/loaf

Barley/Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds – Also made with a levain starter mixed with bread flour and fresh milled rye, barley, and whole wheat flours. h buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and pumpkin seeds for flavor and texture. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/loaf

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 and brushed with sugar syrup after baking. – 2/$5

 

Bayview

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Yesterday we took our trailer to our favorite nearby State Park, Bayview on Padilla Bay, and rendezvoused with Peter and Sandy in their new Airstream. It has been sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny, and overall a pleasant getaway.

In keeping with our collective wine shop philosophy, we have shared good food, good wine, and good conversation. And, of course, good dogs! And it is late, so a short post tonight…

Hope to see you all this weekend!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Two Shots at Survival

As suggested last week, those of us who deeply and devoutly want to see the Tweetster’s Tiny Hands wrested from The  Controls of Power have our work cut  out for us.

The First Challenge is to Defeat him in the 2020 election, and that battle has already begun in earnest. Two dozen candidates are vying to be the Democratic candidate to oppose him. On the positive side, the campaign offers an a 16-month chorus of anti- Tweetster voices, and a solid majority of potential voters wants him gone.

On the down side, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability to frame his constant Lies so that every entranced disciple hears only what s/he wants to hear while disregarding everything else, even things they would not tolerate in any other politician. As psychiatrist and cult brainwashing expert Robert Lifton has noted, charismatic leaders have  extraordinary powers over their followers’ wills.

The Presidential campaign for the 2020 election is now well underway. We have seen the Democratic Candidates debate, and any of them would be a major improvement over the Tweetster. And when we say “Major Improvement,” we mean first and foremost slowing, stopping, and reversing the political, economic, social, and environmental Disaster that threatens the very existence of Life on our dear Planet Earth through Climate Change.

Meanwhile every Republikan* Party member asserts, with the Amused Hubris that only extended periods of having one’s head Completely Up One’s Ass can possibly explain, that Climate Change is not happening, and even if it is it has nothing to do with human activity.

(* our answer to the Tweetster’s “Democrat Party”)

The Second Challenge for 2020 is to wrest control of the Senate, where nothing good has been permitted to escape from Dark Lord McConnell’s Cold Dissembling Hands for almost a decade. There are actually two ways to achieve this. One is by getting him defeated in his Senate Reelection campaign. Paradoxically, despite his decades in office, he remains extremely unpopular even to his core constituency. There is a challenger, but defeating him is at best a Long Shot.

The second is by turning four Senate Seats (should The Dark Side retain the White House), or turning three Senate Seats and also the Presidency. Since R’s hold a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, a shift of three seats makes it a 50-50 split with any tie-breaking vote cast by the sitting Vice President who also serves as the tie-breaking vote in Senate proceedings. So to gain control of the Senate— perhaps an even more important goal than the Oval Office— Dems must win Either Three Senate seats and the Presidency, OR Four Senate Seats outright. While they are both Difficult, the same strategies apply to accomplishing either, and we should commit ourselves to going All Out for both.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 10,000 as of 5/1/19

 

This week’s wine tasting

Big Salt  ’18    Oregon     $15
Shows grit and chalky saltiness, with floral, honeysuckle and tropical fruit notes and pebbly minerality. An aromatic but not sweet, supremely satisfying sipper; an excellent food wine.

Bieler Rosé ’17      France     $17
Grenache-Syrah blend; soft and bright, with plenty of red-berry and currant flavors. Its fruitiness and balanced acidity make for an immediately attractive, easy wine.

Capcanes Mas Donis Old Vines ‘15       Spain       $12
Velvety mouthfeel and texture; wild red and black berry flavors, with cherry, spices and herbs; medium to full-bodied with soft and velvet tannins and nicely refreshing finish.

Kiona Cuvée Rouge ’17 Washington $16
83% cab, 8% syrah, 6% merlot, 3% sangio blend from many Kiona vineyards for an approachable, balanced, textured, and crowd-pleasing blend.

Flaneur Pinot Noir  ’17    Oregon    $28
Sharply etched berry and cherry fruit flavors, with a hint of brown sugar. Light citrus acidity underlies an astringent finish, which builds interest with hints of cherry tobacco and cola.

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 12-13 ’19

Friday Breads

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a sourdough starter fermented overnight in the refrigerator. The bread is made with this levain, bread flour, about 25% fresh milled whole wheat, and a bit of fresh milled rye. It has a ‘toothy’ crumb, great texture and flavor and a nice crisp crust. – $5/loaf

Breton – Incorporates the flavors of the French Brittany region. Bread flour and fresh milled buckwheat and rye make for interesting flavor and the salt is sel gris -the grey salt from the region that brings more mineral flavors to this bread. Goes great with meats and cheeses – $5/loaf

Morning Buns – these have been made popular by Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, and this is my interpretation. Made with the same laminated dough as croissants. The dough is rolled out, spread with a filling of brown sugar, orange zest, butter and cinnamon. Rolled up and sliced before baking. – 2/$5

 

 

Henry’s Drive

Every once in a while we get a hankering for for a Big, Fat Australian Shiraz…better known elsewhere as, you know, Syrah. Most of us know shiraz as mass-produced, fruit-forward (even somewhat one-dimensional), and uncomplicated, but for the most part pretty drinkable. And sometimes that One Dimension can be Stupidly Good, in the same way that a big, fat, over-extracted, over-ripe, high alcohol California Zinfandel can be Good. There is so much flavor that every once in a while you get a craving for it, even though you know, and an inner nanny voice reminds you, that at some level it is Wrong to like this kind of wine.

So a few months ago we were browsing a local distributor’s catalog and saw the Henry’s Drive Padthaway Shiraz 2012 listed at a pretty good price (save $9 a bottle if we bought three cases). Never having tasted it, we did not order it. Fast forward to today, and it is mostly gone, but we were able to get the last five bottles, to be delivered Friday shortly before opening. We sheepishly admit this is a typical example of the lengths some of us will travel just to taste a wine we are curious about… our One Weakness.   more on Henry’s Drive

We have no idea if we will like it, if it will rise to our Expectations and we will Hunt for More, or if it will go straight into the Spit Bucket. It’s just part of the ongoing Romance with wine. You see a bottle and wonder, Gee, what does That One taste like…? This one won’t arrive until just before we open on Friday afternoon, so our first taste will also be yours. And there will only be five bottles!!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Four Seats for Survival

The campaigns for the 2020 election are well underway. We have seen the Democratic Presidential Candidates debate, and any one of them would be a major improvement over the Tweetster. And when we say “Major Improvement,” we mean first and foremost slowing, stopping, and reversing the political, economic, social, and environmental Disaster that threatens the very existence of Life on our dear Planet Earth through Climate Change.

Under the auspices of “economic growth,” human ingenuity has developed very sophisticated ways to transform the raw materials of our planet to “better serve” human needs and desires. It took about 200,000 years for the human population to reach 1 billion (in 1800), only 120 years more to reach 2 billion (1927), and 33 more to reach 3 billion. Global population is expected to hit 8 billion by 2024. That means that for us early Baby Boomers the human population has quadrupled during our lifetimes, with devastating consequences.

We are reminded of the first Star Trek movie back in 1980 in which an early human satellite (Voyager)  reaches interstellar space centuries later where it is found and Substantially Upgraded by an advanced machine civilization and sent back to Earth to complete its original mission. The Trouble begins (gulp!) when the Highly Evolved satellite (“Vee-ger”) encounters humans and sees them as “Infestations.” Uh-oh!

One inescapable meaning of Climate Change is that there are so many of us, demanding so much Energy in such a short period of time, that Our Very Existence on Planet Earth is, well, Threatening Our Very Existence on Planet Earth. It may already be too late. We all feel the pressure as we read about the  hurricanes, the rainfall, the flooding, the lost crops, the fires, the orcas, the polar bears, the rain forests, the pollution. Even the Central American exodus toward the US is largely driven by the desperation of drought and failing crops for people who were already barely at subsistence levels of survival.

If we are to have any hope of survival we must achieve two goals for the coming year: voting both Darth McConnell and the Tweetster out of office. It will not be easy, but it is possible…(to be cont’d)

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 10,000 as of 5/1/19

 

This week’s wine tasting

Maryhill Winemaker’s White ’17   Washington    $12
Flavorful blend of pinot gris, chardonnay, semillon and sauvignon blanc; opens with clean, bright aromas of pear and apple with touches of tangerine, butter and lemon oil.

Castel de Maures Rosé ’17      France      $16
Syrah-grenache blend; bright vibrant pink; fruit-forward notes of fresh raspberries and summer flowers.

Anciano 5-Yr Tempranillo Riserva ’12     Spain       $11
Aromas of damp earth, mocha, tobacco, and black cherry. On the palate it is sweetly fruited, easy-going, and nicely balanced leading to a seamless, fruity finish.

Kiona Cuvée Rouge  ’17     Washington   $16
83% cab, 8% syrah, 6% merlot, 3% sangio blend from many Kiona vineyards for an  approachable, balanced, textured, and crowd-pleasing blend.

Henry’s Drive Padthaway Syrah ’12       Australia      $26
Shows meaty olive-infused aromas combined with sweet coconut and vanilla tones, with nice harmony of savory and fruity notes of loganberries and bilberries.

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 5-6 ’19

Friday Breads

Multi Grain Levain – Made with a sourdough culture and using a flavorful mix of
bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye. A nice mixture of flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and polenta add great flavor and crunch. And a little honey for some sweetness. – $5/loaf

Polenta Levain – Also made with a levain which is mixed with bread flour and polentain the final dough mix. While there is a hint of butter used when making the polenta for a nice rustic loaf with great corn
flavor. – $5/loaf

Chocolate Croissants – a traditional laminated french pastry made with a bit of sourdough flavor and some pre-fermented dough to help strengthen the dough to create the traditional honeycomb interior. Rolled out and shaped with delicious dark chocolate in the center. – 2/$5

 

 

Fourth of July

Every Fourth of July we like to remind people to “Watch out for Falling Elephants!” That’s because of a limerick that was popular in our neighborhood in Maine when I was a kid. It goes like this:

“I asked my mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence;
He jumped so high he touched the sky, and
Didn’t come down till the Fourth of July.”

Fortunately it is now late in the evening on the Fourth with No Reports of Elephant Damage! (whew!)

 

Mar a Lago Update: American Dreams

Here it is another Fourth of July in America. Besides the perennial worry about Falling Elephants , today we enjoyed the company of close neighbors over tasty snacks, decent wine, tasty barbecue, and excellent conversation on issues of the day that grew curiously animated, suggesting an unconscious anxiety about the world we share and the politics that drive it. Interestingly, our little group shared a common political perspective,  which is not so much Philosophical as it is Nostalgiac, somewhat reminiscent of Robert Kennedy’s line about “Other people see things as they are and ask Why?…I see things that Never Were and ask “Why Not?”

As we went around the table, each of us dug deeply to try to Name the sources of our Fears. The common element seemed to be that from childhood we had all become attached to idealistic fantasies of the Meaning of America which over recent decades in general and over the last two years in particular have been Wholeheartedly Abandoned by Republicans.

At root is a somewhat arcane economic theory involving the relationship between “property rights” and “amenity rights” proposed by EJ Mishan some decades ago. The idea is that in lots of circumstances the behavior of one individual imposes collateral costs on other individuals, as when someone smokes in a restaurant, plays loud music that bothers neighbors, or dumps radioactive waste into a public waterway.

Mishan’s central point was the ambiguity of rights in modern society. Does a cigarette smoker have the property right to smoke wherever and whenever s/he pleases, or does everyone else have the right to a smoke-free environment? Should the smoker pay for the right to smoke in a social setting, or should those present have to pay the smoker Not To Smoke?

Today, nearly fifty years after the first Earth Day, these issues of property rights and amenity rights remain unresolved and to a large degree define the differences between Republicans and Democrats. If you believe every individual Owns the Right to Clean Air and Water, Quiet, and Equal Opportunity, you  are a Democrat. If you believe that every individual Owns a Right to engage in any personal and economic behavior they choose regardless of its consequences on others, you are a Republican. Sadly, it is hard to see any room for compromise between these Extremes.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 10,000 as of 5/1/19

 

This week’s wine tasting

Ottella Lugana Bianco ’16 Italy $15
Trebbiano di Lugano (Turbiana). Intense straw yellow color with green tinges. Exotic notes of candied fruit and citrus, warm and very deep on the nose. Widespread expressive finesse, with rich and persistent texture.

Elicio Rosé ’18 France $12
Syrah-grenache blend; bright vibrant pink; fruit-forward notes of fresh raspberries and summer flowers.

Atalaya Laya ’17 Spain $11
70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell; Cassis, blueberry, pungent herbs and mocha aromas lead to an open-knit palateof fresh cherry, dark berry, and a hint of black pepper and a subtle floral note.

Coupe Roses La Bastide ’17 France $12
Carignan-Grenache blend; aromas and flavors of the garrigue underbrush of the high Minervois, laced with notes of blueberry and Carignan’s tarry black notes.

Seghesio Zinfandel Angela’s Garden ’17 $19
Nose has ripe bing cherries with a bit of leather that expand on the palate to ripe maraschino and Rainiers. Youthful and bright with a surprising depth of flavor and a youthful finish.

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting june 28-29 ’19

Friday Breads

Fig Anise – One of the more popular breads in the rotation. Made with a sponge that is fermented overnight, then the final dough is mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Honey, dried figs and anise bring in all the flavors of the mediterranean. A great flavorful bread – $5/loaf

Buckwheat Rye – First, fresh milled buckwheat and rye flours are soaked for 8 hours without yeast in a method known as an autolyse. This allows what little gluten these grains contain to start developing enzymes  before the final mix – which is then fermented overnight in the refrigerator. The buckwheat-rye soaker is mixed with bread flour, salt and yeast and a bit of honey. Goes well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Brioche Almond Buns – Delicious brioche dough full of eggs, butter and sugar. Rolled out and spread with an almond cream filling. The almond cream is not made from pre-made almond paste, but rather is a delicious creamy filling made with lots more butter, sugar and eggs as well as almond flour. Yum! – 2/$5

 

 

Trebbiano di Lugana Revisited

As we mentioned last summer, Italy produces more distinct grape varietals than any other country, with about 350 officially authorized in at least one region, and another 500 that exist but remain pretty obscure, and sorting out genetic relationships among them can be a full time job.

Trebbiano accounts for about a third of all white wine made in Italy but has many faces, names, and characteristics. A recent DNA study concluded that at least seven grapes known as “trebbiano” are actually genetically distinct and do not share a common ancestor. It also found  that Trebbiano di Lugana has a  97% DNA matchup to verdicchio. Which is to say you can expect the Trebbiano di Lugana (aka Turbiana) we are pouring this weekend to taste a lot like Verdicchio: clean, crisp, and minerally with notes of citrus and white peach. Most important, this wine has been a hit every time we have poured it in the last few years…so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a warm summer weekend!

 

Generations

Tonight an Island contingent crossed the moat for another epic dinner at Ciao Thyme in Bellingham; as usual everything was Delicious! I was fortunate to sit next to a young man on summer vacation from college who was doing an internship at a nearby Industry.

It turns out we share the point of view that slowing Climate Change should be our #1 Global Priority. For that reason he was a strong supporter of our Governor, Jay Inslee, who has built his campaign on fighting Climate Change. However, he confessed some disappointment in Inslee’s performance, primarily because of Inslee’s response to a particular question, something to do with fast food workers.

Apparently the Governor used the term “slinging Hash” when referring to McDonald’s workers, a reference that all of us older citizens instantly picture: a 1950’s Diner, maybe with little juke boxes at every table, and a plate of corned beef hash with potatoes and onions. And lots of ketchup. And a cup of coffee.

But for the younger generation these words connote images of drug dealing, and our young friend was unable to make sense of the Governor’s metaphor. Wow…who knew?

 

Mar a Lago Update: Now, You Take the Tweetster…PLEASE!

Back in October 2016, shortly after the Access Hollywood video in which the Tweetster was taped boasting about how his fame allowed him to take invasive liberties with women as he pleased, sixteen women came forward to confirm that he in fact had taken such liberties with them. The number has since increased to twenty-four.

Despite his denials, by December 2017 50% of voters — 59% of women and 41% of men — surveyed in a  Quinnipiac poll  believed the Tweetster should resign because of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Several Democratic lawmakers also called on Trump to resign over the accusations: Sanders, Merkley, Booker, Wyden, Gillibrand, and Hirono.

Last week we talked about Malignant Normality, the twisted world view which results from resigned acceptance of the ongoing unacceptable behavior of others after long enough exposure to their consistent, destructive, and pathological behavior. It’s a Hellish kind of Normality where all the usual Boundaries are consistently Violated, again and again and again. It’s the “Normality” which we have all inhabited since the collective social trauma of the 2016 “Election.”

In recent weeks, E Jean Carroll, one of those 16 women who had come forward in late 2016, published a book elaborating on a sexual assault on her by the Tweetster some 20 years ago. The press at first responded with lukewarm attention, but after a few days, some media outlets awakened long enough to question their collective failure to cover the story. We should consider…is this delay is a telltale symptom of a Malignant Normality where the Press has become inured to Outrage?

We are all living in a kind of cultural Exhaustion from the Ten Thousand Lies (and counting), the Incessant Tweets for Attention and the Media’s Addiction to them; and most important, from the Daily Erosion of the Values most of us grew up with: Fairness, Justice, and Kindness to name a few.

Speaker Pelosi said recently she doesn’t see a role for Congress in investigating the many allegations of sexual misconduct against the Tweetster. For our part here at the Wine Gallery, we believe High Crimes and Misdemeanors Must Include: 1) The many many allegations of obstruction and Misconduct outlined in the Mueller Report; 2) the Ten Thousand Offhand Lies of The Day; and 3) countless allegations of the Tweetster’s social, sexual, financial, and political Misconduct over many years;  not to mention 4) his Missing Tax Returns. Given the precarious state of our Planet, no effort is Too Great to assure there is No (shudder) Second Term!

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 10,000 as of 5/1/19

 

This week’s wine tasting

Ottella Lugana Bianco ’16    Italy    $15
Trebbiano di Lugano (Turbiana). Intense straw yellow color with green tinges. Exotic notes of candied fruit and citrus, warm and very deep on the nose. Widespread expressive finesse, with rich and persistent texture.

Elicio Rosé ’18    France    $12 
Syrah-grenache blend; bright vibrant pink; fruit-forward notes of fresh raspberries and summer flowers.

Atalaya Laya ’17     Spain     $11
70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell; Cassis, blueberry, pungent herbs and mocha aromas lead to an open-knit palateof fresh cherry, dark berry, and a hint of black pepper and a subtle floral note.

Coupe Roses La Bastide  ’17        France       $12
Carignan-Grenache blend; aromas and flavors of the garrigue underbrush of the high Minervois, laced with  notes of blueberry and Carignan’s tarry black notes.

Seghesio Zinfandel Angela’s Garden  ’17     $19
Nose has ripe bing cherries with a bit of leather that expand on the palate to ripe maraschino and Rainiers. Youthful and bright with a surprising depth of flavor and a youthful finish.

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting