lummi island wine tasting april 19-20 ’19

note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Pan de Chocolate – Not a typical enriched sweet pastry dough made with lots of eggs, butter and sugar. Made with a levain it is a rich chocolate bread made with bread flour and fresh milled rye flour, honey for sweetness, vanilla and plenty of dark chocolate. Makes fabulous toast, even better french toast! – $5/loaf.

Brioche Loaves – Definitely not a poor man’s brioche– loaded with eggs and butter, a little milk and some sugar for a tender crumb and luscious flavor. Fermented in the refrigerator overnight, then formed into loaves and put into loaf pans for baking, this bread will make great French Toast! – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Colomba di Pasqua  (“Easter Dove”) – A traditional Italian Easter bread similar to Christmas panettone. Made with a sweet italian levain as well as flour and plenty eggs, sugar, honey and butter plus vanilla bean and candied orange peel. Topped with a crunchy almond and hazelnut glaze and pearl sugar before baking in a dove-shaped baking form as a symbol of the Easter dove. $5/loaf

 

Saturday Concert April 20!

Make your plans now! Our Annual Spring Concert with singer-songwriter-minstrel Robert Sarazin Blake! This year’s concert will be from 2-4pm this Saturday, April 20 in the wine shop!

As Robert’s many local followers know, he is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest , Germany, and Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. And to all venues he brings his sonorous voice, open heart, wry humor, and engaging songs to weave a web of well-being around you. For those of you who have not attended any of our concerts, know that our little shop is a great venue for Robert’s style, which is is always engaging and energizing. Learn more about Robert’s music here.

Suggested performance donation is a modest $20 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please confirm reservations soon!

Please note our regular Saturday wine tasting will follow the concert, from 4-6pm.

 

This Year’s Robin, cont’d

The robin’s nest above our entry over the last few weeks has brought to mind the classic image of the expectant father pacing in the hospital waiting room while the mom is in labor. In this case, there has been no sign of hatchlings since we saw three eggs in the nest when we got home three weeks ago, and we have been, well, Worried. Why is it taking so long? Maybe she is instinctively going through the motions but the eggs are not going to hatch…?

So today I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and when Mama Robin was away I brought a stepstool onto the porch, climbed up and peered over. It was a Huge Relief to see two (at least) tiny chicks deep in the nest, craws open, waiting for Food. They are tiny, not more than a couple of days old ( photo at left is from two years ago, another robin entirely, whose chicks were close to fledging in this photo).

We also noticed the appearance of a male robin, who is participating in providing food for the babies and distracting intruders. In these challenging times, this simple scene is surprisingly Reassuring. Yes, we think to ourselves, there is still Magic all around us…!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Mr. Rock and the Pointless Forest

Today’s release to the Public and the ensuing All Day Punditry regarding– finally!– the release of most of the Mueller Report– has been both Compelling and Exhausting in its endless cycle of Spin and Counterspin. “Enough, Enough, I Can’t Take Any More!” we find ourselves ready to shriek, and the very next moment we tune in again…maybe This Time there will be a Point we can all Agree upon. Sadly, so far, no, not so much.

At this late hour it has reminded us of a Sweet Little Animated Feature from some decades ago called The Point, written and performed by the Legendary Harry Nilsson. You can listen to the entire sound track here. You can see a brief trailer here.

The basic story is that in a land of Pointy-headed people a little boy is born with a Round head. Being Pointless, he and his dog Arrow are Banished to the Pointless Forest where they encounter many Teaching Moments. In particular, in light of today’s events, we are reminded of his exchange with the wise and Very Hip Mr. Rock, who, from his perspective of having been around nearly Forever and, like, Seen It All, tries to teach Oblio that it is perfectly okay not to have a point, and that he should “Be Cool…be Steady as a Rock.”

All day today we have all been wandering in the Pointless Forest, where no one’s opinion about Very Essential Truths seems to have changed in light of the Established Facts from a lengthy and conscientious Investigation. As Mr. Rock said to Oblio and Arrow, “you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear…all you gotta do is open yo’ mind along with yo’ eyes…”

 

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 9,451 as of 4/1/19\

 

This week’s wine tasting

Excelsior Chardonnay ’17    South Africa    $10
The nose shows hints of peach, lemons and orange blossom backed up by a touch of oak. The palate is fresh and creamy with great lengthand lingering acidity.

Campuget Tradition Rose ’17   France     $11
Pale brilliant pink. Nervy, mineral-tinged aromas of orange zest and strawberry; Silky and light on its feet, offering zesty, light-bodied red berry and blood orange flavors and a bracing touch of bitter quinine.

Clone 7  Merlot     Washington   $10
Ruby black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, creme brulee crust, and dried berries with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and smooth, breezy notes of earthy mocha with soft, dusty tannins.

Morgan Cotes du Crows Syrah  ’16     California      $17
Aromas of fresh berries, baking spices and chocolate get this wine going; full bodied yet balanced, with toasty black fruit flavors with grip and intensity.

Lopez Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza ’09   Spain/Rioja    $22
Juicy and soft; fermented with natural yeasts and matured 3 yrs in neutral barriques; aromas of leather, cherries, spices and smoke. On the palate deep, full-bodied, and balanced, with a long, classy, vibrant finish.

Tuscany Trip 2010 Sighs and Reflections, Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting april 10 ’19

note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Sonnenblumenbrot – aka Sunflower Seed Bread Made with an overnight pre-ferment before mixing the final dough with freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for a typical German seed bread- $5/loaf

Pain Meunier – Made with pre-fermented dough it contains all portions of the wheat berry: flour, fresh milled whole wheat, cracked wheat and wheat germ. Always a favorite and a great all around bread. It makes the best toast! – $5/loaf

And pastry this week…

Traditional Croissants – No filling, nothing fancy, just delicious french pastry made with a levain as well as pre-fermented dough – The final dough is made with more flour, butter, milk and sugar, and laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants. 2/$5

 

Saturday Concert April 20!

Make your plans now! Our Annual Spring Concert with singer-songwriter-minstrel Robert Sarazin Blake! This year’s concert will be from 2-4pm on Saturday, April 20 in the wine shop!

As Robert’s many local followers know, he is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest , Germany, and Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. And to all venues he brings his sonorous voice, open heart, wry humor, and engaging songs to weave a web of well-being around you. For those of you who have not attended any of our concerts, know that our little shop is a great venue for Robert’s style, which is is always engaging and energizing. Learn more about Robert’s music here.

Suggested performance donation is a modest $20 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please confirm reservations soon!

Please note our regular Saturday wine tasting will follow the concert, from 4-6pm. 

 

This Year’s Robin, cont’d

We mentioned last week that a robin was brooding three eggs in a new nest above our entryway porch. The robin is still there, and as yet we have seen no signs of hatchlings. In theory the eggs should hatch within a couple of weeks, and it is now two weeks since we got home from our trip and found the new nest.

She is getting somewhat used to us, seeming less compelled to drop silently out of the nest, fly to a nearby tree, and sing to distract us from the nest. So everything seems to be unfolding as it should. Still, we find ourselves glancing up at the nest frequently, hoping to see or hear signs of a successful hatch.

So we fuss over Another little Local Drama…Spring comes, the grass grows by itself…!

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Jig is Up

Intensive Ongoing Research continues to confirm that at the End of the Day, which might occur much sooner than we have generally imagined, the impacts of Our Species on Global Climate might well cause Mass Extinction of most living species– including ours– currently inhabiting our Dear Planet Earth.

We have known about the Existential Threats posed by our unrestrained burning of vast amounts of fossil fuels for at least forty years, but our Leaders have chosen to ignore them. We are, after all, a “social species,” which apparently means we are at least as persuaded by the effects of our actions on our Standing in the Social Hierarchy Right Now as we are by what Reason has to say about the Distant Future, like, you know, a week from Tuesday.

We are reminded of the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare(skip the ad for a surprisingly timely rendition) except that in the current case– in contrast to the Moral of the Fable– the Short-sighted Hares have taken almost complete Political Control of much of the world. Given that there are indeed lots of ego-driven Hares out there, our compelling Question– both Political and Existential– is How can We possibly Survive?

It is one thing to be skeptical about Opinions. It is an entirely different thing to be in Denial about, as Al Gore called them, “Inconvenient Truths.” Seriously, how can a person have lived through the last thirty years and not Get It that: Storms are getting Worse; Habitats are getting too dry, wet, hot, or cold to support the species which  have lived there for Millennia; cycles of wet-dry-hot-cold are making the production of food more difficult in many places where it had been Easy; and long-established patterns of human development and habitation along coastlines and rivers have been increasingly devastated by flooding from increased rainfall, higher tides, and more powerful winds, all of which will continue to worsen for a long time even if we act now to slow the rate of change.

The takeaway here is this: anyone who doesn’t Get It that Global Warming is an Immediate Existential Threat to Life as Our Species has always known it is Part of the Problem in a time when we Most Desperately need Solutions. It is futile to argue with them, and time to move on without them.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 9,451 as of 4/1/19\

 

This week’s wine tasting

Lasso Bianco ’16     Portugal       $12
Apples, green plums and peaches round out lemon zest acidity in this soft, fruity white wine. It is ready for drinking, finishing with an attractive warm finish.

Bieler Bandol 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.

Indaba Merlot  ’15     South Africa      $10
Crafted in a fresh, pure style, this velvety Merlot seduces with aromas and bright, juicy flavors of cherry, dark berry and plum backed by subtle mocha and herbal nuances and a delicate minerality.

Carmen Carmenere ’16     Chile     $16
Aromas of fresh berries, baking spices and chocolate get this wine going; full bodied yet balanced, with toasty black fruit flavors with grip and intensity.

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 april 5 ’19

note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Semolina w/ Fennel & Raisins – Using a levain, also known as sourdough, and made with bread flour, semolina and some fresh milled whole wheat. A little butter for a tender crumb and fennel seeds and golden raisins round out the flavors. Judy A. says this is her favorite! These flavors go really well with meats and cheese, but it also makes pretty darn good toast – $5/loaf

Spelt Levain – Spelt is an ancient wheat grain with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and less gluten than modern wheat. This bread is made with a levain, or sourdough, traditional bread flour and about 1/3 spelt flour, fresh milled whole spelt and fresh milled whole rye. It is a great all around bread – $5/loaf

Note: Pastry this week goes to fortify those who participate in Annual Island cleanup on Saturday morning, starting from the Grange at 9:45.

 

 

Saturday Concert April 20!

Make your plans now! Our Annual Spring Concert with singer-songwriter-minstrel Robert Sarazin Blake! This year’s concert will be from 2-4pm on Saturday, April 20 in the wine shop!

As Robert’s many local followers know, he is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest , Germany, and Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. And to all venues he brings his sonorous voice, open heart, wry humor, and engaging songs to weave a web of well-being around you. For those of you who have not attended any of our concerts, know that our little shop is a great venue for Robert’s style, which is is always engaging and energizing.

Suggested performance donation is a modest $20 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please confirm reservations soon!

Note our regular Saturday wine tasting will follow the concert, from 4-6pm. Learn more about Robert’s music here.

 

This Year’s Robin 

We returned home last week to find a new robin’s nest in the eaves over the entryway. Unlike last year’s nest, which was high above the seldom used back deck, this one is right over the entry, where there is the highest traffic.

We saw the nest the day after we got home, but saw neither mama bird nor signs of young. I climbed up and found three eggs, but supposed they were abandoned. Not until today did we see mama leaving the nest and chirping to distract us as she flew onto a nearby limb. She stayed in the vicinity and after twenty minutes or so worked her way back toward the nest. We worry that if she takes off every time we or one of the dogs comes onto the deck the eggs might not incubate enough to hatch.

So, we are monitoring. If necessary we may have to find another way in and out for a few days. Hopefully all eggs will hatch into healthy fledglings. Stay tuned!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Standing Up to Existential Grief

We mentioned last week that our March road trip was hard to relax into. Having been home for a week now, a new perspective and accompanying resolve seems to be forming. Most of us have been in a kind of trance since the 2016 election, waking up every day somehow expecting that Today the Horrible Mistake would somehow be set right. However, since the mid-term election and even more since the too-little-too-late Mueller Report, the Intense Grief of seeing our once-proud Country turned into an ongoing Media Cartoon Soap Opera Circus seems to be undergoing a Catharsis.

Perhaps the Grim Realization that we are stuck with at least another two years of the Mitch and Tweetie Lie-Fest that keeps our planet accelerating toward Mass Extinction is creating an Urgency that no longer allows the Luxury of Hopelessness. Rather, it has become manifestly clear that Republican Reality in this Congress and this White House is none other than the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, where Nothing Makes Sense, and Nothing Ever Will.

So the first thing we have to do is stop paying attention to these Bozos. It is a waste of time and energy to try to dialogue with people who assert the logical equality of Established Science and “Alternative Facts,” as if the established laws of physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics were just another Opinion we can safely ignore. We have spent two years now leaning our heads against tree trunks and whimpering Charlie Brown’s Default Mantra: “I Can’t Stand It!”

Turning all this around at this late date in the growing Climate Crisis is by no means a slam-dunk, even if everyone on Earth joined together wholeheartedly. The best we can do in our country is to do everything we can to replace Mitch and Tweetie with bright, sane, kind, wise leaders who will commit to the long-term goal of a Better World for Fewer People.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 9,451 as of 4/1/19\

 

This week’s wine tasting

Treana White ’16    California     $16
Seductive blend of viognier, marsanne, and roussanne. Aromas and flavors of pineapple, dried apricot, peach and Clementine orange  with floral notes of honeysuckle and elder flower and sweet notes of marzipan, honey, graham cracker and cinnamon.

Oregon Solidarity Pinot Noir Rose ’18      Oregon      $16
When a California winery canceled huge contracts for pinot noir grapes two days before harvest, area wineries united to buy the fruit, make the wines, and save the vintners’ bacon. This is the rose, to be followed by a chardonnay in May and a pinot noir in August.

Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon ’17 Washington $14
Bramble fruit aromatics from blackberry to ripe raspberry;  A hint of strawberry preserves leads into an intriguing layer of exotic spice. The palate is round and displays rich secondary flavors of boysenberry and pomegranate that exits with a silky, lingering finish and a lively burst of fresh fruits.

Altarocca Rosso Librato ’15     Italy     $14
Unoaked blend of canaiolo and cab franc from volcanic soils in Umbria,  Zesty, spicy, lush, and smooth.

La Rocaliere Lirac Classique Rouge ’15   France   $16
Grenache, mourvedre, syrah from sandy and pebbled soils; floral and spicy bouquet reminiscent of garrigue scrubland. Powerful and full-bodied, it finishes crisp and rich, matching perfectly with the spirit of contemporary cuisine.

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 29 ’19

note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Honey, Wheat, Lemon & Poppy seeds – Made with a poolish that ferments some of the flour, yeast and water overnight. This results in a very active pre-ferment which is mixed the next day with the final ingredients which includes a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Some honey, poppy seeds and freshly grated lemon peel round out the flavors in this loaf. – $5/loaf.

Prairie Bread – Named for the ingredients that reflect all the goodness of grains grown on the prairie. Using regular bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat as well as oats, and cornmeal, and loaded up with poppy, flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds with just a hint of brown sugar for a little sweetness. – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Cinnamon Rolls –  These are made with a rich sweet roll dough that is full of eggs, butter and sugar. The dough is rolled out, spread with pastry cream and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Then rolled up and sliced into individual rolls for baking. And boy are they delicious!! – 2/$5.

 

Saturday Concert April 20!

Make your plans now! Our Annual Spring Concert with singer-songwriter-minstrel Robert Sarazin Blake! This year’s concert will be from 2-4pm on Saturday, April 20 in the wine shop!

As Robert’s many local followers know, he is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest , Germany, and Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. And to all venues he brings his sonorous voice, open heart, wry humor, and engaging songs to weave a web of well-being around you. For those of you who have not attended any of our concerts, know that our little shop is a great venue for Robert’s style, which is is always engaging and energizing.

Suggested performance donation is a modest $20 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please confirm reservations soon!
Learn more about Robert’s music here.

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Increasing Plausibility of the End of Life on Earth

We arrived home from several weeks on the Road to our little Paradise here on Lummi Island this beautiful, sunny afternoon. In several ways it has been more challenging than relaxing to have been away in the trailer the past month– March came in like a Big, Bullying, T-t-teeth Ch-ch-chattering Lion that rained all day and Froze at nigh, both here and in Oregon. Hard to relax– not exactly, you know, hammock conditions…! Throughout the Northwest, though, the last ten days have been mostly sunny, comfortable, and reassuring. Spring is here, and it has rarely felt So Welcome. Ahhhh!

That’s the Good News.

The Bad News is that we listened to a very interesting and disturbing interview on the radio a few days ago between Ralph Nader and Dahr Jamail, author of “The End of Ice,” that brought into Sharp Focus what David Suzuki said to an audience member here in Bellingham ten years or so ago who asked him if we should be Worried about Global Warming. Suzuki’s answer was, “You should be Sh*#ing Your Pants!”

Similarly, Jamail quite matter-of-factly lays out the Reality that the current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is historically consistent with an average temperature seven degrees higher that now, and a sea level tens of feet higher. Even if we immediately stopped emitting CO2 altogether, temperatures could continue to rise for decades or even centuries, exceeding the ability of most species to adapt or successfully migrate to survivable habitats. Bottom Line: it may already be too late to avoid a Mass Extinction severe enough to destroy all Life on Earth, and caused by Human Beings. WTF is wrong with us??

Though we will probably never know what is actually in the Mueller Report, we do know there was massive Russian intervention the 2016 election, without which the Tweetster could not possibly have “won.” We also know is that if the Whole World of Human Beings doesn’t Step Up to meet the Existential Threat of the Growing Climate Crisis we have created, the Whole Game is Over. And we are also coming to see that the Survival of Life Itself is not of particular concern to Republicans.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 7,546 as of 1/1/19\

 

This week’s wine tasting

Robert Ramsay Mason’s White ’17    Washington    $17
100% roussanne; aromas and flavors are bright and lemony and lightly effervescent, with the more typical honeyed richness of this grape appearing late on the mid-palate for a tasty and refreshing– but decidedly less sensual–interpretation.

Oregon Solidarity Pinot Noir Rose  ’18     Oregon    $16
Last fall a California winery canceled contracts for 2,000 tons of grapes from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon a mere two days before harvest, citing possible smoke taint from area wildfires and leaving vineyard owners in the lurch. A community of area wineries bought the fruit, made the wines, and saved the vintners’ bacon. This is the rose, to be followed by a chardonnay in May and a pinot noir in August.

Airfield Bombshell Red ’17      Washington     $14
Bramble fruit aromatics ranging from blackberry to ripe raspberry. A hint of strawberry preserves leads into an intriguing layer of exotic spice. The palate is round and displays rich secondary flavors of boysenberry and pomegranate that exits with a silky, lingering finish and a lively burst of fresh fruits.

Martorana Nero d’Avola ’17    Italy   $14
From Sicilian volcanic soils; full-bodied and fresh with big notes  of ripe plums, berry cobbler, dark chocolate, and almonds, melting into earthy flavors with good minerality.

Dynasty Cellars Zinfandel ’14    Washington   $25
Following the Dynasty style with lots of new oak that gives a soft texture but challenges the more subtle flavors of the dark and ripe fruit.

Wine Tasting