lummi island wine tasting dec 6 ’19

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Friday Breads This Week

Levain w/ Dried Cherries and Pecans – A levain is made the night before final mixing using a sourdough starter, starting the fermentation process . The final dough is made with the levain, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and then loaded up with dried cherries and toasted pecans. A nice rustic loaf that goes well with meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Pan de Cioccolate – A delicious chocolate artisan bread made with lots of eggs, butter and sugar. Also 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.

Rum Raisin Brioche – A delicious brioche dough full of eggs, butter and sugar. Filled with golden raisins and chunks of almond paste and topped with a chocolate glaze before baking…ooh la la! – 2/$5

(breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)

 

Lady Hill

Lady Hill Winery is located in the Champoeg State Heritage Area in the northern Willamette Valley in Oregon. As it turns out, the winery is across the road from Champoeg State Park, where we have stayed many times with our trailer. Situated as it is in the middle of Willamette Valley wine country, the Park is a perfect base for visiting lots of Oregon wineries.

Lady Hill is owned by Jerry Owen, whose family has been in the area since the 1850’s, shortly after Oregon’s first provisional government was formed there in 1843. His home and this winery (he has been involved with several) are located on property that has been in the family since 1862, a stone’s throw from some of the earliest plantings of wine grapes in the region by retired French Canadian fur trappers who had worked for Hudson’s Bay Company.

They were among the first non-native pioneers in the area. Hudson’s Bay Company operated all along the West Coast, trading goods ’round the Horn for the early settlers in exchange for furs, as detailed in Richard Dana’s classic book Two Years Before the Mast, about his journey as a seaman in the early 19th Century. There were no cities, only a few scattered settlements and trading stations.

On our way home from Corvallis last weekend we visited Lady Hill again and tasted through the current lineup of wines with old friends who happened to be visiting from Back East. As usual, we liked all the wines, and brought back several for the wine shop. This weekend we will pour two of those, the Lady Hill Cab Franc and the Three Feathers Pinot Noir Rose, which is made by Lady Hill for a small family winery in the area.

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: Impeachment Cries and Whispers

Yesterday kicked off Official Impeachment hearings against the Tweetster by the House Judiciary Committee. Paradoxically, though everyone in both parties Knows that he Did what he is being charged with doing, the R’s dismiss it completely– and John McCain must be rolling over in his grave.

In the testimony yesterday four distinguished legal scholars expounded at length about the Meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” and whether the current charges were sufficiently Over the Line to justify Impeachment. Three of the four quoted in detail from the Constitution and the writings of many of its Signers why yes, indeed, Extortion, Obstruction of Justice, and Withholding of essential military aid to an important American ally currently in a shooting war with Russia were of a Certainty Impeachable Offenses.

The fourth expert, who was there to represent the R point of view, suggested that if Conviction in the Senate, or even in the Court of Public Opinion were the goal, the Committee should take the time to run through the Whole Legal Process that would be necessary to get key witnesses (withheld by order of the T) in front of the Committee and nail down the case. We found this a somewhat persuasive argument, since as we mentioned last week, in the Watergate case it was only after a lengthy court battle forced Nixon to release the tape of the “smoking gun” conversation that public opinion turned massively against him, forcing him to resign.

The rub is that despite the Denial of the R’s, the facts of the case Are Already pretty much nailed down with documentation of the actual conversation laying out the Quids and Quos and the actual delay of military aid. All indications are that the R’s have Closed Ranks with their Prez, the one who pulled them away from their traditional values of a Strong Stance on Defense, Christian Values, and of course Free Trade, all of which have gone Belly Up under the T. They’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid, folks, no Integrity here, just move along.

Since we respect Speaker Pelosi’s political acumen, her formal statement today to commence official Impeachment Proceedings suggests that maybe she sees no advantage in slowing the process (Damn the Trumpedos, Full Speed Ahead?). Or maybe there she still hopes for an Ides of March Surprise for the T in the Senate (Et tu, Mitch?). Then again, maybe she thinks forcing the R’s in the Senate to go on record supporting the T-ster’s pro-Russian goals could break loose enough seats in 2020 for Dems to regain Senate control (It’s my Party and I’ll Try if I want to…?).

We shall see…and in the difficult mean-time, we remind you that you can always find support and comfort in the warm community and great wines here at the wine shop!

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date 13,445 as of 10/10/19

 

This week’s tasting

Mon Frère Chardonnay ’18 California  $13
Aromas of citrus, pear and stone fruit line with floral notes and a hint of nutmeg and vanilla on the finish. Well balanced acidity and minerality followed by a refreshing finish.

Three Feathers Pinot Noir Rose  ’18
Pale pink, with nose of fresh flowers and palate of strawberry, green apple, and melon with hints of brioche. Crisp and refreshing.

Terra d’Oro Zinfandel  ’17     California       $15
Aromas and flavors of dried cherries, cured beef and a whiff of dried herbs create good complexity and solid structure with good acidity and firm tannins that pair well with rich dishes.

Cervoles Garnatxa “Les Garrigues” ’17   Spain   $14
From 700 meters of altitude on gravelly soils with a loamy-clayey texture that yields a juicy, fruity and fresh wine. Mixed ageing in stainless steel and oak enhances notes of ripe red fruits bathed in liqueur.

Lady Hill Cabernet Franc ’16     Oregon    $32
Aromas of raisined berry fruit, sugared dates, chocolate, caramel and orange peel lead to a rich, lush, palate with flavors of raisin, cocoa, coffee and toffee. Great on its own or with any kind of chocolate, Stilton cheese. or toasted walnuts.

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting nov 22 ’19

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Friday Breads This Week

As in previous years, bread this week will be limited to two kinds of dinner rolls in time for Thanksgiving dinner next week. Each order will contain six rolls, three each of:

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.

(breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Schedule

Please note the wine shop will be closed for Thanksgiving weekend, November 22-23.

Therefore there will be neither bread deliveries nor wine tasting next week.

We will be open as usual the following weekend December 6-7. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Terre D’Oro

Back in 1848, the California Gold Rush  brought some 300,000 people to the Sierra Foothills looking to make their fortunes. Over the next few years, the huge influx of gold seekers to region brought starvation, disease, and genocide to the Native Californian Indian and Mexican population, and rapidly brought the Territory toward Statehood.

When the Gold Rush petered out a few years later, many would-be miners, especially of European origin, turned to planting vineyards and making wine. By the turn of the 20th century there were over 100 wineries in the region. As a result, some of the oldest vineyards in the country today are located in the Sierra Hills appellation, which is particularly known for its oldest vines, particularly Zinfandel, many over 100 years old.

For several years we have regularly stocked an old vines zinfandel from from one of those old wineries, then called Montevino, now called Terre D’oro. Last week we were visited by a rep from Terre D’Oro, who poured a number of other wines, two of which we are pouring for you this weekend.

The first is Petite Sirah, first introduced in the region in the 1880s. It was originally a French grape known as Duril; it makes a rich wine with lush blueberry and spice notes and deep, dark color in the glass, with stong tannins that give it considerable longevity in the cellar.

The second is is their Zinfandel Port. Grapes for the wine are left to ripen until they reach a maximum sugar content. Before fermentation is completed (i.e., there is still considerable unfermented sugar) the juice is fortified with grape brandy, which stops the fermentation process. The resulting juice is then aged in oak barrels to yield a smooth, sweet, and warming dessert wine.

 

Mar a Lago Update: Holy Smoking Guns, Batman!

The resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974 followed a two year process that began with the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Office in the Watergate Hotel in June 1972. The Nixon White House resisted Congressional investigation into the incident from the beginning. Even after two years of legal challenges and the release of many White House tapes, there was still considerable reluctance on the part of Republicans to support impeachment.

It was not until July 1974 that the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to turn over numerous tapes that had so far been withheld that the so-called “Smoking Gun” tape was released, in which Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up was made explicit. Within a few days his support in both the House and Senate had plummeted so fast and so far that it was clear that he would be forced from office. To save some face, he chose to resign rather that face the humiliation of Impeachment.

In the present circumstance, the Tweetster is facing the strong likelihood that the Democratic-controlled House will soon issue Articles of Impeachment against him. Assuming the Articles are passed in the House, it will fall to the Republican-controlled Senate to try the case and decide whether or not to remove him from office. So far in the proceedings we have seen no indication that any more than a few, if any, Republican Senators would be inclined to vote to impeach.

Back in 44 BC, the Roman Senate was upset with the ambitions and growing political power of Emperor Julius Caesar and formed a plot to assassinate him. They carried it out in the Senate Chamber, with all the Senators taking a turn at stabbing him, and he bled to death on the Senate steps. Fearing his ambitions, they conspired to murder him in the Senate, and they did.

Fast forwarding to Today, we have seen from the Hearings in the House Intelligence Committee over the past two weeks that the country and the Congress are intensely polarized on the idea of Impeachment. True Believer Trumpodytes have convinced themselves with their own talking points that he did Nothing Wrong, while at the same time we have seen convincing evidence of Presidential wrongdoing, including in particular using his office for bribery/extortion of a foreign State in exchange for personal and political favors and obstructing Justice by ordering subordinates to defy Congressional subpoenas.

As in the Nixon case four decades ago, the Nation remains deeply polarized on the issue almost entirely along Party Lines. After this week, those of us on the left are completely convinced that the Tweetster jeopardized the security of an important foreign ally engaged in a hot war with a long time mutual geopolitical rival by delaying military aid in exchange for political and person political favors. Odds are that the Democratic-controlled House will vote to impeach him and that the Republican-controlled Senate will decline to do so.

Still…the look on Darth McConnell’s face a few weeks ago when The T abandoned our Kurdish allies as a favor to  Turkey’s President Erdogan was very much how we might imagine that of Cassius’ telltale “lean and hungry look” that forebode Caesar’s assassination. It may be wishful thinking, but it’s not hard to imagine that the Tweetster may have become too much of a liability for the Republican leadership to tolerate any further. Time will tell…

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date 13,445 as of 10/10/19

 

This week’s tasting

Folie a Deux Pinot Grigio ’16    California      $11
Lively aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, citrus and perfumed pear open to a palate of tropical fruit, honey and spice and a crisp, clean finish.

Particular Garnacha ’13    Spain    $14
Old vines garnacha from stony soil and the extreme climatological conditions that yield smaller, more concentrated, intense and aromatic grapes. It is a powerful, tasty and complex wine that will surprise and please.

Terra d’Oro Petite Syrah ’16      California    $14
An exotic earthy character dominates this dark-colored, full-bodied and firmly tannic wine, giving it a rustic feral appeal that gets progressively more enjoyable on the palate and finish. Blackberry and blueberry flavors underneath add to its appeal.

Iron and Sand Cabernet Sauvignon ’17    California    $24
Nose of black fruit, violet, stone, loam and a hint of herbs lead to dry palate of black cherry, purple flowers and soil, with a hint of black olive.

Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port    California    $21
Aromas of raisined berry fruit, sugared dates, chocolate, caramel and orange peel lead to a rich, lush, palate with flavors of raisin, cocoa, coffee and toffee. Great on its own or with any kind of chocolate, Stilton cheese. or toasted walnuts.

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting nov 15 ’19

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Friday Breads This Week

Pain Meunier-  aka Miller’s Bread– was developed to honor the miller who mills the wheat. Made with pre-fermented dough it contains all portions of the wheat berry: flour, fresh milled whole wheat, cracked wheat and wheat germ, a consistent favorite and a great all around bread. – $5/loaf

Sonnenblumenbrot – Aka Sunflower Seed Bread; made with an overnight pre-ferment of a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast before mixing the final dough of bread flour and freshly milled rye, toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Bear Claws – Made with a Danish pastry dough rich in cream, eggs, sugar and butter. The dough is rolled out and spread with a filling of almond paste, powdered sugar, egg whites, a bit of cinnamon, and (because bears love honey!), topped with a honey glaze after baking.– 2/$5

 

Granbazán Etiqueta Verde


Val do Salnés, with its granitic and alluvial top-soil, is one of five subregions of the larger Rias Baixas wine region located on the Atlantic coast of Spain just north of Portugal. It surrounds the historic town of Cambados, and is generally considered the birthplace of the Albariño grape. Because of its location on the North Atlantic coast, it has an average temperature of just (brrr!) 55º F., and is the oldest, coolest, and wettest of the five sub-regions.

Due to the high humidity and rainfall compared to most grape-growing areas, the grapes are generally grown in a trellis system called “parra” (pergola) for best combination of sun exposure and ventilation. The pergolas are generally metal and wire supported on concrete posts, such that the grapes must be harvested from about six feet overhead using ladders or other equipment, as is the case with harvesting vinho verde in neighboring Portugal.

The area beneath the vines is generally planted with natural flowers and herbs using no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizer. The plant cover is mowed for mulch several times each year. Overall, the vineyards enjoy a very low density, with an average of 800 plants per hectare. Today’s white wine “Etiqueta Verde” clearly demonstrates the quality of the estate, with precision, depth, and a fine balance of floral and mineral flavors.

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Goldilocks Gap

Okay, here we are a few months before the Strange Tradition called the “Iowa Caucuses” kick off another Presidential election cycle. Since the Reps hold the Oval, the Dems are the ones competing to take it back. Just like, you know, the America’s Cup: Challenger vs. Defender.

We on the Left are pretty firmly in the camp of “Anyone But the Tweetster,” implying a deep willingness to vote for any of the twenty or so candidates who might appear on the ballot if only we could be sure that person would actually win. And let’s face it, this is a strange place to be at this point in an election cycle. Ordinarily at this point we would all have and be supporting our individual Favorites. But alas, these are not ordinary times.  Instead, most people we talk with are very much caught up in not daring to fight for the candidate they want most because the media keep saying that person is Too Whatever to win. As a result  we all feel a Pressure to be really careful about how we thread the Election Needle to best assure his defeat next year.

Which brings us to the Goldilocks Syndrome: Which candidate, if any, is most likely to swing enough votes away from the Tweetster in the General to defeat him? Already we see forces at work trying to convince us that Sanders and Warren are too Liberal, Buttigieg is too Young and too Gay, Harris and Booker are too Black, Klobuchar and Bennet are too Boring, and so on. This Goldilocks Gap is now bringing even more Democratic candidates into the 2020 race (Bloomberg, Patrick) who think they have a shot at this Elusive Sweet Spot.

If we are patient, at some point the better polls will start giving us better information about which candidate will be most likely to prevail against the Tweetster. In the meantime, we recommend keeping your wine rack well stocked!

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date 13,445 as of 10/10/19

 

This week’s tasting

Granbazán Etiqueta Verde Albariño ’17    Portugal     $15
Straw yellow color with green tones. In the nose, shows a medium-high intensity: citrus, grapefruit, lime, kiwi, white flowers with balsamic background. Fresh mouth with fine bubbles, fruity with a good intensity, slight oily and balanced.

Casa Fortunata Tempranillo ’15    Spain     $11
Aromas of spicy plums and currants with hints of raspberry that continue on the palate and finish  with earth, tobacco and a kiss of tar.

Carma Riserva Carmenere ’16     Chile     $10
Aromas of mud, slate, and smoke lead to a juicy palate of stewed strawberry- plum jam.

Townshend Cellar T3 red blend      Washington       $17
Bordeaux style blend of  cab, merlot and cab franc; fruit forward with hints of black currant and vanilla, with layers of complexity and depth through extensive oak aging in French and American barrels.

Gilbert Cellars Allobroges ’14     Washington    $22
Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah; savory nose of dried herbs & citrus rind. The palate is round and lush with hints of boysenberry, clove, and cinnamon. Subtle spice and light tannin linger on the finish.

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting nov 8 ’19

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Friday Breads This Week

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a sourdough starter and fermented overnight in the refrigerator. This long slow process allows the fermentation process to start and the gluten to start developing. The bread is made with the levain, bread flour, and fresh milled whole wheat for 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

Our bakers were fortunate to be in Finland on National Cinnamon Roll day, October 4th. What a great country to have a national day for everyone to eat cinnamon rolls! Something we can at least adopt here! In honor of that trip and cinnamon roll day pastry this week is the Finnish cinnamon roll known as Korvapuusti which translates as either “slapped ears” or “slap in the ear”…

Korvapuusti – Made with a traditional Pulla dough that is not as sweet or enriched as a brioche dough but still has plenty of sugar and butter with the addition of cardamom in the dough itself. Then filled with a butter, sugar, cinnamon filling before being sliced and formed into its unique shape. 2/$5.  read more

(breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)

 

Greywacke

Most simply, Greywacke is a type of sandstone that has a lot of rock grain and fragments in it, kind of a lumpy batter that set up before it was completely stirred. It is often associated with continental shelves, and is believed to have formed by mudslides along the shelf. Greywackes are mostly grey, brown, yellow or black, dull-colored sandy rocks which may occur in thick or thin beds, and bear some similarity to formations of “Chuckanut sandstone” that we seen on our own shores here on Lummi Island.

A few months ago fellow islander and longtime director of Lummi Island Heritage Trust Becca S. was in the wine shop picking up bread and mentioned the term. She informed us that many of the formations in the recently acquired Aiston Preserve are made of greywacke as is much of the southern half of Lummi Island. The formations are about 150 million years old, and underlain by basalt and chert from an ancient sea floor.

She had also learned that greywacke was a major part of the geological structure of New Zealand, and that there was a NZ winery of the same name that made sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, and that maybe we should track it down and get some; maybe it could fit into some Trust activities. Which we did. And which we now have. This weekend for your tasting pleasure we will be pouring the New Zealand Greywacke Pinot Noir. (See tasting notes below). The complex minerality gives the wine a somewhat masculine style, showing dark fruit and nuances of cedar, earth, and smoke. Pretty yummy, don’t miss it!

 

Mar a Lago Update: The REAL Impeachable Crime

It’s not that the Impeachment charges forming against the Tweetster are not Crimes, because they certainly are. And it’s not that his words and actions have not undermined the high ideals that we want our country to stand for, because they do and they have, 24/7 for the past four years. These are important issues that we must deal with. However, we digress for a moment from those ongoing concerns today to consider the Ominous Existential Context in which all this is happening, i. e. rapidly accelerating Climate Change.

In a recent interview, Senior Brookings Institution and World Resources Institute Fellow Todd Stern discussed the importance of the Paris Climate Accord and global participation in it, pointing out that climate change is an “equal-opportunity destroyer;”  not believing in it is not going to save you from it. America’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord signals the rest of the world that the job of fighting climate change falls on them alone. Not only are we not helping, we continue policies that continually Make Things Worse.

The challenge is huge, time is short, and the consequences of failure look Catastrophic. The entire world, which currently gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels, must work together toward the goal of reducing carbon to net zero by 2050…just thirty years away. If we fail to achieve that goal climate change may reach a tipping point that threatens the ability of the planet to support life at all. But already three years have been lost because of the Tweetster’s Monumental Ignorance, with no sign of change in sight.

Mr. Stern asserts that a united global civilization can do what we need to do, but we have passed the point where marginal progress in the right direction is enough. If we had started in earnest preparing for this future forty years ago when we first became aware of the problem we would have already been where we need to be. Now, after all this time making things worse and worse, “we are at a crisis point where directional progress is no longer enough—speed and scale are everything.”

To accomplish the 2050 goal will require “innovation, integrated policy, and economic commitment, all of which are possible…what is lacking is unified political will around the world.” That would be less difficult and more possible in a post-Tweetster world. Let it be…

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date 13,445 as of 10/10/19

This weekend’s wine tasting

Bocelli Chardonnay ’18       Italy    $14
Rich aromas of ripe pear with a hint of banana; plump and silky on the palate with crisp, lingering flavors of lychee and white peach.

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.

Chat Auzias Cabardes Red  ’17    France    $10
Dark berries with a hint of eucalyptus; medium body with good acidity and notes of raspberry and sweet oak on the lingering finish.

Cana’s Feast Briar Red ’18        Washington   $16
Ripe raspberry, boysenberry and cocoa on the nose. Full flavors of cherry, brown sugar, and coffee serve as a base for more subtle mineral and iron nuances. Generous acidity and tannic structure support a long, round finish.

Greywacke Pinot Noir ’16     New Zealand    $32
Delicious aromas of juicy blackberries, blueberries and strawberry jam, with suggestions of black olives, cedar and a hint of lavender. Finely structured palate shows red and black fruit with earthy, smoky nuances.

 

Wine Tasting