lummi island wine tasting december 8 ’17

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No Bread this week

With apologies to Our Faithful, your Baker is Away this week. She will be in touch with the mailing list on Sunday about next week’s bread offerings. If you haven’t saved any in the freezer, you might (gasp!) have to buy a commercial loaf to tide you over.






New Art Show

Last weekend we installed our Winter show, with some new watercolors by Meredith Moench. It is always fun to see how our artists develop from year to year, both in style, skill, and subject matter. Here are two examples of a new (to our eyes) bright look in Meredith’s work…looks like something here about putting the “Wild” into Wild Flowers…quite captivating. Be sure to take time to look at these new works…you will probably want to take one home with you!


Gender Truth and Reconciliation

We seem to be in the midst of a Cultural Revolution here in America. Civilizations by and large don’t seem to have done much to protect women’s rights since Writing was invented about 5000 years ago. According to some accounts, that’s when God told Dominant Males they They had Been Chosen to Exercise God’s Will on Earth, including Dominion over anyone Less Powerful. Therefore human history is pretty much the story of Dominant Males coming up with all kinds of reasons why everyone else’s Stuff is really Theirs, and how God wants Them to kill or enslave the Godless Infidels who took their Stuff and take it back, and thus the History of our Species is an endless Unfolding Kaleidoscope of Rationalized Brutality and  Cruelty. Or, as we euphemistically refer to it nowadays, “Politics.”

While this Need to Control may very well have once had long-term Darwinian Genetic Advantages for our Emergent Species, in the last few Centuries (a blink of the Evolutionary Eye) it has become (arguably) an Evolutionary Constraint. Despite the creation of the Magna Carta, the UN,  the U. S. Constitution, and the World Court, all urging peace and equality, Inevitably, in the Name of God, or Country, or Whichever Ancient Book, or Whatever Cause Du Jour, the Dominant Males keep us on a Path to Destruction. Figuring out how to stop them has been the Deep Koan of an Entire Generation.

So with that Perspective we Acknowledge that the Toolbox of the Dominant Male includes Violence toward Everyone and Everything that threatens to limit their Power, and this has Regularly, Thoughtlessly, Selfishly, and Unacceptably fallen on the least powerful in every culture and society: women, children, the poor, the sick, the minority Others.

Today we find Our Nation entering what might be a Profound Cultural Revolution that will go a long way toward improving Gender Equality. Or, given 50 Centuries of Human History, it might involve the Symbolic Skewering of a few Minor Players, after which the DM’s will quietly Regroup, Consolidate, and Go On as if Nothing Had Happened. Bottom line: just because Gender Justice is a worthy cause doesn’t mean it isn’t being used as a Political Tool by the Party of Dominant Males. Disgracing and unseating Al may be fleetingly satisfying to some women; but it may Way More Satisfying to the DM’s who are always pulling the strings. We shall see. Or as Senator Franken noted today, it is Ironic (and Disturbing) that he has to Go while Trump and Roy Moore remain Invulnerable. I mean, Really, No Wonder the Other Species just Roll Their Eyes when they look at us…!


Mar a Lago Update: Tearing Down the New Deal

Well, folks, it’s late here at the Wine Gallery. So we will leave this topic till next week. Meanwhile, send in your thoughts on it, and don’t forget to come by the Wine Shop this weekend!








This week’s wine tasting

Quails’ Gate Chenin Blanc ’16   Canada   
Pale lemon in the glass, honeysuckle, grass, citrus, pear and melon mingle together on the nose. The palate is dry and complex with beautifully balanced acidity, lovely weight and mid-palate texture, along with its characteristic stony mineral note. Great with NW seafood!

Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva ’15    Spain   $10
Tempranillo/ cab sauv blend; Warm aromas of spices and ripe fruit; wide and round palate, easy drinking, great buy!

Chateau Les Croisille Cahors Malbec “Croizillon” ’15      France    $15
100% malbec organically farmed by hand; aromas and flavors of black cherry, saddle leather, blackberry, cocoa and spice.

La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva ’13   Italy      $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Pomum Shya Cabernet Sauvignon  ’12    Washington   $35
Slightly porty aromas of black cherry, tar, licorice, wild herbs, cocoa powder and spices. Densely packed and energetic, conveying flavors of dark berries and spicy oak. Serious and persistent boasting very good lift and structure.

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting december 1 ’17

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Bread this week

Sonnenblumenbrot – aka Sunflower Seed Bread- made with a pre-ferment that is a complete dough itself. It takes a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast that ferments overnight before mixing the final dough. The final dough is made with bread flour and freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. – $5/loaf

Honey, Wheat, Lemon & Poppy seeds – Made with a poolish that ferments some of the flour, yeast and water, but none of the salt, 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. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

For pastry this week…

Croissants! – Pastry dough made with flour, milk, butter and sugar and then laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants.  2/$5


Touriga Nacional

Portugal has a lot of interesting wines with unusual and difficult to pronounce names. Most of these varietals are peculiar to Portugal and rare in our experience, the best known being Touriga Nacional, a full-bodied Portuguese red wine grape with aging potential similar to Cabernet Sauvignon. It has long been a blending grape in Port, and now is more often seen as a dry red wine which stands very well on its own.

Some people liken it to Napa Cabernet or Australian Shiraz for depth of flavor and tannic structure. It typically shows palate-coating and tooth-staining notes of blueberry, plum, blackberry, bittersweet cocoa, and a touch of mint and violet. Our featured wine this weekend is a particularly pleasing 100% touriga nacional that we think everyone will enjoy.

Bold and lush, Touriga Nacional appeals to all of us who like big fruit-forward red wines. It is often balanced and showing fine, gravelly tannins. When aged in oak, it often delivers aromas of toasted marshmallow, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon spice. and red-fruit flavors. Bottom line: it has a certain Bigness that will appeal to some (you know who you are!)


Dark Lord 

As we go to press tonight, little Mitchie McConnell is once again the Dark Lord of the Hour. For the last decade he has Proven his Commitment to One-Party Government, through his year-long refusal to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the consistent use of obscure Senate Rules to allow his party to make momentous National Decisions with a bare majority (when the rules call for a Two-Thirds majority), and his ongoing series of attempts to transfer more and more Wealth from the masses to the .1%.

As 2017 comes to an end, our Editorial Review Board has faced a Quandary: who is More Evil: Count Mar a Lago or Darth McConnell? To be sure we have had many Heated Discussions on the subject. In the final analysis, however, we have come to consider that Evil, like all skills and practices, has several levels of Mastery: Unconscious Incompetence –> Conscious Incompetence –> Conscious Competence –> Unconscious Competence (aka “Mastery”).

All of the Evidence available to us so far suggests that the Trumpster consistently fails to show evidence of any progress whatsoever beyond the Child-Level “unconscious incompetence;” i.e. he has No Idea what he is doing, and he has No Idea he has No Idea. McConnell, on the other hand, has consistently shown that he is completely Aware, Committed, and Dedicated to the Complete Destruction of Representative Government and its Replacement with Private Corporate Control on a Global Scale. Therefore he has earned the unanimous vote of our Editorial Board as Dark Lord of the Year 2017. If you agree, please donate $3 or more to our Lobbying Effort to capture and return him to his Home Swampy Frog Planet. We can only hope that Somehow he is Stopped before he, you know, Spawns and Multiplies…(gulp!)


Mar a Lago Update: One No-Trump

Also as we go to press tonight we offer an uncertain Magnanimous Shrug about our so-called President. Our recent Insights about the Current State of the Nation regard him as a Symptom, not a Cause. Clearly he is not a Politician, but rather a Leading Contestant on some Ultimate Reality TV series. This is His Real Gift: Manipulating Media to stay in the Headlines, to be the Center of Attention, and to convert that Attention into Money and Adulation. In his world, Notoriety is the Essence of Success. Add to that the Comfort of a Four Year Contract as Leading Man-Star…well, we can imagine him humming “Heaven…I’m in Heaven…” as he takes a shower, savors his Chocolate Cake, or Tweets his latest Ad for his Brand.

No, the Real Danger continues to lie with the Corporatists, whose greatest achievement in the past thirty years has been the complete elimination of the Progressive Income Tax. For those of you too young to remember, the concept behind the Progressive Income Tax was Equality of Burden. If your income is low, each additional dollar you earn is essential to meet Basic Necessities. But if you are Wealthy, each additional dollar buys goods and services that most consider “luxuries.” The importance of the idea of Progressive Taxation is that it was largely based on an Ethical Premise: that the highest dollar earned is more important to someone who is poor than it is to someone who is rich. And therefore, the concept of “Equal Burden” of taxation requires that people should pay progressively Higher Tax Rates on progressively higher incomes.

Essentially that reasoning all went away during the Reagan years, replaced by the notion that the Nation could not afford to Pamper the Poor. If Progressive Taxation had been a kind of Economic Lifeboat launched as part of the New Deal, Reaganomics basically said, “if you can’t afford a ticket, get out and swim.” For Mitch McConnell and his Merry Band, nothing has changed since then. As one top-hatted Gentleman in Industrial Revolution London said to a Colleague as he pointed out the Squalor all around them, “There’s a Great Deal of Money to be made here!”


This week’s wine tasting

Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux Blanc  ’16   France     $15
Bright and engaging, with fresh grapefruit and Meyer lemon pulp notes backed by a flash of straw on the open-knit finish. Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

Chateau Buisson-Redon Bordeaux ’14      France    $11
Red fruit and cherry notes on the nose, with elegant soft tannins, and good backbone from the
Cab Franc; pleasant cinnamon and nutmeg aromas; medium-bodied and structured with round, warm fruit and a velvety finish.

Bocelli Sangiovese ’14   Italy      $14
Bright,, lush, and appealing; deliciously ripe and smoky, with notes of marasca cherry, granite, and rhubarb compote. Finish is long and dry, with admirable acidity that makes the palate taut and pleasing.

Airfield Estate Merlot ’14 Washington $14
Slightly muted nose with dill, red cherry and raspberry, and flavors of red cherry, pomegranate, dill and milk chocolate. Easy, silky texture with good balance.

Quinta de Pinto Riserva  ’13    Portugal   $22
A lovely Touriga Nacional, laced with violets and wonderful aromatics that combine with its fine structure, balance and elegant mid-palate for a very pleasing whole. Fresh and lively, with a hint of eucalyptus on the finish: a great food wine!

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting nov 24 ’17

Reminder: Closed Thanksgiving Weekend

Like many of you we are away for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The wine shop will be closed both Friday and Saturday. We will reopen as usual Next Weekend, and Janice will be in touch about bread orders this Sunday for pickup next Friday, Dec 1.

In the meantime we wish you a warm and relaxing Holiday!




Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting nov 17 ’17

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Bread this week

Something a bit different this week to help everyone get ready for Thanksgiving—a selection of dinner rolls, 6 rolls per order, 2 each of three different kinds. Pick them up on Friday, throw in the freezer, straight into the oven frozen just before dinner and have delicious fresh rolls for Thanksgiving without the work!!!

Septieme Rolls – Made with mostly bread flour and a bit of fresh milled whole wheat, mixed and fermented overnight in the refrigerator results in crusty roll on the outside with a soft, fragrant crumb on the inside.

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.

Two rolls of each flavor per order for $5; all orders come with 2 each of the three flavors.


Thanksgiving Week Schedule

History has shown that Islanders have Plans for Thanksgiving Week that do not involve coming to their neighborhood wine shop. And we are among them, off to Oregon for a family dinner, while Janice our dutiful Baker will be cooking dinner at home for a Crowd. Therefore, please note that the wine shop will closed both Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving weekend. We will reopen the following weekend, December 1-2 (OMD! December?…already??!) for our regular hours. We wish all of you a safe, warm, and congenial Holiday, and look forward to seeing you in two weeks!




Madeira wine has been around for a long time. It was poured at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, was so widely available that it often perfumed ladies’ handkerchiefs, and was known as the “Milk of the Old” for its restorative properties. It comes from the island of the same name in the mid-Atlantic, a shipping crossroads in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since ocean voyages of the day were often very long, it was not uncommon for wines to spoil from heating and oxidation. Madeira, it turns out, thrived on changes in temperature, developing appealing nuances of flavor when heated and showed no change in flavor with oxidation.

Thus Madeira became the only wine that is deliberately heated in the making, to simulate the effects of the long sailing voyages to the East. After fermentation the wines are fortified to 17-20% alcohol content, stored in “estufas” heated to 45 degrees C for at least 3 months, then cooled slowly to rest for several years. Bottom line: it travels well, stores well, and can stay fresh for years even after opening!

Madeira is made from various combinations of six local grape varietals, chiefly Tinta Negra Mole, a cross of pinot noir and grenache. Depending on the grapes used, it is classified into four levels of sweetness: Dry (Seco), Medium Dry (Meio Seco), Medium Sweet (Meio Doce) and Sweet (Doce). These terms refer to both the levels of residual sugar (which varies according to varietal), and also to other nuances of flavor, acidity, and balance. As a result, the sweetness designation does not necessarily predict one’s experience of “sweetness” of any particular bottle. Sweet or dry, it is a comfort on long, dark evenings. This weekend we are pouring a 5-year Reserva Madeira, a nice finish for your Holiday dinner.


Mar a Lago Update: Lost in Translation

The First Thing to go was Civility. That became clear very soon after the ’92 election, when Rush Limbaugh began his daily mean-spirited rantings about “dope-smoking” President-elect Bill Clinton and wife “Queen Hillary.” It was hateful and slanderous, and it broke all the Rules about Civil Dialogue. That was twenty-five years ago, and it has only gotten Worse.  Now we live in a deeply polarized Society with a Congress that is Unwilling or Unable to negotiate across party lines on Anything. And to a large degree ordinary citizens have also become barricaded in the Prisons of our own Beliefs, and most “News” has been replaced by Commentary and Interpretation.

The Surprising Polarities that emerged right here on Lummi Island over the past several months regarding a pretty inconsequential proposal to establish a bit of local Autonomy by forming a Parks & Recreation District demonstrate the challenges of community dialogue anywhere these days. The standing joke defines our Island as an Argument Surrounded by Water.” And that’s just in our one tiny community with (as far as we know) No Russian Social Media Intervention. The Takeaway seems to be that every community may have developed its very own Blend of Distrust and Fear that Someone wants to Take our Stuff, Invade our Privacy, or in any number of ways Thumb their Noses at the Values we hold Dear.

We have all developed the habit of Translating What Someone Says into What We Think We Heard Them Say. There is an ongoing process of Translation in any conversation which is deeply affected by our Fears and Expectations, making many conversations into adjoining monologues rather than Dialogue. As Richard Nixon once said, “I know you think you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is exactly what I meant.” To this day No One has Any Idea what that meant. Like more and more of our Political Discussions, Much is irretrievably Lost in Translation.


This week’s wine tasting

Kiona Red Mountain Riesling ’16
From 40-yr old vines on Red Mountain, off-dry style with well-developed bright fruit, pronounced minerality, and crisp acidity.

Sanguineti Cannonau de Sardegna    ’15     Italy      $12
This cannonau– a Sardinian varietal known elsewhere as grenache– offers dry and dusty aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate and plum that leave lingering, crisp, earthy and briny flavors that beg for food.

Jordanov Red ’15      Macedonia   $11
Cab, merlot, and vranec from limestone and sandy soils; shows n
otes of blueberry and densely concentrated fruit with a dusty, rich, long minerally finish of cherry and cherry pit.  read more

Tres Picos Garnacha ’14  Spain  92pts    $15
Heady, exotically perfumed bouquet of ripe berries and incense, with a smoky minerality and spice. Vibrant flavors of raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola show power, depth and finesse with velvety tannins.

Henriques Full Rich 5 yr Madeira
Dark gold with strong aromas and flavors of ripe fruit, with caramel, floral and spice flavors that turn toward tobacco and walnut on the finish. Mellow and very rich on the palate; ideal as an after dinner drink.


Wine Tasting