Lummi Island Wine Tasting October 3
Well, of course the Big News here is that the Whatcom Chief is back in service as I write this. For those of you who do NOT live on the island, once a year the ferry goes away for annual maintenance for two or three weeks. This year it was three weeks, during which a passenger boat carries people and their scheppables between the mainland and the island. We are all deeply Ready to have our trusty boat back…
Whatcom Chief with Mt. Baker in the background
Saturday (and Sunday) was one of those truly stunningly beautiful fall days when the air is clear, the sky deeply blue, the sunshine bright. Small wonder not many visitors arrived till pretty late in the afternoon, when we saw many of the Usual Suspects (but no camera at hand!).
As promised in last week’s post, out of deference for the fine weather we poured the Brancott sauv blanc instead of the Marchetti verdicchio. How was I to know that the verdicchio was new grandma Nancy’s new Favorite White Wine, and it was truly heartbreaking to see her disappointment…not that there was anything at all wrong with the day’s whites, which showed very well. The l’Hortus Pic St. Loup won a few converts, but perhaps it is an acquired taste with its rustic intensity and robust tannins. What can I say, I like this little region with its distinctive wines…
So this week we WILL feature the later harvest verdicchio (not a desert wine, just a little fuller-bodied than usual), so y’all come back ‘n’ see us again this week, Nancy. Also, we had occasion on Sunday to try another bottle of the Perazzeta Erio “super-Tuscan” (sangio, syrah, cab, merlot), and it has opened up nicely since we poured it a couple of months ago at our Italian tasting…think Very Cherry!Saturday’s tasting:
October 3 tasting:
Marchetti Later Harvest Verdicchio (Italy) Full-bodied with lush notes of pear and melon, and beautiful acidity. A one of a kind wine from one of the great winemakers of Marche $14
Luzon ’07 monastrell/syrah ’07 (Spain) exhibits a bouquet of spice box, violets, and blueberry. On the palate this smooth-textured wine offers generous savory fruit, good balance, and a pure finish. $9
Perazzeta Erio Sangio, cab, syrah blend (”Super Tuscan) Balance, extract, and raw power so intense it induces sensations of actually chewing cherries, prunes and fresh dates!”…$15
Tres Picos Garnacha ’07 (Spain) sexy aromas of cedar, underbrush, mineral, and black cherry. This leads to a layered, intense, spicy, rich Garnacha with gobs of succulent fruit, excellent balance, and a plush finish. $14.
Wine Tasting September 26
Here we are in the third week of annual drydock. The first week is festive, seeing folks face to face on the passenger boat that you seldom see otherwise. Second week a little less rosy. Third week we are all really ready for the Whatcom Chief to come back with her new coat of paint, ready for yet another year of reliable service. What colors will she be wearing this year??
Last weekend was busy with wine biz…our regular tasting on Saturday and the special Equinox food pairing event on Sunday. Both days were lovely, sunny, and warm fall days, picture perfect. Saturday was a small group, smallest in some months, made for easier conversation and visiting. All the wines showed very well, and the new truffles were also a hit…hmm, need a picture of those truffles!
Sunday turned out to be a great success! We had 16 guests for the wine and food pairing event, and all seemed to enjoy the terrific “small bites” that Mary Beth worked hours on putting together in our little galley, and the five wonderful wines that we paired with each dish.
My own feeling is that MB worked way too hard on the food, Pat worked way too hard washing dishes (never again a fresh plate for every dish!), and Steve and I worked too hard schlepping tables and chairs up and down the stairs. Look for the next event to have great wine and great food, yes, but presented in a more casual way. We are already at the drawing board, so stay tuned!
This week’s wines:
Dry Creek chenin blanc (Calif)
luscious notes of melon, peach, and lemon peel, a great buy… $10
Marchetti Later Harvest Verdicchio*…
Full-bodied with lush notes of pear and melon, and beautiful acidity. A one of a kind wine from one of the great winemakers of Marche …$14
* OR if it’s sunny, possibly continuing to celebrate the summer with the ’08 Brancott Sauv blanc (NZ) $14 (“gooseberry , lime, nectarine, and lemongrass “)
Domaine L’Hortus Pic St. Lou red (France)…a Rhone blend with a richness of black currants, plums and blueberries, along with some coffee…named for the 638m crag shown below, this little appellation consistently produces wines of intensity and concentration…$14
Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cab Sauv 2003 (Chile)… A full-bodied and expressive red, with plenty of berry, red plum and chocolate-spice flavors. There are nice mineral and cedar notes mixed in, with fine tannins on the finish…$18
Pic St. Loup
JUST IN! Cheese, Gromit!
New cheeses from Pleasant Valley include special, seasonal BASIL gouda– YUM, it’s great, but with the fresh herb should be eaten soon. Also stocked up on fines herbes, nokkelost, & jalapeno…!
Lummi Island Wine and Chocolate Tasting September 19
We enjoyed our weekend off (van trip with the dogs, enjoying the color of the Wooden Boat Festival, and picking up lovely wines from Andrew Will (Vashon) and Betz (Woodenville)).
The regular Saturday tasting this week includes a new batch of truffles from Pat and Janice, which are looking and tasting Very Professional. The theme is Autumal Equinox, halfway between light and dark, so look for white chocolate-ginger ganache in dark chocolate, and dark chocolate-coconut in dark chocolate, plus dark chocolate medallions…muy rico!
Wines for Saturday:
- Byron chardonnay ’06 (California): more subdued than the lovely ’05, but “supple, rich and creamy up front, with fig, marshmallow and floral-honeysuckle flavors that are pure, clean and mouthwatering (…”marshmallow…?”)…$19
- Campo Viejo Rioja (Spain) : Deep flavors of stewed plums and leather, a great value…$10
- St. Innocent 2007 Villages Cuvée Pinot Noir (Oregon): a vibrant nose of freshly cut flowers, bright red fruit and sweet spices. Cherry and red berry flavors are layered with freshly ground pie spices and a core of minerality…$19
- Matetic “EQ” syrah 03 (Chile) : Heady, with lots of black cherry, blackberry, bramble, tobacco and grilled beef aromas and flavors…$23
BE SURE TO READ THE NEXT POST ABOUT OUR SPECIAL EVENT ON SUNDAY!!!
Sunday, Sept 20- Special Harvest Event
Wine, Tapas, and Truffles
RESERVE SPACE NOW for Sunday, September 20 from 3-5pm for a special “Harvest Tasting,” featuring a lovely set of wines (see below) paired with delicious ’small bites’ (i.e. tapas) prepared by our friend and chef extraordinaire Mary Beth, followed by delectable hand-made chocolate truffles from Pat & Janice.
$28 per person, RESERVE NOW via email or phone 360.758.2959. It’s gonna be good!
Of course, the customary perspective is “what wine would go well with this food?” But sometimes it’s fun to look at it the other way around: “Here are some great wines; what foods and flavors would really make them shine?” …!!!
In either case, it is the dance between the food and the wine that engages us. Like the golfer’s elusive perfect shot, good wine and food pairings create a synergy that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and when that happens it is quite magical. So we are always shooting for magic, and every once in a while we find it, and our palates sing, and Life is Good!
Probable menu for the event:
- Harvest vegetable wraps with fresh greens & herbs, avocado, cheese-lime dressing and baby tomatoes<-> Matua Paretai Sauvignon Blanc ’07…”intense, with aromas of papaya and tropical fruits, interlaced with crisp citrus and mineral notes; palate is rich and full, an explosion of tropical fruits almost viscous in intensity”;
- Melon tossed in lemon, light balsamic, and pepper, wrapped in serrano ham & topped with dark grapes <-> Isenhower White Paintbrush ’08, a Washington rousanne with notes of mango, orange peel, jasmine, and brisk minerality;
- Grilled shrimp, red peppers, and zucchini chunks, glazed and served on skewers and garnished with ginger <-> Marguery Familia Malbec ’04, a round, supple wine with insinuating flavor intensity, smooth tannins, and lovely life and length;
- Roast beef stacks on toasted baguette with sweet onion, fresh herbs and blue cheese crumbles, garnished with stone ground mustard <-> Betz Besoleil Grenache ’06, a luscious, deep, dark, full-bodied red wine from one of Washington’s top winemakers; silky texture, layered sweet fruit, great concentration; penetrating black raspberry, sweet strawberry and spice, and a 60-second finish.
- Assorted handmade chocolate truffles <-> Cecilia Aleatico ’05, grown on the laid back Tuscan island of Elba, packed with extraordinarily complex and exotic aromas of reggiano parmigiano, rhubarb, cherry cola and rose petal extract.
…brings to mind the famous palindrome: “Able was I ere I saw Elba”…looks like Napoleon didn’t have it all that bad in exile on this lovely island…