Wine Tasting November 28
Hope you all had a hearty and festive Thanksgiving. Here we are, tummies full and spent, late on Turkey night, not much more to say beyond that for the moment. Just want to invite you to drop by on Saturday for a post-feast wind-down. While other places pick up for the Holidays, our experience on Lummi is that things start slowing way down about now. So come by, taste some surprising wines, and pass some time together.
Likely wines for this weekend:
- Artesa Chardonnay Carneros 07 (California) $17: Nicely textured, fruity, soft, mouth-filling, highly rated
- Salice Salentino Arcangelo 08 (Italy) $11 : 80% negroamaro, 20% Primitivo; expansive, rich, and robust aromas of steeped plums, cracked pepper, blackberry confit and cinnamon.
- Bibbiani Treggiaia 07 (Italy) $10 : a great value blend of sangio & cab, the ultimate pizza wine, serious but friendly,
- Stephen Vincent Zinfandel 07 (California) $10 : An amazing wine for the price; wild berry nose, with forward fruit in the mouth. Jammy and full bodied, with the right touch of toasty American oak.
Pre-Thanksgiving Wine Tasting Nov 21
MAKE US YOUR FAVORITE! KING-5 TV has a listing of wine shops on its web site; click on this link , then click on “Write a recommendation” and give us YOUR vote for “best wine shop in Washington!” (thanks!!!)
Winter Studio tour is always hard to predict, mainly due to weather,so it was a good idea to move it last year to mid-November from first weekend in December. Although there were some very Stormy days (and Dark and Stormy nights!) last week, the weekend was cloudy and a bit breezy, but not in the “Oppressive” zone. That made for a steady group of revelers, including quite a number of first-timers.
We had one very special guest we haven’t seen in a while; Chuck and Sharon came by on what may be Chuck’s first outing after his long sojourn with the bone marrow folks. WELCOME BACK, CHUCK!!!
Also, though they say you never want to see how laws or sausages are made, we all like to see how Truffles are made…here are Janice and Pat in the Heart of Creation. Anyone who tasted them knows they tasted a little Slice of Heaven! Mmm-mmm!
We wound up pouring about ten wines over the course of the two days, including: Trevisiol Rosecco, a refreshing rose prosecco; our old favorite Banear prosecco; the delightful Nefarious dry riesling; Castle Rock Mendocino pinot noir; De Natale pinot noir; Sobon Estates Fiddletown zinfandel, and Storybook Mayacamas zinfandel.
This week our semi-annual Italian Order came in, so we are trying to tie the new arrivals in to our ongoing quest for the perfect Thanksgiving wine list. Here is the likely starting lineup:
Barbolini Lambrusco Lancillotto (Italy) $16: Handmade since 1889–briny, not sweet, with a lush body, ripe fruit and berry aromas, and delicate bubbles; especially good match with balsamic or smoked salmon.
Legoe Bay Pinot Gris 07 (Washington) $9: Beautiful aromas and flavors of pear, apple, melon, and honey with a round, mouth-filling texture…delicious!
Martorana Nero d’Avola 08 (Sicily) $12 : Easy drinking red wine with crowd-pleasing notes of ripe plums, blueberry, almond, and sweet rhubarb.
Cousino Macul Merlot 07 (Chile) $10: Dark ruby-colored with an expressive nose of cherry and cranberry, with supple and savory flavors of ripe plums and violets.
Pasek Cranberry wine (Washington) $10: A unique wine, really made from cranberries, this year’s version is quite sweet, though with good acidity. Drink by itself, with soda water or prosecco as a wine cooler, or as an interesting accompaniment to turkey and trimmings.
Wine Tasting Studio Tour November 14-15
It all started with: “It was a dark and stormy night…” and went downhill from there...
...It was raining on the Island, not a Hard Rain exactly, more like a Heavy Rain, but not heavy in the sense of tropical downpour, though sometimes it was, but more Heavy in the sense of Omigod, it’s the week after the clocks have been set back and it gets dark early, Too Early, and even if it wasn’t cloudy and Gloomy with thousands and thousands of feet of Heavy Clouds up there and out there and all around, just Sucking the Light out of the very air we breathe and more importantly see the world through, and more important than that, that we see Color through, and at best there are just shades of gray and no real color because there just isn’t enough Light, and yes though it was sometimes raining Hard, tropically even, it is mostly that Oppressive Feeling of the relentless Weight of the Gloom, that we can’t help but fear will Never Go Away, and if you look at the political situation, well, it’s exactly the same thing, that’s all I’m saying. (that’s my entry and I’m sticking to it…)
Which is to say, our first guests were Sean and Elizabeth and friends, and somehow the subject came up about the annual Bulwer-Lytton writing contest, in which people write really funny long sentences like B-L did once upon a time, and we read several of the entries from the website, totally silly and great fun.
Our other Big Event of the day was our first visit from just-turned-21 Patrick O’Callaghan, who looked to be having a good time…ah, it’s all Downhill from here, Kid, enjoy the ride!
I have to say this was one of the best tastings we have done in a while; all four wines were showing really well, completely delicious, and highly recommended.
This weekend is the pre-Holiday Artists’ studio tour. so we will be open from 10-5 both Saturday and Sunday. We will aim at pouring wines to go with holiday fare, either turkey or perhaps salmon, or both.
BY THE WAY PLEASE DO US A FAVOR: KING-5 TV has a listing of wine shops on its web site; click on this link , then click on “Write a recommendation” and give us YOUR vote for best wine shop in Washington! (thanks!!!)
Truffles!!! In addition, Pat and Janice (Lummi Island Chocolate Kompany or “LICK” as I like to call it–and they don’t, but they haven’t come up with a real name yet) will have some new truffles for tasting during the weekend so you can order some for the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), conveniently packaged in boxes of four, each a different flavor, for a mere $1 per truffle. Having sampled, I gotta say these are Awesome! Flavors:
Fleur de sel Caramel- Bittersweet chocolate, Lummi Island sea salt, organic cream
Eggnog- - egg nog, organic cream
Pumpkin spice –pumpkin, milk chocolate, organic cream, spices
Dark Chocolate Port Truffles – Bittersweet chocolate, madeira, organic cream
As for this weekend’s wine tasting, well, that’s complicated. We want to feature wines that will pair well with Thanksgiving dinner, but typically there are several courses, so “pairing” becomes quite general. So through the weekend we will be pouring an evolving selection of wines, generally covering four areas: appetizers, soup/salad, main course, and dessert.
Appetizers/ socializing: the perfect occasion for bubbles, in the form of Italian prosecco, Spanish cava, French champagne or cremant, or any number of other sparklers
First courses: Most soups or salads will pair well with medium bodied white wines or roses that complement the acidity of the dressing and the sweetness of the vegetables; the more fat and seasoning, the bigger the wine should be, so a range
Main course: Around here this means turkey or salmon, and either one might also be smoked a little or a lot. My thinking is again the more fat and salt/spice, or the more smoke, the bigger the wine needed, and the more juicy, the less acid that’s necessary. So the range would include a crisp and fruity dry riesling, a smooth and flavorful viognier (like our own Legoe Bay), or a nicely oaked chardonnay. With salmon, it is tough to beat pinot noir for a perfect match. And if either turkey or fish is smoked, you might want to slide into a red wine with lots of fruit like a zinfandel or a syrah.
Dessert: This runs the gamut, though pumpkin pie is often the centerpiece dessert for the day; here you want a dessert wine with good acidity that frames the flavors in the pie, from a a late harvest riesling or pinot gris to a concentrated caramel-raisiny Pedro Ximenez sherry.
All I can tell you is that at any time there will be four wines being poured, one from each category, and from varying price ranges. So come by, taste some wines, and let’s talk about good pairing for YOUR dinner!
Wine Tasting November 7
Strange day in some undefinable way. First, it was Halloween, and we decided to wear “costumes.” Pat had a really great Witch Hat and pasty witch makeup and looked, well, kinda creepy. At the last minute I found my old martial arts outfit and put that on…it’s been enough years that now it is definitely a “costume.”
We were expecting a pretty good crowd, and imagined many would be in costume, but alas, only a few. Which is really not all that surprising for a Saturday afternoon. Then again, it isn’t that complicated to put on your old Lone Ranger mask, and a bit of stage makeup. Anyway, Russ, Kathy, and Kathy’s sister, Cindy (who is talking about moving here)—- did themselves up very nicely and set a festive mood, and late in the day Mary Jane came by decked out most convincingly as a nun, having access to the wardrobe of a new production of “Sister Act” soon to be in rehearsal somewhere nearby. She even had that stern countenance that scared the bedickens out of all the little kids in oldtime Catholic schools (it’s one of the the things Recovering Catholics are, you know, Recovering from).
This week’s wines:
Nefarious Cellars “Consequence” White ’08 Washington-Chelan $15: Off-dry in style, a blend of Aligote and Viognier, a great patio sipper, with aromatics of tree fruit (huh??) and grass, with flavors of peaches, apricots, green apple, stone fruit, and ruby red grapefruit, with really lovely mouth-cleansing acidity. Not to mention, this winery is beautifully situated overlooking Lake Chelan and several acres of well-tended vineyards. see slide show
Martorana Colonna nero d’avola/syrah Italy $13–Lush, Rubenesque aromas and flavors of ripe plum, Moroccan spice, mincemeat, and sweet ginger…
Domaine Rimbert Le Chant de Marjolaine 07 France $14– “Jean-Marie Rimbert is a native of Provence who has forearms reminiscent of Popeye’s – must be the vine-pruning. He believes that carignan is his pinot and with old vines and small yields is a noble cépage. In his words “It is a much more efficient vehicle for terroir than syrah or grenache, at least here, where the schiste gives you relatively low acid wines.” (which basically means I can’t remember this wine except that I liked it!”
Marguery Familia Malbec ‘04 Argentina $21 –a round, supple wine with insinuating flavor intensity, smooth tannins, and lovely life and length (my favorite!)