Reminder from Pat: Last chance to order Easter Truffles!
Hi all–it’s Spring! (Is that hail I hear on the roof??!)
Janice and I are making up some batches of truffles for the Easter bunny to deliver this weekend for pre-orders, with any extras (usually not many) for sale in the wine shop on Saturday while they last (usually not for long!). If you’d like some for your grown-up Easter baskets (peeps are for kids, silly rabbit!) call now to order.
There will be four flavors– some new inspirations and some standards–and they’re available in boxes of 2 for $3, boxes of 4 for $5, and boxes of 8 for $10, beribboned and ready for gifting or eating on the spot, or both. Any extras will be available for $1/each, too, at the shop.
Artisan Wine Gallery Truffles are hand-made at our shop from high-quality chocolate and real flavorings.
Flavors: Triple Chocolate Macadamia Amaretto Apricot Fresh Mint
Please call Janice at 758-2559 or Pat at 758-2959 to order; you can pick them up this Saturday at the wine shop or by special arrangement.
Wine notes tomorrow!
Wine Tasting March 27 ’10
was a great weekend for wine and for delightful, high-spirited guests, including Seattleites Shelli (see her very interesting jewelry and art) and friend Leslie, and psychologist couple Aaron and Jordan. All had wonderful smiles and great laughs that played off each other like old friends, very Festive! Jordan had those soles that carry great quantities of Earth about, which found their way onto our floor, and here she is sweeping them up, but only if I would post this photo on the blog.
That’s Kelly peeking around the corner, who came with Zach, whom Pat and I have known for decades as the guy who checks you in at Harmony Motorworks–well, maybe not decades (he looks way too young) but a long time. I have known for some time that he likes good wine, so it was great to have him visit—FINALLY! Under reciprocity rules, of course we had to charge him our shop rate of $437.68 per hour for pouring wine. So there they are, Kelly and Zach, who rode their bikes all the way from Bellingham, and left around 4:30 for the trip back. Are they Cute or What?
We were also delighted to receive a visit from old friend Martin, his son Chris, and his grandson Ned. Martin’s wife Didy is a wonderful artist who lent our shop an aura of elegance by doing one of our first shows several years ago; see invitation below (we own the painting!). She now has a show at the Blue Horse Gallery in Bellingham, and we urge all of you to make a point to see her show at the Blue Horse.
Truly, all the wines last week were Above Average, but the clear favorite was the Bonterra McNab Cab ’02, biodynamic and delicious, and everyone’s wine of the day. We still have one or two left…!
Leslie Aaron Kelly Zach
Ned Chris Martin
This week’s wines!
Martorana Insolia White 2008 (Italy) $16
Lush, aromatic, crisp, and lovely with fish, fowl, or pasta.
La Colline St Jean Vacqueyras VV 06 France WA91 pts
Deep ruby/purple-tinged wine with an opulent mouthfeel. A delicious concoction of black cherries, black currants, cedar, licorice, and bouquet garni emerges from this full-bodied effort.
Montegrossoli Podere Ciona 07 Italy $14
SuperTuscan blend of sangiovese and alicante delivers ripe fruit, spices, and a long, lingering finish.
OS Winery Red ‘06 Washington $16.
Aromas of black cherries and clove with hints of roses. Rich, concentrated and balanced with soft, supple tannins; flavors of cassis, dark chocolate and ripe blackberry are generous but still subtle. This is a graceful wine from its plush, mouth-filling start to its deliciously lingering finish.
Wine Tasting March 20 ’10
Living in the comparative isolation of Lummi Island and running this campy little wine shop has its challenges, the main one being to attract enough people to make it sustainable, to borrow a word from my Day Job (nursing an Institute of Sustainability into being at WWU). In the Early Days in ought-five and ought-six many was the time when one or two visitors would be the business for the day. All that seemed to change last Spring with the arrival of our web gurus Brian and Leigh, the start of this blog, and having developed a little following of friends and neighbors here on the island. (although rough calculations suggest that about 90% of the residents of this tiny rock have never come by, go figure…).
So it was with some surprise that we sat back in curious bepuzzlement last Saturday. B & L came by early on their way across the Big Water, and then Craig the rep from one of our distributors came by and hung out for the afternoon, and naturally I wanted him to meet The Gang, who would, as had been the case for the past six months, magically show up en masse around 4 o’clock and fill the place.
Anne also came by early for short while, and our tiny group whiled away the afternoon sipping, tasting, talking about food (he knows a lot!) and munching on our crackers and cheese and Craig’s homemade buffalo jerky, very tasty! But it remained VERY Low Key (where IS Everyone?) until around 4:45, when a few folks stopped by. Colleen sent Kevin in for a bottle or two, a charming couple from Chilliwack (Mike and Glenda–actually from Capetown!) and another from Vancouver slipped in just at 5, and Mary Jane touched down briefly at 5:30 after a long drive from Seattle to pick up a few for the week (including the newly released ’07 Betz Clos de Betz blend, which is according to Robert Parker the best yet at 94 points!) .
Then of course we rushed off to the annual Lummi Island Heritage Trust Dinner at the Grange, transformed into a welcoming space by dedicated volunteers. Note to self: don’t expect much business the day of the annual fundraiser dinner, which features unlimited pours of donated “wine.” There seems to be a message here….
All the wines lat week were quite delightful. I still have an abiding fondness for the Argiolas vermentino, an entirely satisfying and nuanced Italian white that seems to go with every food; the Stephen Vincent always seems to over-deliver for the price; the Kamiakin syrah has matured nicely to a pruney richness; and the new Seghesio zin satisfied with the soft elegance we have come to expect. IN ADDITION, those few who came by were treated to samples from several wines from, well, shall we just call it “Craig’s List” (?!), including another Zin and a luscious viognier for $11 that we haven’t carried for awhile, but will be ordering soon!
************** This week’s wines:
Borsao Rosado 08 Spain 87pts Special! $6
Aromas of strawberry and rhubarb; a light, dry, nicely concentrated rose, refreshing and crisp on the palate
Nefarious Cellars “Consequence” White ‘08 Washington $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.
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.
St. Hallett “Faith” Shiraz 06 Australia 89pts $13
Velvety, open-textured and appealing for its blackberry and tar flavors, hinting at tobacco.
Bonterra McNab Ranch 02 California $29
Nose is dark, vivid, fresh, spicy and full. The palate is plump and full with generous, elegant ripe fruit, soft texture, a compelling presence, and a nice spicy finish.
Wine Tasting March 13 ’10
It has become fairly predictable that our afternoons are very low key from 1 till nearly 4, with the Happy Hour crowd (their idea, not ours) all arriving en masse around 4. But last week was different, beginning with Leigh and Brian arriving around 2 (egads!). That took awhile to get my head around, or as the new style has it, “get around my head,” but it was nice to be able to just hang out and schmooze.
The quiet and schmoozy ambience continued with the staggered arrivals of several first-timers (what to call them…newbies…? pollywogs…? the Chosen…?), perhaps a sign of the winter thaw. First we had Vanessa and Robin, recent music grads from Western, teaching chorale and orchestra, respectively, in nearby school districts. Then Sean and Elizabeth, who now reminds us of Kelly Mcdonald, who we just saw in a two movies recently (she says she hears that all the time) brought in friends Galine and Go from Seattle…Go has a contagious and energetic smile that never seems to fade…
For you natives, yes, there is another Kevin Jones in the world, okay probably many of them, not just our local Mindport Man...this Kevin and wife Laurie are from way down on the tip of Maryland’s eastern shore, a sort of island in its own right, with a lot of history. They are renting on the island for a month, thinking about a possible move. In coming weeks we may hear more about that, but personally I am curious to learn more about their neck of the woods, never made it down that far a million years ago when going to school in the area.
Then during the Four o’clock Rush we met Emily and Rachel, cheerful Seattleites staying at the Willows (is the Season upon us??). With her close-fitting cap and sunglasses perched atop like goggles, I thought Emily had a jaunty jockey look (just add silks and a garland of flowers!) but I don’t think anybody else saw it…you be the judge!
Last week’s wines? Hmm, lemme see…started with the Legoe Bay chardonnay, which I happen to like, but I think maybe islanders have all had it too often –it IS the Island’s only winery— so is more popular with visitors. It IS a great buy, as are all the LB wines. The new Borsao red was predictably quaffable, and the new Las Hormigas Malbec (someone pointed out that “hormigas” means “ant”, and the bottle capsule sports an ant motif…gotta learn more about this winery from Argentina) was showing VERY well, uniformly popular, so mark that one down as something we plan to keep in stock, a terrific value. And then of course the Walter Clore cab, always a classic Washington wine, a little out of our average price range, so a bit of a treat for us all to taste.
This week’s wines:
Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino 2007 Italy $13
Supple aromas of citrus, pineapple, tropical fruits and honey are wonderfully supported by a zesty acidity. Delicate and pleasantly refreshing on the palate…(I love this wine!) $14
Stephen Vincent “Crimson” 07 California $10
Firm and spicy, with appetizing blackberry, wild berry, pepper, spice and chicory notes that firm up on the finish. Syrah and Cabernet
Sheridan “Kamiakin” syrah ’06 Washington $17
Brooding aromas and flavors of spicy plum and blackberry that linger on the palate.
Seghesio Zinfandel 08 Califiornia $19
Copious amounts of blue, red, and black fruits as well as excellent purity, medium to full body, a supple texture, and enough acidity to provide vibrancy. It is pure, elegant, and substantial.