Lummi Island Wine Tasting July 2 ’11
New Additional Hours. As usual, it is Thursday evening as I write this. What is different is that tonight was our first evening opening. Ryan is the primary host for these trial openings Thursday and Friday evenings from 4-7. So tonight our first guests were a pair of (I’m not making this up!) private detectives from the City (female), here for–you guessed it, dinner at the Willows–(they are calling it a “business retreat”…!)
We had been on the fence about whether we should have some kind of wine tasting on these evening openings, and our Private I’s convinced us straightaway that yes, we should. So the plan for the summer is to offer a tasting of two wines (generous pours) and a little bite of something for $5. Our goal is to be a little oasis on the way home for the weekend; stop by, sip a little wine, check in with the Gang, and pick up wine for the evening meal or even the weekend. Other plans include poetry or play readings, salon discussions of who knows what…your suggestions are welcome, so please post any ideas as comments.
Just note for now that we are now open Thursday and Friday evenings til 7!
Tip Jar? Last weekend was our lightest traffic for about two years, (including the Dark of Winter in December and January), about 8 guests all day. Among those were a charming young couple on bicycles (see photo) who insisted on leaving us our first actual “tip”!!! We did our best to discourage them, but they insisted, and we reluctantly but graciously accepted–and liked it! Now of course, we are working on the tacky problem of how to label–in order to distinguish clearly– a hypothetical new ‘tip jar’ from the customary “spit bucket…” Stay tuned…this is an exciting development that deserves further study…!
My Hit Wine from last week’s tasting was the Antonio Sanguineti Nessun Dorma Toscana. Beautifully packaged in 1.5 liter magnums within a nicely turned out wood box, this easy drinking super-tuscan (blend of sangiovese, cab, and syrah) is a perfectly delicious and inexpensive gift.
Next Wine Class: We are taking the Fourth off from the biweekly tasting with Ryan. The last tasting in this series will be next Sunday, July 10, and will pair wines with art and music. Ryan told me tonight what wines we will need and what the art and music will be, and it makes me smile! If you think about it, it is an essential feature of Any and Every Place that it somehow breeds a culture, a cuisine, a language, and a sense of place. So while on one hand it seems esoteric to think about pairing wine with the arts, on the other it is completely logical as well as completely appropriate if we are really to understand the relationships between people and place. Still a few slots open, be sure to call to reserve a spot.
This Week’s wines:
Legoe Bay Reefnet White Washington $10
From our friends down on the Bay, another refreshing blend with the smooth texture of viognier and crisp citrus notes of chardonnay…perfect for afternoon on the deck!
Torii Mor pinot noir ’08 Oregon $20 WS 90 pts
Medium ruby-colored, it exhibits an expressive nose of rose petal, spice box, cherry, and raspberry. Easygoing on the palate while deftly concealing some ripe tannin, this outstanding value will provide pleasure over the next 6-8 years.
Poderi Elia Barbera d’Asti ’08 Italy $14
Balanced, soft, and rich, with freshly pressed cranberries on the nose, and lush palate of bright pomegranate, bright acidity, and soft tannins that beg for pairing with a savory meal.
Bocelli Poggioncino ‘07 Italy $18
Big, soft, full-bodied sangiovese from Chianti region of Tuscany…entirely satisfying and highly recommended.
Reminder: new Thursday and Friday hours!
Don’t forget! Starting this weekend (Thursday, June 30) we will be open Thursday and Friday from 4-7pm
as well as our weekly tasting on Saturdays from 2-6! Beat the rush and stock up for the weekend!
Lummi Island Wine Tasting June 25 ’11
Well, here it is, the Summer Solstice. I have never figured out if the Solstice (longest day of the year) is the same think as “Midsummer NIght’s Eve,” since mid-summer would be, technically speaking, halfway between summer solstice and fall equinox, the summer version of Groundhog Day, which is, as we all know, halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This diagram explains it all in simple terms. (All you need to know is that a good diagram is worth thousands of words, and a poor diagram is worth…well……..hmm)
THE BIG NEWS is our NEW SUMMER HOURS: Beginning June 30 we will be open THURSDAY AND FRIDAY EVENINGS FROM 4:30 -7:00 PM!!! (As well as the traditional Saturdays from 2-6pm). We are not entirely sure what this is going to look like, but down-the-road possibilities include munchies, an abbreviated tasting –maybe one red and one white?– and a chance to avoid the weekend rush and pick up a few bottles for the weekend. It might even morph into a Friday night “salon”…where Anyone might show up, and we could find ourselves talking about…Anything!…more about that next week! For now, pencil in the possibility of a Thursday or Friday night visit!
possible Salon topic: “And you think MY outfit is Weird??…!!!
The two big wine hits last weekend, imho, were the Perazzeta rose and the Piaggia Carmignano Riserva, which I got on a closeout. The wine was so good, we sold out quickly, but–good news–I found another case which we should get in before the Fourth! This is one of those wines I am tempted to move directly to the private cellar: a lovely wine at a bargain price!
Wine Tasting Classes with Ryan Wildstar
The last class in this series is July 10 and will will pair wines with art, music, and poetry. I have NO idea what that is going to look like, but I am Totally looking forward to it! Call now to reserve a spot! The first three classes have been fun, informative, and delicious, with interesting and delicious wines and food pairings.
This week’s wines:
Gordon Brothers Chardonnay ’08 Washington $10
A mix of new and used French oak. The nose offers up a hint of toast, baking spices, apple, poached pear, and white peach. Vibrant on the palate, it has plenty of savory fruit and a lengthy finish.
La Coterie Beaumes de Venise ’08 France $15
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, 5% Mourvedre. Like a fruitcake, with aromas of ripe red fruit and blueberry jam; hints of kirsch, raspberry, licorice and earth on the palate; a spicy, bold and powerful wine to enjoy with lamb, venison, wild boar or even your mother in law.
Massimo Malbec 08 Argentina $10
Big and succulent, with engaging notes of blueberry pie and rich plums that into the spicy, cedary, and floral finish.
Antonio Sanguineti Nessun Dorma Toscana ’08 Italy $38
Magnum in individual wood box, beautiful package. Super-Tuscan blend of sangioves, cab, and merlot, with notes of black currant and cherry, followed by spicy chocolate. Rich and spicy on the palate, the red fruit comes on strong in the middle, with chocolate rounding out the finish.
Lummi Island Wine Tasting June 18 ’11
Seattle, a Tasting Menu
Here’s a link to yet another NY Times food article featuring our neighbors at the Willows Inn. This one talks up the Seattle food scene as a context for what’s going on at the Willows: fresh, local, creative. Few, however, are as dedicated to those three pillars as Willows chef Blaine Wetzel, who continues to pull in people from all over for the local food experience here on Lummi Island. (see pictures)
Wine Tasting Classes with Ryan Wildstar
The first two Sunday afternoon classes have been a huge hit! The next class is June 19 and will focus on comparing Old World and New World wines: California chardonnay vs. white Burgundy, California pinot noir vs. red Burgundy, and Australian Shiraz vs. southern Rhone. We have one or two spots open, so call now 758.2959. The next class will be July 10 ( I think we are skipping the 3rd..?), and will pair wines with art, music, and poetry. I have NO idea what that is going to look like, but I am Totally looking forward to it!
I kinda lost track of orders and spending the last week or two, so we have a Ton of wine, way more than we have room to display. All you need to know is that we are a virtual Tsunami of good stuff to drink at the moment, so be sure to come on by this weekend. We have the regular tasting on Saturday, French class at noon on Sunday (mais ouI, avec M. Ryan!) followed by the Old World/New World tasting class at 2.
Feedback was mixed last week about the ‘new layout.’ I suppose really it’s not that big a deal, but it is a struggle between aesthetics and function to move out the bistro table we have had in the front end the last couple of years. As usual on Thursday nights while I am doing this blog, Pat is out with the weekly mah jong game, which rotates among the group. Tonight they are in the wine shop, but alas, the bistro table is out on the deck wondering what will become of it in the unfolding remodel. Being a long-time hoarder of anything that might come in handy sometime, I have some challenges letting go of this table, which has added elements of comfort, function, and visual interest to the shop. I find myself reluctant to give up pleasing ambience for any sort of commercial pragmatism. The new challenge is to improve circulation without having our little space losing any of its warmth and charm. The goal is to make it even better (yah, like that’s even POSSIBLE…!)
New Theo’s chocolate shipment!
We have a new shipment of Theo’s chocolate bars (to tide you over between periodicTruffle Occasions), and there are a couple of new flavors that are completely Irresistible: milk chocolate with salted almonds and dark chocolate with toasted coconut…MMMMmmmmmm!
Craig and Kelly, with high hopes for their Canucks in the Stanley Cup playoff…kinda reminds you of those dear, sweet, Chicago Cubs fans…”against all odds our team could, you know, conceivably prevail every million years or so,,,”
This week’s tasting:
Perazzeta Sara Rosado di Montalcino ’10 Italy $12
From the same grape as Brunello (sangiovese grosso), this beautiful rose has it all: rich, bold, flinty, and summery. Only one case, this won’t last long!
La Coterie Cotes du Rhone ’10 (organic) France $10
Dark velvety purple black in colour to rim. Very young. Very primary aromas, Floral scents, blue berry fruit, hints of smoke and garrigue with a sprinkle of liqorice. Nice flow in the mouth, youthful exuberance, slightly jammy with a touch of cocoa. Has a very good heartiness with gives promise for the future.
Waterbrook Reserve Merlot 07 Washington $20 WS92pts
Ripe, pure, focused and beguiling for its balance, offering blueberry, raspberry and plum fruit at the core, layered with hints of red pepper, clove and peach fuzz as the finish extends extraordinarily well.
Piaggia Carmignano Riserva ’02 Italy $20
Got a few of these on a closeout, no rating available for this vintage. Opened a bottle, but it was seriously corked…even at that it was so good I drank a fair amount. This usually sells for $45, come see what you think!