Higgs Boson: elusive “God particle” or the Presidential candidate we’ve all been waiting for??
For anyone who ever had Nerdish tendencies (hey, don’t look at me!), the recent hype about the discovery of the Higgs boson at the world’s largest (and most expensive) particle collider at the CERN laboratory near Geneva is pretty exciting news: ” “It’s not a needle in a haystack — it’s much worse than a needle in a haystack,” said Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at Fermilab. Not surprisingly, the Higgs boson has attracted wide media attention and enthusiasm. This is, of course, in sharp contrast to the presumptive Republican nominee for President, who seems to be raking in bazillions of dollars in campaign donations from corporations and the 1/10 of 1%, despite the fact that no one really wants him ever to be the Actual President. Therefore, I hereby nominate the Higgs Boson as the Dark Horse (Dark Matter??) candidate that everyone can support. He is a rare find– expect only one to show up in a couple of trillion proton collisions!– so who knows when we will have a chance like this again?? After all, having proved that the God particle exists, it’s only natural that we should do everything we can to get it on Our Side, and what better way than to make it President??
About this time last year we took a trip out to Mt. Baker Vineyards and tasted some wines. We were so impressed we bought a bunch to bring back to the shop to share with you. One of our favorites was the 2008 Roussanne, a white French varietal with lovely characteristics. A little like viognier, another French white, roussanne has a palate-pleasing texture and aromas of peaches, pears, apples, and flowers. Last year, because so few people had actually heard of the grape, Mt. Baker was offering some terrific bargains on it…I think we were selling it for $8 a bottle. In the space of a month or two we sold about eight cases, which for a shop as small as ours is really phenomenal. Well, the Good News is that the wine is back for a new vintage. The Bad News is that now people have heard of it, and like it, so it’s more expensive ($12). Come check it out, we will be pouring it this weekend!
For what it’s worth, Summer seems to be upon us the last few days, and it’s feeling great! The temperature is still hovering in the high sixties to seventy, there’s sunshine and a light breeze. We are not in the heat wave enveloping much of the rest of the country, we don’t seem to have any forest fires burning yet, there has been plenty of rain but not much flooding, and so far the Big One is still out there around the corner somewhere. So Life is Good here in the Northwest’s Northwest, and summer seems to have arrived in a comfortable, don’t-get-too-far-from-another-layer sort of way, which is exactly the way many of us like it. All you need to know is that we have a GREAT selection of delicious, refreshing, dry rosés from far and wide: Washington, Oregon, France, Spain, Italy,and more. Whether in its home country it is called rosé, rosado, rosato, or something else, these are wines whose time has come! They are light, dry, refreshing, and crisp, offering a perfect accompaniment to meals in the sun.
4th of July: not so good for dogs
When I was a boy growing up in Maine in the 50′s, each time the 4th rolled around I would long for firecrackers, cherry bombs, anything I might be able to light and blow up. But all of that was illegal in Maine, and each 4th would bring a vaguely disappointing family picnic someplace where the extent of explosive expression stopped at sparklers and cap guns. Sixty years later, having endured observations of the 4th here on Lummi Island for 20 years, I find myself longing for the sane quiet of those childhood 4ths. As 4ths go, last night (as I write this) was fairly subdued on the Island, but the explosions across the strait at the Rez went on till about 3am. Tonight has its constant background of explosions both here on the Island and on the Rez, and I fear that Friday and the weekend will bring more of the same.
A few years ago I had a chat with people at the Animal Shelter, and was told that late July was the best time to go to the pound to look for a dog, because so many of them ran away– FAR away– from home on the 4th. Here at our house, one of our dogs gets extremely anxious every time there is an explosion, even distant firecrackers. So the barrage of booms, screeches, and whistles that marks the 4th of July here always makes me a little grumpy because of the senseless suffering it visits upon so many animals. The best we can do is give the dog antihistamines to make her drowsy –it does help–but I can’t help wondering what in the world these guys (are there any women who set these things off…??) are thinking who subject their communities to this unwanted invasion of noise at all hours of the day and night every July. So on behalf of all the animals who must suffer through this mindless torture every year I would like to say: “I’m am really sorry you have to go through this.”
This weekend’s tasting
Mt. Baker Roussanne ’09 Washington $12
Notes of apricot, honeyed white peach, blanched almond, and apple, with a plump mouthfeel and a cleansing minerality.
Hestia Chenin Blanc ’10 Washington WA89pts $14
Offers up an enticing perfume of peach, jasmine, nectarine, and baking spices. This sets the stage for a crisp, vibrant, dry (0.62% residual sugar), savory Chenin that makes an ideal aperitif.
Sikelia Nero d’Avola ’10 Italy $11
90% Nero d’Avola with 10% Syrah. Densely purple, floral and
earthy, with terrifically ripe fruit, from two sites in Sicily, one coastal, the other at higher
altitude, near Aetna, combining the power of mountain fruit and the bold lushness of fruit grown
by the sea.
L’Oustal Blanc K10 ’10 France WA90pts $16
Licely, juicy, and rich, with notes of toasted pecan and walnut, dark chocolate, ripe blackberry, cassis, and maritime minerality..