Okay folks, it’s here: Annual Drydock. The Whatcom Chief has steamed off to wherever she goes to get her bearings greased, her rust removed, her makeup tidied up. Walking along Island roads today we noticed an odd combination of somewhat contradictory feelings. One is a sense of Vacation, as if we have suddenly been transported to a new island retreat, a place that is strangely quiet. Passing cars are an oddity, and there is a curious sense of quiet. It’s very relaxing, very soothing.
On the other hand, despite the stunning sunny days we have been having lately, I’m sure you have all noticed the little nip of Fall in the air that can be felt on your skin even while the radiant heat of the Sun still feels a little hot. So these Drydock days are also a little reminiscent of summer vacation spots in New England after the seasonal crowd has gone back to the City for the winter– a little deserted, a little strange, a little unfamiliar.
This Drydock we have committed ourselves to staying on the island for the duration (no car on the mainland this year), and I notice it feels like a vacation of sorts, a time to let go of some old habits, try some new things, get some projects done, and, of course, have the occasional glass of wine while contemplating yet another spectacular sunset.
For years now we have been repeating the same line, partially a joke and partially serious: “Our hours are Fridays 4-7, Saturdays 2-6, Anytime for Wine Emergencies.” And over the years we have gotten the occasional call from friends and neighbors that they have an imminent event and need a bottle of wine, could we possibly help? We like and appreciate these kinds of calls, so thanks to those of you who make the effort to let us fill your wine needs.
Along a similar line, the original sign we had made for the shop, the one that is not displayed continuously, shows our hours and then also says, “or by appointment.” Curiously, until today No One has ever taken us up on that. But yesterday I was in the garage gathering tools for a project when a young couple happened by on a little walk from their rental on the North end (about 4 miles, I think) who requested a special tasting, which we scheduled for this afternoon. They are Hadj and Vinnie (shown here with their friend Connie from Lopez I), a vivacious young couple staying at the Willows for a few days on the very first part of a year-long journey around the world (I am not making this up!) -- one part honeymoon, two parts completing MD training, and three parts it’s big world and what better time to explore it???!!!
So here they are with their long-time friend Connie (a Lopez Island neighbor) in the shop this afternoon for a “private tasting.” Not having done this before, it was a little challenging to set up, but it worked out beautifully– a treat for us and enjoyable for them. We wish them well in all their future endeavors, and look forward to their next visit.
So sure, you are asking yourselves, all well and good, but what does it have to do with ME? Well, all you need to know is that we opened some pretty good wines for this special event and there are a few left, and we will pour them first for our Friday night visitors (today if you are subscribed to the blog). The wines include Lullaby sauvignon blanc (crisp and citric), Syncline roussanne (elegant and fleshy), and Lost River Syrah (dark cherry and satin).
I confess we did pour a fourth wine for the tasting, one that had been especially requested by our guests, the Feather cabernet sauvignon from Long Shadows. Suffice it to say that due to circumstances beyond our control this wine will not be available for tasting this weekend (these things just Disappear!) but we can say it was, um, “pretty good” and yes we have more in stock at $50/bottle. In case you don’t recall, Long Shadows is a kind of wine-making and marketing experiment from a guy named Allen Shoup, who headed Chateau Ste Michelle for many years. After he retired, he decided it would be interesting to bring some of the world’s best winemakers to Washington to make their wines here with Washington fruit. You can check the website (above) for details about the wines. All you need to know is that– how shall I put this—they are all elegant and pleasing, I like them a lot, and yes, we have various vintages of most of them in stock! (Read more about Long Shadows)
This weekend’s wines
For the past several years I have gone out to the shop on Thursday evenings, picked wines for the weekend, and found reviews of them to post here for you on Thursday nights. Right at the moment it occurs to me to wonder: does anyone actually care about tasting notes for the scheduled wines ..? Really, all you need to know is that we will pour at least four wines; it will cost you $5 for the whole tasting; and a good time will be had by all. If you feel strongly about knowing what we will be pouring, please post a comment or send a private email to let us know. Maybe we will post wines next week, maybe not. All you need to know for sure is that we have some very nice wines left over from our special Thursday tasting, and we will pour them for our first several visitors on Friday, September 7….!