lummi island wine tasting Sept 27 ’14

Another Fall Equinox

dscn0984Here is Sunset from our place on the Autumnal Equinox. We have kept track of these things over the years, as you can see by searching our archives for terms like equinox, solstice, and any of the cross-quarter days (Halloween, Groundhog Day (aka Candlemas), May Day, and of course, “Lughnasadh,” and No One knows what That Means! Not so for the Equinox; we know it means that this is the point at which some place on the Equator can experience looking straight up at the Sun at Local Noon.

For those non-Navigators our there, “local noon” is the moment on any day when the Sun is directly South of you (in the Northern Hemisphere). The Very Cool thing about local noon is that if you are Lost, especially at sea, you can always tell exactly your Latitude by observing the declination of the Sun over a period near noon. You will observe that the elevation of the Sun increases, increases, increases, and then, OMD, decreases at some point. The maximum elevation occurs at local noon, or what navigators used to call LAN, i.e., “Local Apparent Noon,” the moment when the Sun reaches its maximum elevation for your point on the planet. Then, using some tables, you can compute your Latitude. That is how, by the way, Joshua Slocum (author of the Classic “Sailing Alone Around the World”) was able to navigate back in 1898 using a wind-up clock that had lost its minute hand…!


Fall Parade

dscn0971There are a lot of really nice perks to living on Lummi Island. Among them is the fact that because our population is so small (the sign at the ferry dock has said 861* for the last 25 years). (*I am making this up, I can’t remember the “real” number), there aren’t enough people to staff all the organizations that, you know, a full-sized (whatever that means) community might have. That means that everyone who is at all civic-minded– and that includes a LOT of Islanders– has to belong to LOTS of clubs, committees, advisory groups, and so on and on and on. So yes, you’re right, No One has any Leisure Time.

So of course it is a Dilemma each September, when the Fall Parade comes around, for people to decide which group they will walk/ride with. For example, last year we were still much involved with raising money for the Library, so we marched with FOIL (Friends of the Island Library). This year Pat was involved with preparing and serving a delicious lunch (pulled pork or grilled veggie sandwiches) at the Grange (really our only public meeting venue) after the parade. So it makes you wonder…if we had more people, could we be on fewer committees and in fewer clubs??? Hmmm…I wonder…!



The three or four of you who occasionally read this blog may have noted the post last week about the unidentified flag seen flying from the green ketch moored in Legoe Bay over the summer. We posted an offer for a Free Tasting to the first person who could identify the flag. As it turns out, we did sort it out on Saturday in a group discussion at the wine shop (special kudos to Steve W). Then a few days later I discovered an email at our “other email address” in which Nancy G correctly identified it as the flag of Cascadia…!

According to Wikipedia, Cascadia is the name of a bioregion and proposed country consisting of Washington, Oregon, portions of other U.S. states and British Columbia, possibly including coastal Southeast Alaska in the north, and Northern California in the south. Some versions even include inland parts of Idaho, Western Montana, Wyoming, and Yukon. At first glance I thought,  “Huh? Are you Serious?” Because, you know, the socioeconomic profiles and values of the wet (oops, I meant “west”) side and the east side of the PNW are pretty much what you would call Polar Opposites. Personally, I relate more to the 1970’s utopian vision of Ernest Callenbach in his little book Ecotopia.  Thirty-some years ago I  published a pretty interesting (imho!) paper called “The Economics of Ecotopia,” based on his novel. And now that I think about it, that vision is why I still have fantasies like someday having a carbon-free Ferry. But of course That is Another Story….!


This week’s tasting notes

Bargemone Provence Rose ’13 France $14
Bright, mineral-dusted aromas of pink grapefruit and dried red berries. Light and racy on the palate, with tangy citrus and redcurrant flavors. Finishes brisk and dry, with good lingering spiciness and length.

Cloudlift Chardonnay ’12   Washington    $18
Enticing aromas of Gala apple, white peach, and apple blossoms, with nicely balanced fruit compote flavors with minerally notes of peach stone and alluvial minerals.

Ciacci Piccolomini Ateo ’11 Italy $16
Juicy cab-merlot blend that shows excellent up-front intensity, with notes of freshly cut flowers and mint that give the dark berry fruit an attractive sense of lift.

Lacroix-Vanel Fine Amor ’12 France $18
Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Carignan; generous dark cherry and black raspberry tinged with lavender, sassafras, brown spices and tobacco, with suggestions of iodine and crushed stone.

Le Goeuil Cairanne ’11 France $22
Light, medium-bodied wine with fantastic complexity, with plenty of ripe berry fruits, crushed flowers, lavender and spice-box; beautifully made, with a silky texture.

Wine Tasting

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