lummi island wine tasting may 8 ’15

Bread Friday (sign up for

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Breton Bread inspired by the Brittany region in France, bread flour and buckwheat with fresh milled whole rye and sel gris. – $5/loaf.

Seeded Country Hearth Bread. Bread flour with a third fresh milled whole wheat flour,  toasted hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds – $5/loaf.

Pain aux Raisin. Delightful treats laminated like croissants– rolled out, spread with pastry cream,  sprinkled with golden raisins and dried cranberry, rolled up, sliced and baked. Absolutely delicious but limited supply! -2 for $5.

 

 

OMD, China now has more vineyards than France!

Well, we all suspected it was coming– you know, Some Day, Way in the Future maybe– and yet here it is: China now has nearly 800,000 hectares of land devoted to vineyards, second only to Spain (over a million hectares), and ahead of France in overall grape production. Non, tsk, tsk, alors, un moment, Monsieur, c’est pas grave; parce que France still makes the most wine despite being #3 in vineyard acreage. Still, China now ranks #6 in the world in wine production, having recently surpassed Australia. Further, some of the top names in French wine have invested heavily in vineyards in China, including the iconic Lafite-Rothschild. Read more

On the one hand there is something Deeply Disturbing about this development. Ah, oui, it makes me want to lean back, light up a Gauloise, shrug a few times, and bubble something about “boof, alors, these Chinese, what could they know about wine…? I mean, besides the fact that they may have discovered fermentation something like, you know, 8,000 years ago…?

Well, I dug up part of an old Chinese poem (from 850 years ago!), by Lu Yu, by then (1170 AD) an old man, who wrote of his time:

“Wild flowers blue and purple– gather them by the fistful,
Valley fruit green and red– now just right for picking;
On the way I found some wine, watery but still not bad, at river’s edge;
Getting drunk as I please, no regret in the world;
A thousand years of history’s ups and downs here before my eyes…” — Drunk Song,
by Li Yu, translated by Burton Watson

I suspect there will be a huge Chinese wine business soon. I also suspect it will have its own earmarks, fingerprints, and footprints to distinguish it from Elsewhere, and I expect I will treat it with some suspicion. Because of the traditional Chinese penchant for imitation, it seems entirely likely that in the not-too-distant future there will be a scandal involving Chinese wine with forged labels from extraordinary French vintages of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Think about a Chinese version of Peter Mayle’s A Good Year…hmmm…is wine a Simple Product or a Profound Cultural Expression?

 

“Who Are We and What Are We Doing?”

This has become my Centering Mantra for the past six or seven years. It works for beginning any meeting or encounter, or even just getting up in the morning. And judging from the words of the elderly Chinese poet from nearly a thousand years ago mentioned above, not much has changed since his time in our understanding of that mysterious Crystal Pearl of Human Consciousness we inhabit (or which inhabits us) that reflects the World into our little Minds. Our lives are an ongoing kaleidoscope of experiences, feelings, thoughts, and reflections, and our Minds are like those little sticky rollers that you can use to lift the lint from your clothing, especially, you know, wool and fleece. And of course the older we get, the more wool and fleece, or so it seems.

Anyway, one of the many wonderful things about being Old is that one starts to see how it really doesn’t matter what you Believe, or in which Time you appear in this world, because there is only this One Game in Town and we will all eventually Lose. This idea has been exquisitely illuminated by an old and respected acquaintance* who has contemplated these issues for a long time and put it this way:

Everybody knows that the Fight was fixed,
The Poor stay poor and the Rich get rich;
That’s how it goes…
And Everybody Knows…”

I mention these things because we are Wired to care about our Group. Some people don’t have a Group. They suffer for that. Some people think their Group is their Family. They suffer for that. Some people think their Group is their Neighborhood, or their Country, or their Species, or their Planet, or their Universe, and they suffer for that. So the ongoing answer to the Question above is that we are Social and Mortal Beings and it is the nature of such beings to need to be in relationships that Nourish us, and for a lot of reasons we are not very good at giving or getting the Nourishment we need. More important, we are vulnerable to manipulation by those who promise Nourishment in exchange for Power, and who give back far less than they take.

 

Bernie Who?

Here we are in another election season. Election seasons have been going on for thousands of years in one form or another, and will go on for as long as our species lasts. We will reserve discussion of the merits of our species to another time, and for now will focus on the immediate issue of Our group of primates’ (“Americans”) choosing a Leader for the next four years. Btw, this is probably a good place to note that Some People think that our Big Brains evolved NOT to invent Quantum Physics and Arcane Stock Derivatives, but mainly to navigate the swirling, treacherous waters of individual Status and Reward in the many Social Hierarchies which are constantly breaking onto our Personal Shores. Sometimes they nourish us, and sometimes they drag us into the surf, spin us around, slam us against the Bottom a few times, and then give us five seconds to breathe before starting the whole cycle again.

Nowadays National Office holder are Rich and want to be Richer. That’s just who they are. Some of us just want to have a modest but secure life, but some need to have such Power that their Little Follies can easily — yes, Easily– make stupid decisions that threaten Life As We Know It.

So, enter unknown and eccentric Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has just announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. He is what was once called a “Dark Horse,” with extremely high odds against his ever getting nominated.

Still, out Nation and our Planet can wait no longer for the Candidates of the One Percent to act rationally. The Republican so-called candidates are Nut Jobs, every single one. Hillary is pretty opaque, and though her heart may be in the right place, she arrives with a lot of Baggage.

So comes Progressive, Socialist, ethically driven, truth-telling Dark Horse Bernie Sanders into the National political arena, raising questions that only a Third-party candidate can raise, and depending on the masses for support against the concentrated power of the 1%. Go Bernie, let’s talk about all the things the 1% don’t want us to talk about!

 

This week’s tasting

J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rose    France      $16
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir;  shows a gentle yeastiness accompanying its effusive effervescence and rich, tangy, mouth-filling fruit. The perfect match with a sunny afternoon and smoked salmon!

Chateau L’Ermitage      France    $10
Roussanne, grenache, and viognier. Light gold in color with aromas of peach, flowers, and honey; the Grenache provides the richness and the Roussanne the balancing acidity.

Campo Viejo Tempranillo ’12      Spain       $11
Aromas of ripe red fruit followed by gentle sweet notes of vanilla and spices. Perfumed, soft and fresh with a lingering finish of red fruit, vanilla and cocoa. A perennial go-to value here at AWG.

Estezargues Cuvee des Galets ’14    France    $10
Grenache, Syrah and Carignan from organic and biodynamic vine, fermented with natural yeast, and bottled without filtration. Explodes with plump juicy berry fruit, liquorice and spice, showing appealing character and freshness.

Pomum Red ’11 Washington $19
Bordeaux blend with a bit of syrah– Inviting, open-knit aromas of plum, raspberry and tobacco. Supple, sweet and mellow; plummy and broad in the mouth, displaying good depth of texture.

 

 

*Leonard Cohen

Wine Tasting

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