lummi island wine tasting may 15 ’15

Bread Friday (sign up for


Buttermilk Currant – 50/50 bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat, with buttermilk for some tang and then loaded with currants and just a hint of rosemary. – $5/loaf.

Ale Bread –  Bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat, and hearty ale to boost the flavor. – $5/loaf.

Sourdough English Muffins – These delightful treats are made with a sourdough culture and taste great. Limited, order early! 4 for $5.



Exploring the Solera System

An old favorite with us, St. Cosme Little James Basket Press Grenache is unusual in several respects. First, it is made by a winery that has been around for something like 14 generations, with family ownership dating back to 1490 in France’s southern Rhone region (yes, we have visited!).

Second, unlike most wines, which are either from a single vintage or a non-vintage blend of two or three recent vintages, this wine, like a sourdough bread, is created from a solera system started in 1999. Each year the current wine is bottled from the aging solera, a blend of all the vintages since the solera was started. Therefore it tends to have about 50% of the most recent vintage blended with the moving average of the  previous vintages. It’s an unusual way to make wine, but it has been the standard method for making Sherry in Jerez, Spain, for centuries.

As a result, the wine slowly evolves, with any rough edges smoothing out over time. So, like a “Heinz 57” puppy, it tends to be well-balanced and versatile year after year, yet with its own personality and charm, slowly changing its personality while keeping the varietal’s underlying sense of softness, fruit and texture.


Infrastructure: the Private Sector Won’t and the Public Sector Can’t

“Collapsed Railroad Bridge” by firskey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Periodically we need to call a Special Assembly and bring Everyone together to review a few Important Things so we can (oh, please,  let it be!) get on the Same Page about our Cultural (I use the term loosely) Reality. Today’s topic is “Infrastructure.” Just think of it as all the long-lasting Stuff we have built over a long period of time that is still yielding services that have Value, like bridges, highways, airports, railroads, public buildings, ferries, parks, public services (and their employees), police, fire departments, and so forth. Without a modern, viable, healthy Infrastructure, every effort of labor or investment bears less fruit than it might.

Investment in infrastructure can be viewed as the essential Oiling of the Wheels of Progress. It boggles the mind to see Right convinced that Somehow the Private Sector will step up and take care of it better than G’ummint ever could (not Bloody Likely!), and the Left Stingless after too many decades of Groveling for Corporate Dollars. It’s like we are all Dorothy in Oz, just trying to get back to Kansas, but we are constantly confounded by every conceivable kind of straw man, tin man, brainless man, and charlatan Wizard. Wtf is Wrong with these people???!!!

Look. This is not complicated. All the Very Rich need to do is look at their annual tax deductions for Depreciation, i.e.,”Stuff Wearing Out and Needing Replacement.” The latest Amtrak Tragedy rivets our attention on the problem. Chinese, Japanese, and European trains go hundreds of mph. Our trains go 60-80 mph, maybe 100 on a good day on a straight stretch. That’s all you really need to know– a society can survive many things, but Collective Stupidity is not one of them. As on a ship listing heavily to one side, what is Desperately needed here is for Everyone to Stand up and Come to the Center, ignoring the Mind-Numbing Newspeak from all sides, wrest Command from the Idiots, and get the ship back on course and on an Even Keel.


Lummi Island Women: Memorial Day Studio Tour Opening Reception Friday. May 22!

Okay, I admit it, I love this whole idea! Our old friend Anne down the street has been painting up a Storm for the past few years– a Legacy thing, she says, because she is getting on in years– (see her blog) Ah, we should all age so gracefully! I confess I have not seen any of these paintings yet. But I have a feeling this will almost certainly be the Best Show we have had the privilege of presenting in the Gallery, for a couple of reasons.

First, Anne is our First Best Customer! For the first few years we were open, back in aught-five to aught-seven and only on Saturday Afternoons, there was many an afternoon when Pat and I and Anne had the place to ourselves and mused about Life, Love, and the Meaning of Meaning over the day’s tasting menu. For many years a Painter, in the last few years Anne has been particularly Prolific, and we have done several shows of her latest works. But we are particularly looking forward to this one!

All you need to know is that (we will remind you again next week) we will have a Special Opening Tasting on next Friday, May 22, from 4-7. Anne will be in the wine shop to talk about the paintings, and all of you women who are subjects (sorry, I have No Idea who you are!) will be entitled to Free Tastings!!!


This week’s wines

Rio Madre Rioja Rose  ’14    Spain     $10
Strawberry, raspberry and blood orange on the fragrant nose, along with peppery spices and potpourri. Palate of supple cherry and blackberry, with tangy minerality and acidity adding vivacity and verve.

Altos Hormigas Malbec Clasico ’13     Argentina   $10
Aromas of blackberry, strawberry, mocha and smoked meat, plus a hint of violet. Supple, soft and sweet flavors of black fruits and licorice, finisheing with smooth tannins and hints of chocolate and licorice.

St. Cosme Little James Basket Press Grenache ’14    France      $11
An ongoing solera* with an aromatic nose of cassis, cherry and lavender; rustic Old World style, with a firm mineral spine giving clarity and lift to the dark berry and bitter cherry flavors.

Shooting Star Blue Franc ’11 Washington $12
From slate soils; nine months in French oak. Lively and vibrant, with aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cocoa, pepper, and clove. Flavors of cranberry, blueberry, and blackberry with cinnamon and licorice on the velvety smooth finish.

Kentia Albarino ’13   Spain    89pts $12
Pale gold. Spicy pear and lemon on the nose, with candied ginger and chalky mineral with lemon curd and pear flavors. Clean, tangy finish with good clarity and a subtle touch of tarragon.


Wine Tasting

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