lummi island wine tasting august 7 ’15

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Friday Breads (sign up for

dscn1237 (Modified)

Barley & Rye with Pumpkin seeds – Sourdough with a mix of barley, fresh milled whole rye, and whole wheat flours with a bit of buttermilk, honey, and toasted pumpkin seeds.– $5/loaf.

Poolish Ale Bread- A “poolish” is a process that pre-ferments some of the flour, enhancing flavor and jump starting enzyme activity, in this case using ale with fresh milled whole wheat -$5/loaf.

Individual brioche tart au sucreA traditional rich brioche rolled into individual tarts, then topped with demarara sugar, a mixture of cream, eggs, and even more butter. Rich, delightful, and surprisingly light. – 2/$5.

 

Warm welcome to La Baronne

andre_ligneres While the Lignères family’s ties to the wine world can be traced back to the sixteenth century, its modern history began in 1957 when André and Suzette Lignères bought la Baronne Estate, and gradually expanded its vineyard holdings in the Languedoc along the border between the wine regions of Corbieres and Minervois, which roughly follows the main highway between Narbonne and Carcasonne.

I have a particular fondness for this winery from a spontaneous visit there a few years ago. I had read something that intrigued me about the winery, so late one afternoon I drove in with no appointment, and encountered a lone André, a gentleman of my generation, who had turned over the reins to the winery to his son a few years before. Despite my rudeness in dropping in unannounced, André proceeded to pour samples of a number of wines. His English was even worse than my French, but somehow we got along very well, and I continue to be grateful for his gracious hospitality. Btw, he was having a terrible time with a funky old corkscrew, so I sent him one of ours…hope he received it!

I bought several bottles of his wines to bring back, and have been looking for a source for them ever since. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I learned a new distributor now carries these wines, and now we have some! This weekend we are pouring la Baronne Costa Lise, a classic Languedoc blend of carignan, grenache, and syrah. Next week we will pour the old vines Carignan called Piece de Roche, which Really Rings my Wine Chimes!

Read more about the estate on Tom Fiorina’s excellent blog article (we met Tom on the same trip and keep a link to his blog on our site- check it out!)

 

Dream Time

dreamtime1I learned how to sail in the early sixties when I was a midshipman at the Naval Academy, and found it immediately engaging. For most of the last fifty years I have had a sailboat of one sort or another. For the last dozen years I have co-owned a 32′ boat with a long-time friend, and this year we made the difficult decision to sell the boat. Preparing the boat for sale required a lot of work, and also led to some soul-searching about whether a boat still had a place in our lives.

So the past week has delivered some considerable surprise, excitement, anxiety, smiles, and the occasional philosophical shrug. Just over a week ago our old boat was suddenly sold. A day later, out of curiosity, we drove down to Anacortes to see an unusual little boat we saw on Craigs List, called a Montgomery 23. A couple of years ago we were sailing back from Clark Island when I noticed a small  sailboat making tidy progress against the wind and a bit of a chop. Later research revealed it was something called a, you guessed it, Montgomery 23.

Seriously, we just wanted to take a look, the beginning of an open-ended shopping excursion that had not even established an objective. All you need to know right now is that the boat is called “Dream Time.” She was built in 1979, but was substantially rebuilt over the last ten years. Somehow we said “Yes!” and this afternoon we sailed her up here to Lummi Island. And we are both doing a lot of grinning. Bottom line: not quite ready to be without a boat!

 

Evolution

dscn0008 (Modified (2))Somehow it is hard to remember what the wine shop was like BR, you know, “Before Ryan.” I honestly can’t remember if he arrived on the scene two, or three, or four years ago. But we all know he has been a Force for Aliveness and the Founding Energy behind our decision to expand our hours to Friday nights.

As most of you know, over the last few years Ryan has developed his European wine tours, taken over the wine list at the Beach Store Cafe, expanded his wine classes through the Community College and the Food Coop, not to mention his recording business, and generally spread himself down to about four microns trying to Do It All. We all knew that Something would eventually have to give, and the logical First Thing to Give is the one that pays the least.

The Truth is that since we have never made a Profit in our little wine business, we have never been able to pay dear Ryan actual Money for his efforts. Now that he has developed a number of better options, and like all of us, has finite resources, it makes perfect sense that “Somethin’s Gotta Give.”

So it is with the reluctant but inevitable acceptance of Impermanence that we announce that for the foreseeable future Ryan will no longer be your default Friday night host. Like Pat and me, maybe he will prefer dropping in and schmoozing for a time on Fridays, rubbing elbows, enjoying Janice’s bread samples, and coming and going as the mood dictates…!

This weekend’s wine tasting

La Quercia Falanghina ’13 Italy $18
100% Trebbiano from hillside clay soil; a lovely, straw-yellow wine, with rich notes of white flowers, sea salt, and pear.

Perazzeta Rosado di Montalcino ’14 Italy $14
From the same grape as Brunello (sangiovese grosso), this beautiful rosado has it all: rich, bold, flinty, and summery.

Riojanas Rioja Canchales ’11 Spain $12
Pungent red currant and cherry on the nose, with bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors open to deeper blackberry and licorice notes and a taut, youthfully tannic finish.

Grand Bateau Rouge ’12 France $11
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon; expressive nose of ripe red fruits and spices with an elegant touch of new oak. Harmonious and powerful, with appealing fruit flavors, ripe tannins, and a savory finish.

La Baronne Costa Lise ’12 France $14
Organically grown blend of Carignan, Mourvedre and Syrah from Corbieres; juicy and complex, with luscious, mouth-filling flavors of dark berries and exotic spice.

 

Wine Tasting

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