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Friday Breads (email us to get on the preorder mailing list! )
Multi Grain –— Half bread flour and half whole milled whole wheat and rye, loaded up with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds. Makes for a flavorful bread with a lot of texture. You’ll feel healthier just eating a slice of this whole grain goodness! – $5/loaf
Black Pepper and Walnut – A new bread this week. Also made with a mixture of bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and rye, with the addition of toasted walnuts and fresh ground black pepper. This bread should be great with meats and cheese. – $5/loaf.
Brioche au Chocolate – Starts with a rich brioche dough that is fermented overnight, rolled out and spread with pastry cream and then topped with chocolate. Folded over and sliced for a delicious treat – 2/$5
Name That Tune
Events this week at the Republican Convention brought to mind an old line often mistakenly attributed to Sinclair Lewis: “When fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the Flag and carrying a Cross.” When I first heard that a few years ago I did some kind of forehead-slapping mental double-take, because it Rang So True.
Most basically fascism is a concentration of political power into a single party and a single leader. It took form in Italy under Mussolini in the 20’s as a reaction to the social, political, and economic turmoil after WWI, which was magnified further by the humiliation and hardships of the Depression. A Really Tough Time. And as in any time of social disruption, people were fearful and easily persuaded to blame Others for their many difficulties. By amplifying and appealing to Nationalism, frustration, and fear, Fascism offered scapegoats to blame and punish, much-needed personal identification with a national vision of Superiority, the seductive Comfort of an Authoritarian Leader, and the promise of a Bright Future.
If, as we have often suggested in these pages, feudalism is the default system of human political organization, in which the strong Few terrorize the weak Many into complete submission, we very well might view Fascism as Feudalism 2.0, in which complex industrial societies are dominated by a Dictator and a tiny Elite of military, industrial, and financial interests. Interestingly, Fascism does not have a particular ideology; it is more a reactionary being in the sense that it considers all other organizations inferior and threatening, and not to be tolerated. Other textbook indicators of Fascism include: 1) aggressive militarism to claim a dominant place on the world stage; 2) a single political party; 3) willing use of violence to discourage opposing views; 4) deference to an authoritarian leader or ruling elite; 5) militant over-reaction to opposing values; 6) attacking of minorities as inferior and conspiring.
So here we are in 2016, and a major US political party has just put forth a ticket that includes a Narcissistic and Incoherent Billionaire (so he says) who will Make the Country Great Again (you know, like back in, um, hmm, when exactly..?… and how exactly…?) and a religious Zealot for VP who has officially Declared War on women’s rights and our Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. The Bottom Line is that Your assignment over the next few weeks and months is to watch and listen and notice how much of what either one of them says fits into the above bullet points defining Fascism. read more
Bandol is part of Provence, so of course one expects excellent rosé. It lies east of Marseille, on the coast a little past Cassis, and south of Aix. And although the predominant grape in red wines from Bandol is mourvedre, rosé still follows the recipe from much of Provence, which is a blend of cinsault, mourvedre, and grenache. As we mentioned in a previous post some while back, some people (like legendary wine importer Kermit Lynch) think Bandol makes the definitive Provençal rosé. As shown in the detailed notes below, critics have high expectations of rosés from this area, detailing every nuance.
Of course, rosés by their nature are essentially red grapes made into almost-white wine. The color is determined by time on the skins, sometimes measured in mere hours. The flavor profile excludes almost all of the tannins that would naturally come from extended contact with the grape skins over time. So rosé is really about the freshest components of the red grapes that go into it. They are all good, some are just better than others. And this is supposed to be one of the good ones. Come by and check it out!
Music at the Wine Shop
This past Saturday our friend Rob Hutchings dropped by late in the afternoon with his guitar. We had talked the week before about his doing a little gig with us. As we have mentioned before, we encourage musicians to come by with their instruments on Saturday afternoons. Drop by about 4pm, play a 20-mnute set, and enjoy a free wine tasting! The space is very well suited to acoustic music, and we have been really pleased with how good everyone sounds in our space.
We have known Rob for a number of years now, but only recently discovered his musical talents. Many of his songs are original and expressive, hauntingly full of feeling, a little raw in some ways, but maybe Honest is a better word. His style is no doubt influenced somehow by time spent in Nashville ( I am not making this up!). Anyway, it was a Good Time, and made an impression on all of those present! It is our intention to try to persuade him to do a Sunday concert at the wine shop before the summer ends; we think you would all enjoy it. So stay tuned, more on this later!
In the meantime, you learn more about Rob and his music on his website.
This week’s wine tasting
Domaine le Galantin Bandol Rose ’15 90pts $18
Extremely pale orange-pink. Assertive aromas of orange pith, red berries, jasmine and garrigue show very good clarity and a dusty mineral element. Juicy and sharply focused, offering energetic strawberry and tangerine flavors that spread out nicely with air. Silky and dry on the incisive, very persistent finish, which strongly repeats the floral and mineral notes. I find this wine quite graceful and accessible as young pink Bandols go.
Giocato Chardonnay ’15 Slovenia $11
From the Italian border with coastal Slovenia; freshly styled, with notes of apple, lychee, citrus, warm croissant, and sea salt.
Domaine La Croix Belle Caringole ’12 France $10
Syrah, Carignan and Merlot blend from Languedoc’s Cotes de Thongue region; fresh and supple with flavours of cherry, and black olive, and herbs.
Robert Ramsay Mason’s Red ’13 Washington $16
Easy-drinking cinsault-dominant Rhone blend; subtle nose of black cherry paste with a hint of cinnamon spice that expands on the palate to a soft anise finish.
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec ’13 Argentina 89pts $14
Aromatic and fresh, with notes of violets, ripe plums and a touch of brown sugar, quite showy, with the profile of a cool vintage, the sweet tannins of the Malbec, some sweet spicy flavors, and good length.