lummi island wine tasting july 30 ’16

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Friday Breads (email us to get on the preorder mailing list! )

20141024-122220.jpgKamut – (aka Khorasan wheat) is an ancient grain that some who don’t tolerate modern wheat have found to be more digestible. It is a beautiful golden grain with a great nutty flavor. A good all around bread – $5/loaf.

Barley, Rye with Pumpkin Seeds- A delightful and delicious whole grain bread made with bread flour & fresh milled whole wheat, rye, and barley. A little honey and buttermilk help soften the crumb and add sweetness to the whole grain. Pumpkin seeds are added for a nice crunch. Top with a little cheese and make a meal! – $5/loaf.

Pan di ChocolateAnother levain bread with honey, vanilla cocoa powder, and a little espresso for great flavor. Then loaded up with bits of dark chocolate. This is not a butter and egg filled sweet dough, but a great artisan bread full of chocolate flavor. Makes great toast, and maybe try it for french toast – $5/loaf


Bread Rising

20140724-123524.jpgMost of us are familiar with making bread using commercial dry yeast. The ancient alternative is somehow to harness natural yeasts to induce fermentation, a process the French call “levain,” and most Americans call “sourdough.” But it isn’t necessarily so that they must inevitably be particularly “sour.” On the contrary, many such breads have complex flavor profiles which may or may not include “sour.”

Levain is a mixture of flour and water that has been colonized by ambient yeasts and bacteria and which feed on the natural sugars in the flour, which is why you have to “feed” more flour to a levain periodically to keep it going. We all know people who have been feeding the same starter for many years– like, OMD, if we don’t it will be Gone Forever! But people have known how to start  a new levain for thousands of years, in nearly all climates and cultures, so, like, No Worries, our flora can always start another batch!

So this is a lesson we can take from our “resident” baker, Janice. By my informal count, Bread Fridays in the last year or two have included at least eight different breads using a levain: whole wheat, semolina, kamut, rye, walnut raisin, pain au levain, and pan di cioccolate, two of which are repeated this weekend! Yum!

 

Tres Picos

20120517-223736.jpgThe winery, Borsao, is actually a cooperative, like many we have encountered in Spain. The business model here is that there is a corporate “front office” that manages all aspects of vineyard management, harvest, winemaking, and marketing. Each member-grower is required to follow specific rules and guidelines, and in exchange they are guaranteed purchase of their fruit. Borsao has about two hundred member vineyards.

The garnacha vines that provide the fruit for Tres Picos date back to about 1920. As shown, the vines are head-trained, with no trellises, and lots of space between them. They have deep roots after nearly 100 years of effort, and yield has diminished to about two tons per acre. Such old vines dig deep into  many layers of soil and provide these their grapes with corresponding layers of complexity.

We visited this Spanish vineyard a few years ago and were struck by the Gnarly Independence of each vine. After all, each of them has survived for nearly a century. So you would expect a certain philosophical independence, a Long View, and a profound acceptance of “this is my Essence, take it or leave it.” The thing is, of course, that across the Planet, vines this old are Rare, and it is our Good Fortune to commune with them from time to time…including the visit a few years ago when we took this picture. This wine consistently scores 91-92 points from Robert Parker, and this 2014 vintage also earned 92 points from more conservative wine critic Stephen Tanzer. Bottom line: though some years are better than others, this vineyard produces remarkable wine year after year. I.e., “It’s the terroir, Stupid…!”

 

Political Note

I have an Indelible Memory from the Fall of 1992, in the months between the Presidential Election and the Inauguration of Bill Clinton. At that time I was going to practice in Tae Kwon Do every day at noon. Many of the students attending were young, in their teens and early twenties. And it became apparent, through their guffawing hyperbole, that they were all being Particularly Entertained by someone named Rush Limbaugh on the Radio. Out of curiosity I listened once, and and that is when I first heard the Hatefully Delivered term “Queen Hillary.” And for the last 25 years I have been trying to figure out WTF that was– and has continued to be for the past Quarter Century– about. In my lifetime (and I am a pretty Old Guy) I have seen No One on the Public Stage more targeted with visceral, malicious. and hateful charges,than this one woman, dating back to when, for all practical purposes, the Nation had ever even heard of her.

So over the last few months, as an Ardent Bernie Supporter, I have followed the arguments for and against Bernie and Hillary across Democratic ranks, and have been increasingly Puzzled by the Hateful Rhetoric aimed at Hillary Clinton by those who profess to be Progressives. I fear that what it comes down to is how well each of us is equipped for Critical Thinking, the ability to differentiate between Truth and Lies. After all, we all know the Fox News Model that if you tell the Same Lie over and over for long enough, lots of people will eventually Accept it As Fact, without question. But I thought Progressives were better than that.

As a Staunch Supporter of Bernie Sanders, I have always believed that it was the Longest of Long Shots that he might actually win the Nomination. But at the same time I have been grateful for his timing and his Progressive message of Social Justice. The Big Question among Dems seems to have been whether Candidate Clinton will carry the Sanders Banner forward, or if she will follow the less assertive middle-of-the-road Obama legacy. All I can say is that tonight’s Convention Coverage has gone a long way toward inspiring my belief that she will indeed pick up and carry the Sanders Banner forward, empowered by the linkages of a lifetime of Political Experience. Besides, I have long felt that “show me someone who can Laugh from Their Belly, and I will show you someone with little Guile.”

No doubt we will elaborate on this theme as time goes on; for now, I am moved to paraphrase the default President in Battlestar Galactica“There was a War. It’s Over. We Lost. Time to Move On.”

 

This week’s wine tasting

Blanco Nieva Verdejo ’14   Spain $15
From 100 year-old vines, this beautiful white shows mineral-driven lime, quince and floral scents with notes of anise and mint. Graceful, focused and pure, with zesty lemon/lime and pear flavors.

Montfaucon Gardettes Rosé ’10     France         $12
A rosé de saignée with a deep pink blend of Cinsault, Counoise and Grenache with delicate aromas of peach and violets.

Spindrift Pinot Noir ’14   Oregon   $16
Aromas of red fruit, cherry, earthy and toasty notes. Big cherry flavors with some oak, sweet tannins, bright acidity and lingering finish.

Maryhill Winemaker’s Red ’11 Washington $11
Aromas of berry jam, chocolate, and cinnamon, with fruity notes of strawberry, caramel, and hints of white pepper, oak, and tart marionberry.

Tres Picos Garnacha ’14  Spain  92pts    $15
Heady, exotically perfumed bouquet of ripe berries and incense, with a smoky minerality and spice. Vibrant flavors of raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola show power, depth and finesse with velvety tannins.

 

Wine Tasting

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