lummi island wine tasting july 21 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)
Bread this week

Kamut Levain – Kamut, also known as khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that has more protein than conventional wheat. Some people who can’t tolerate wheat find kamut to be more digestible. The bread is made with bread flour and fresh milled whole gamut flour. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Barley & Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds – A nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled rye, barley and whole wheat flours. Some buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and toasted pumpkin seeds add to the flavor and texture. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week…

Chocolate Babka Rolls – A sweet pastry dough full of eggs, butter and sugar, rolled and spread with a chocolate filling, rolled up and cut into individual rolls. Brushed with sugar syrup after baking – 2/$5


New Moon and Tides

This weekend the moon is approaching New, showing a dwindling morning crescent rising just before the sun on Friday, moving right next to the sun (and therefore invisible) on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday it appears again as a thin evening crescent just after sunset, something like this photo. The takeaway here is that on any given day the moon drops an hour or so behind (i.e., later) the sun, but through the course of that day the moon stays in relatively the same relationship to the sun.

Tides at Full Moon and New Moon are called Spring Tides, when the difference between the highest high and lowest low of the day are at a maximum for the month. So this weekend look for very low tides near noon and midnight, and very high tides at morning and evening twilight.

Ray of Sunshine

Our little wine shop has now been open for twelve years. For the first four or five years we were open it wasn’t clear Who we Were and What we Were Doing. But by 2010 a couple of things had become clear. First, this little business was never going to be profitable in monetary terms. But that was okay, because second, a wonderful community had evolved around our little wine shop.

This was crystallized for us in a photo our friend Brian took on the Fourth of July in 2011, when he and Leigh invited us all up to their place high enough up on “the Mountain” for a panoramic view of fireworks in all directions. The powerful realization was that most of the people in the photo had met us and met each other at Our Little Wine Shop…Q.E.D., our Real Business was Building a Community of Very Dear Friends.

So it is with deep Profound Sadness that last week we Suddenly Lost a Dear Friend from this extended community. Ray lived about half the time on Lummi Island and half in Mountain View, California where he had built a career as a highly skilled “painting contractor” who could reproduce any finish in any pattern on any surface and make it indistinguishable from the original finish around it. He also had practiced Loving Kindness Meditation for many years, to the point that he carried with him a little Island of Calmness and Well-being. He was a Safe Anchorage in any kind of Heavy Weather: kind, caring, grounded, funny, and always available for an interesting and engaging conversation.

All of us in our extended Wine Shop Family Loved this Man and Miss him Deeply. Though what we Really Want to do is Throw Back our Heads and Hooowwoooollll to an Unfair God at the Merciless Unfairness of Our Loss, we place our palms together and bow in Gratitude to have had him in our Family this little while…knowing that some childlike part of us will keep hoping to see his tell-tale Portuguese beret come up the stairs on just One More Friday afternoon. Go well, Ray of Sunshine, and may we meet again…

Mar a Lago Update: Our Nation’s Immune System

Much has been said, imagined, ennobled, and waxed eloquent about Our Founders. Even in the last few days we have learned that all of those beautiful signatures on the Final Copy of the Declaration of Independence were in fact Incriminating Acts of Treason against the Crown. Each signatory was signing its own Death Warrant if the Revolution Failed. Like…Wow, I never thought of it that way!

Later on, many of those same Players Wrote and Signed the Constitution, the Set of Rules that would govern how the Values stated in the DOI Might be Realized. A Central Theme was “the Separation of Powers.” Tyrants being what they are, the thinking went, our best shot at Success was an interlocking set of Checks and Balances that could Thwart most attempts to Usurp Power. After all, how could any one subgroup control the Executive, both Houses of Congress, and the Judiciary?

In effect, the Founders were trying to give their Nascent Democracy an Immune System against Domestic Enemies. All in all they did a pretty good job. Until now, anyway. The Question on The Floor at the Moment is whether their Foresight is Adequate to Defend the Constitution against All Things Trump, given a Republican Congress that Looks Down on College Graduates, a “President” that Governs by Whimprov (yes we just coined that!), and a Supreme Court in Grave Danger of Making Corporations More Important Than People.

At some Very Fundamental Level, our Tension for the last Eight Months is Really about whether Democracy as We Have Known it can Survive against a Well-Organized, Well-Funded, and Wholly Committed Corporate State. Stay tuned. If you can…



This week’s wine tasting

San Pietro Alto Adige Pinot Grigio ’15      Italy    $12
Straw yellow in the glass with a nose of tropical fruits and hints of honey. The palate is fruity with excellent freshness and balanced acidity.

Cloudlift “Lucy” Rosé of Cabernet Franc ’15       Washington        $14
Light in color with delicate aromas of dusty strawberry and dried Rainier cherry. Palate of crushed cherries and white strawberry flavors, leading to a finish of black currant.

Tenuta Rubino Oltreme Susamaniello ’14 Italy      $14
Fresh, fragrant notes of cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and hints of ripe plum; fruity, minerally, and round on the palate with soft, pleasant tannins, a versatile and seductive pairing with richer dishes.

Montfaucon Cotes du Rhone ’14    France $13
50% Grenache co-fermented on skins with syrah, cinsault, carignan from 40 yr old vines; matured in concrete tanks; reveals beautiful aromas of cherries, blackcurrant, and raspberries with violets and spices; fresh and round on the palate.


Esplugen Priorat ’14   Spain       $17
Garnacha, carinyena, cab sauv; Priorat’s famous slate soil and arid climate give this wine great intensity and structure, with deep and complex aromas of rich ripe fruit and toast notes, and a long pleasing finish .



Wine Tasting

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