lummi island wine tasting august 4 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Sonnenblumenbrot – aka Sunflower Seed Bread made with a pre-ferment that is a complete dough itself. It takes a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast that ferments overnight before mixing the final dough. The final dough is made with bread flour and freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. This is a typical german seed bread- $5/loaf

Honey, Wheat, Lemon & Poppy seedsMade with a poolish that ferments some of the flour, yeast and water overnight before being mixed with the final ingredients which includes a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Some honey, poppy seeds and freshly grated lemon peel round out the flavors in this loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week:

Pan de Cioccolate – A delicious chocolate artisan bread. Not a typical enriched sweet pastry dough made with plenty of eggs, butter and sugar, but rather a rich chocolate bread made with bread and freshly milled rye flours, honey for sweetness, vanilla, and plenty of dark chocolate. Makes fabulous french toast! $5/loaf

The Italians are back!

It is now an established tradition each summer– the arrival of our semiannual special order shipment from our friends at West Seattle importer Small Vineyards. As most of you know, they specialize in family-owned wineries mainly in Italy, but in recent years also in France and Spain. Many of their member wineries have been  handing down traditional methods of farming and winemaking for generations. Virtually all of the SV imports vastly outperform their modest prices, and we always look forward to their arrival.

Over the next several weekends we are offering some old favorites as well as a few new imports. The old favorites are the Perazzeta Sara Rosato, a delicious rosé made from sangiovese grosso, the grape that made Brunello di Montalcino one of the most sought-after wines on the planet for the last hundred years. In addition, this weekend’s Italian representatives also include Sanguineti Cannonau Di Sardegna, which is basically grenache (a French Southern Rhone varietal) grown in Sardinia, where it develops its own distinctive and lingering notes of pomegranate to the more traditional red fruit notes. Locals claim grenache (cannonau) originated in Sardinia long before being exported to Spain and France, when the island was part of the kingdom of Aragon.

Moon and Tides

A few days ago I got Dreamtime out for a bit of a sail with my friend Mike, a former Army pilot who understands navigation principles, but the Army being what it is, never had to think much about tides.(!) We discussed my ongoing project to learn to predict where the Moon is in the sky by observing the Tide, and similarly, knowing where the tide must be if you know where the Moon is in sky.

Those of you who have been bored enough with your everyday lives that you have actually read any of these “Moon and Tides” musings the last several weeks should have picked up the basic tenet: when the Moon is highest in the sky the Tide will be pretty close to Low , and when the Moon is near the horizon, the tide has to be pretty close to a High. So imagine my Consternation as we were sailing, noting that the Moon (just past First Quarter) was High in the sky, and yet precious little of the shore was showing. In fact, it looked a lot like High Tide! Huh? Whazzat?

So of course when we got back in I checked my Tide App and was comforted by an interesting revelation, something I sort of knew theoretically, but hadn’t actually observed before. That is, when the Moon is at First or Third Quarter, it Is high in the sky at dinner time and the Tide is Low. However…I forgot that we also know that the tidal range between High and Low is at a Minimum at the Quarter Moon. Indeed, the day we were sailing there was only about a half-foot difference between the afternoon high tide (5.6′) and the evening low tide (5.1′)…! So yes, after Due Consideration, we are Happy to Report that it IS Intuitively Obvious!
Time   Tide   Height
0702    low    1.57′
1406    high   5.64′
1725    low    5.11′
2400    high   8.07′



Thimbleberries are a local curiosity, growing in banks alongside the road, often alongside salmonberries, another Northwest native. According to Wilipedia they are, like other raspberries, not a true berry, but instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. The drupelets may be carefully removed separately from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit which bears a resemblance to a thimble, perhaps giving the plant its name.

We often find wines with flavors reminiscent of thimbleberries, definitely raspberry-like, but somehow brighter and more acidic, and often with a sort of dusty quality (probably from dirt blown onto them by passing cars!). Today is the first day we have found some bright red ripe ones, and lots of hard pink ones which may or may not reach maturity.  This summer has been very dry, so pickings are slim. Look for them along roads or driveways or around the edges of fields. And yes, they are a perfect match for the many dry rosés we have in stock right now!


Mar a Lago Update: New Hall Monitor?

Things have happened very fast the last week or two. Let’s just call it a series of “Staff Adjustments.” The thing one would expect about Staff Adjustments is some Overall Rationale, you know, “Okay, we are not meeting our goals so we need a Change in Strategy.” But that implies that you Actually Have Goals and a Strategy for Achieving Them! So somewhere in this picture we would expect “Tweetster and Team” to be able to Articulate their Goals and Strategies and gather Data to Assess their Progress.

But, to our Immense Relief, six months into Ruling the Most Powerful Nation on Earth, these Clowns haven’t even figured out where the bathrooms are, and who gets to use which ones at what times. No Wonder they’re Frustrated! It is, as Any Observer might note, Time for some Discipline. It’s Time for some Leadership. It’s Time to Send In the Marines!

And so it is that Arch-Republican Priebus is Out and New Chief of Staff and retired Marine Corps General John Kelly is In. The Question on the Floor is whether Kelly, by all accounts an accomplished Leader, yet lacking Political Experience, will be able to Establish Discipline in the Chaos that Follows the Tweetster like a Burlesque Theater Company with Trailerfuls  of Baggy Pants, Feathered Boas, and Rhinestone Pasties. Stay tuned!


This week’s wine tasting

Finnriver Apple Abbey Belgian-inspired Craft Cider     Washington   $11
A silky, full-bodied cider. Lingering apple sweetness with tropical aromas of ripe banana and hints of pepper and clove spice. Nutty, bread-like finish.

Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc ’16   Napa      $18
Aromas of honeydew melon, cashews, apple, which continue on the crisp palate with notes of nougat, tangerine, and peach, with good minerality on the finish.

Perazzeta Sara Rosato ’15     Italy     $14
From the same grape as Brunello (sangiovese grosso), this beautiful rosato is rich, bold, and flinty while also crisp, summery, and light.

Cecilia Covolo ’13   Italy    $16
A blend of cab and merlot aged in concrete; lush and mouth-filling, sunny expression of  Cab with engaging aromas of spearmint  and warm cocoa. Palate  of extured black currant fruit, dark chocolate, and a lively acidic core.

Sanguineti Cannonau de Sardegna    ’15     Italy      $12
This cannonau– a Sardinian varietal known elsewhere as grenache– offers dry and dusty aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate and plum that leave lingering, crisp, earthy and briny flavors that beg for food.

Ramirana Cab Reserva ’15    Chile    $12
Expressive notes of red and black berries, with notes of black pepper, chocolate, and tobacco. Nicely balanced body, acidity, and tannins, with a pleasing finish.

Wine Tasting

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