lummi island wine tasting august 11 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Dried Cranberry Walnut – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled buckwheat and whole wheat flours. Orange juice and olive oil are a unique combination in this bread that add flavor and keep a soft crumb, then loaded up with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Makes great toast- $5/loaf

Barley, Whole Wheat & Rye Levain – A levain bread is also known as sourdough that is built over several days and allowed to ferment before the final dough is mixed. Made with bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat, barley and rye flours. A hearty whole grain bread that is a great all around bread – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week…

Plain Croissants – Pastry dough made with butter and sugar and then laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants. I’ve heard some say these are the best they have ever had.  2/$5



Vranec (pronounced ‘Vran-etz’), is Macedonian for “Black Stallion;” wines made with it are deep red, almost black, and imagined to manifest a stallion-like strength and vigor. Vranec can also means “raven-colored,” which is why the wine is known also as “black wine” in Macedonia. An ancient Balkan varietal, it represents the warmth and strength of the Macedonian people.

Vranec wines have an intense, dark red color and rich aromas of dark ripe fruits. The palate is full and balanced. When young, it shows a light purple color and aromas of strawberry jam and wild berries. With age, vranec develops darker color and complex aromas of wild berries, dried fruits, and chocolate, with rich tannins. It is often blended with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah.

Last year’s order from Small Vineyards introduced us to  merlot from Macedonian producer Jordanov, and it was a big hit with most of you. This weekend we are pouring the Jordanov Red Blend made from Cab, Merlot, and Vranec. While the cab-merlot foundation will seem familiar, we think you will also be pleased to find some deeper, darker, smoother notes brought by the vranec…!


To those of us who grew up in New England, this French wine region could only be be pronounced “Kwin-sea.”  But since it is a small town in eastern part of the Loire Valley, different pronunciation rules apply. Which no doubt raises two questions in your mind: HUH? and Who cares about that? Fortunately we can help you with both questions!

As it turns out, the English expression “Huh?” is a Clue to how to pronounce “Quincy.” Most people do not say “huh?” as simply h-u-h. That would sound like the laugh version of the word, spoken more declaratively, meaning something like “You Don’t Say,” or “Well, I’ll Be,” so as to rhyme with Suh, as in “Yes, Suh.” But that’s not how we say “Huh?” Rather, there is a nasal element in the word as if there is an implied “n” that never actually gets pronounced, sort of HU(n)H?, if you see what I mean; you feel it as a little tightening in the part of your nasal passage just behind your hanging palate. So “Quincy” becomes “keh'(n)see.” 

All you really need to know is that the village of Quincy, like Sancerre, its neighbor to the East, produces an iconic version of sauvignon blanc, with the kind of crisp acidity and minerality that the French call nervosité:  a crisp, clean, bright, saline tension that also evokes a sense of the ocean and sea breezes. And btw makes you Crave Shellfish…mmm, yum!


Mar a Lago Update: Kim Chee Kronicles

Statesmanship seems to have evolved as a sort of Dance, a Formalized Ritual Combat in which Form and High Theater are substituted for Actual Warfare. Throughout History many civilizations have Risen and Prospered, sometimes Dominant for Millennia, and eventually Fell. So there has always been Something Going On, some Tacit Agreement that Everybody is In Peril when any single  Player Rocks the Boat  Too Much. Each Nation has its Role to Play, and each must conform in order to Preserve Order– and of course apply Pressure to other nations to do the same.

As Twentieth Century Survivors know, periodically Nations or Groups of Nations go Too Far. Having Prospered and Developed Military Might, they Rebel against the Rules and Decide to Make Their Own. Almost invariably this happens under the Control of the Latest Incarnation of the Psychopathic/Sociopathic Dominant Males of the Time. Like Walruses or Elephant Seals they Trumpet (no pun intended), Growl, and Bluster, from time to time Biting the Nose of some Rival or his Offspring or his Mate, Claiming Victory, and demanding Homage and Spoils commensurate with their Greatness. It’s an Old Story, a Sad and Stupid story about how a small number of Deeply Insecure Men so often rise to Power who are completely willing to Destroy the World if they can’t be In Charge of it.

Here in the Present we have the Tweetster facing off against the Kimster, as if they are the Only Two People in the World who Matter. Well, besides Putin, anyway. The tension here is between these Unstable Individuals and the Rest of the World. At the moment it’s a bit of a Tossup; the Kimster seems to have no Moderating Forces acting on him at all, while the Trumpster keeps getting Green Lights from the Spineless Toadies in his Party for each Daily Madness . Scary times; stay tuned…


This week’s wine tasting

Dom. Tremblay Quincy ’16     France    $18
Nose of yellow grapefruit, tangerine and sea air. Suave, fine-grained and concentrated, with zesty green apple & citrus flavors with a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel and finish.

Mas des Bressades Rosé ’15   France  $12
Spicy aromas and flavors of ripe red berries, orange, and pungent flowers; concentrated and supple, gaining weight with air, with cherry and melon notes and a lingering red liqueur quality.

Chateau de Cabriac Corbieres ’14    France     $14
Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Grenache; aromas of black berry fruits; palate shows blackcurrant, blackberry and hints of coffee. The flavors continue to develop to a dense and powerful finish.

Jordanov Red ’15      Macedonia   $11
Cab, merlot, and vranec from limestone and sandy soils; shows n
otes of blueberry and densely concentrated fruit with a dusty, rich, long minerally finish of cherry and cherry pit.  read more

Marchetti Rosso Conero ’15 Italy $11
Rich and inviting aromas of flowers, plums, brown spices, and hillside brush. On the palate,  round notes of cherries, blackberries, cocoa and spice. Culminates in a satisfying, lengthy finish.


Wine Tasting

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