lummi island wine tasting jan 19 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Barley, Whole Wheat, & Rye Levain – Levain culture is built over several days and allowed to ferment before the final dough is mixed. Made with freshly milled whole wheat, barley and rye flours. – $5/loaf

Buttermilk Currant – A really flavorful loaf using a poolish preferment. A little honey for sweetness balances the flavors of the whole grain; buttermilk makes for a soft and tender crumb. Then lots of currants and just a little rosemary round out the flavors. This bread makes great toast and even better french toast – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Pan de Cioccolate – A delicious rich chocolate artisan bread using a levain with bread flour and fresh milled rye flour, honey for sweetness, vanilla and plenty of dark chocolate. A great bread to go with morning coffee or afternoon tea – $5/loaf.

 

Illahe Vineyards

Our white wine this week is Illahe gruner veltliner, the premier white grape of Austria, brought to the Willamette Valley in 1983 by Lowell Ford. Gruner (aka “gee-vee”) combines a delightful array of unique characteristics, including a complex palate that falls somewhere on the spectrum between riesling and chardonnay,  with engaging fruit, complelling aromas, great acidity, and complex flavors.

Lowell Ford began growing gruner in Oregon in 1983, and in 1999 purchased the pasture land west of Salem that over the next several years became Illahe Vineyards. Son Brad Ford became the family’s winemaker in 2006. The vineyard was only tilled once, by horse; the wine is made almost entirely by hand with no electricity or mechanization, using a manual wooden basket press and transported by a team of Percheron draft horses that mow the fields and deliver the grapes to the winery at harvest. They may be the region’s only Completely Sustainable Winery.  See video at bottom of this page.

 

New Year’s Prizes!

Thanks to all of you who slaved for hours in your kitchens, or picked something up somewhere, or just showed up with Whatever. It was Awesome, one of our best New Year’s events ever. Lots of Positive Energy…we are all Lucky Ducks!

Special mention goes to Mary Jane, who not only brings great food to these events each year, but also for being Inspired to bring these amazing Magical Glowing “Ice” Cubes! They are inert until they go into the liquid, and then burst into colors which change from moment to moment from green to blue to red to yellow…Amazing!

 

Our judge this year had her work cut out for her, because as usual there were many Delicious Dishes! However, after considerable tasting and deliberation, she settled on Mary Beth’s Stuffed Scallops as the Best-Tasting Dish! And they were also Beautiful (our Bad for blurring the pictures..)  (:

 

 

 

 

 

Best-looking dish this year from from Peter, last year’s winner for “best-tasting” dish. Mexican by birth, Peter has great skill with peppers and salsas, and you gotta keep coming back for more! So yes, they were also Really Tasty! Oh, and yes there was a note on the table to Be Careful adding the Extra Spice…it was, um, Good Advice…! Tasty but mucho picante!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Hopes, Dreams, Karma, and Sh#*hole Countries

Everyone on the Planet now knows about the Sh#*storm that blew out of the Oval Office last week. And the Tweetster’s Comments have been widely interpreted as “Racist.” Which implies a prejudice against Whole Peoples because of their Race: white, black, brown, red, yellow, and all the shades in between. After due consideration, our Editorial Staff takes a Different View. We don’t think he gives even a single Sh#* about Race, per se. Oh, no, no, no, mes amis…this is not a Race Thing for him. It’s a Class Thing, shared by most Republicans: if people are So Poor they can’t meet their Basic Needs for Food, Clothing, Shelter, Sanitation, and Safety, It’s Their Own Fault! 

Forty years ago when I was a grad student in Economics, the prevailing theoretician in Development Economics was Walt Rostow. The basic idea was that the Fundamental Problem with Lesser Developed Economies was Capital Formation, which requires Investment, which requires Savings, which requires (I am not making this up) “refraining from current consumption out of current income.” In practice, there had be some mechanism to turn the Labor and Natural Resources of the Region into Export Dollars so they could Import Capital (infrastucture, factories, technology).  Only then could a country achieve the necessary threshold of capital formation for Economic Takeoff, as Rostow put it. This was the Basic Philosophy behind the World Bank and the policies it followed for decades.

Rostow’s Model was very appealing and made a lot of theoretical sense. In practice, however, the Benign Intent of the Model was quite consistently Twisted away from the Needs of the Many to support the “Greegos” (Greed + Ego..?) of the Few, including Local Dictators, Global Corporations, Cold War Strategists, Regional warlords, and Political Players of all Persuasions. The modern-day Fallout from all of this is a World of Heartbreaking Inequality.

Those of us with the Astounding Good Luck to have been born in industrialized nations have, by all historic standards, enjoyed the Regular Fulfillment of our basic needs for safety, food, clothing, and shelter to a degree of Comfort rarely seen in all of Human History. The Deeply Disturbing Fact is that Our Comfort comes at the Cost of most of those people who live in Sh#*hole Countries, which are, most fundamentally, not just places without running water, but places Without Hope. Think about that for a minute: Without Hope. So maybe Our Job As a Nation is to give all those people in Sh#*hole a little Hope that they too could enjoy the simplest of Gifts we Regularly Take for Granted: safety, shelter, food, water, and yes, a Clean Place to Sh#*.

 

This week’s wine tasting

Illahe Gruner Veltliner’16     Oregon     $16
Light yet dense aromas of dried peach, apple, and fresh cedar. Fermented partially in acacia barrels which add herbal flavors and complex texture. Palate also shows red grapefruit, graham cracker, and white nectarine. Balanced and beautiful, great Washington take on Austria’s premier white.

La Rocaliere Tavel  Rose ’16      France       $14
Scents of dark berries, cherry, and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo ’13      Italy    $17
O
pulent, with an Amarone-like raisiny nuance to the ripe, soft red cherry, sweet spice, and herb aromas and flavors. Velvety, opulent, well balanced and smooth, with long, lush, smooth tannins. Terrific buy!

Terra d’Oro Zinfandel ’14 California $14
Vibrant aromas of clove and big, generous fruit lead to concentrated flavors of juicy plums and  blackberries; well-balanced and smooth on the palate; plush but not jammy. Comforting and crisp on these long winter nights.

Maryhill Marvell GSM ’12    Washington   $28
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre;  shows ample tobacco leaf, licorice, cured meats and ripe red and black fruits in its mouth-pleasing, ripe, textured and balanced personality. Beautiful round body with notes of berry, cherry and baker’s chocolate.

 

Wine Tasting

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