lummi island wine tasting jan 26 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Both breads this week use similar fermentation as last week, a poolish and a levain, though with different grains for different flavors.

The levain uses a natural yeast starter, sometimes referred to as ‘wild yeast’ while poolish uses a pinch of dry yeast to get the fermentation going. Many people find that pre-fermenting some of the flour makes the bread easier to digest. I know that it adds another level of flavor to what is already delicious bread!

Buckwheat Walnut & Honey – a flavorful artisan bread made with a poolish and fresh milled buckwheat and bread flour. A little honey to balance the earthiness of the buckwheat and some toasted walnuts for a nice crunch. This bread goes well with meats and cheeses – $5/loaf

Multi Grain Levain – Made with a sourdough culture using a flavorful mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye. A nice mixture of flax, sesame sunflower and pumpkin seeds and some polenta add great flavor and crunch. And just a little honey for some sweetness. A great all around bread that is full of flavor – $5/loaf

For pastry this week:

Fruit & Spice Rolls – Include half whole wheat and plenty of butter, sugar and egg for flavor and a tender crumb. Dried cranberries, golden raisins, fresh orange peel and juice plus anise, cinnamon, mace and cardamon. Topped with demerara sugar before baking for that extra bit of sweetness and crunch…lingering flavors of the Holidays! – 2/$5

 

February Wine Shop Schedule

By Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

We have spoken many times in these pages about Cross-Quarter Days. There are four of them in each year, spread at equal intervals between the solstices and equinoxes (equinoxi…?). February 2, aka Groundhog Day by our custom, is halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, and represents a midpoint between winter and spring, a sign of Hope in a Dark Time. It is also known as Imbolc, Candelmas, or St. Brighid’s Day.

The first thing you need to know is that the Wine Shop will be closed the weekend of Feb 2-3. No wine tasting, no bread delivery.  We will be away, and Janice will be away. We regret any inconvenience.

We are heading South in our little trailer for most of February, and look forward to seeing you in March. To nurse you through the Withdrawal that might cause, Janice will be here for Bread Fridays and Wine Tasting on the remaining Fridays: Feb 9, 16, and 23. Stay tuned to our blog (this one!) for updates.

 

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Tomàs Cusiné

 

We have spoken often of our deep attraction to the Deep Harmonic Resonance of the Spanish wines of Priorat.

The winery of Tomàs Cusiné is located in the village of El Vilosell, at the southern end of the DOC Costers del Segre,  part of Catalonia, and just north of Priorat. Vineyards grow in dry, rugged terrain that also nourishes forests of oak, pine and juniper. As in Priorat, soils have calcareous compositions with varying amounts of gravel with good drainage, and sit at an average altitude of 250 meters.

The region is blessed by a local night wind called the marinade, which blows reliably cool on hot summer evenings. Day-night temperature contrast forms a cold climate that ensures slow ripening of the grapes, with late harvest that helps good acidity, thick skins, soft tannins and great color intensity in the wines.

This week’s feature wine is a blend of Carinena, merlot, and cab sauv. Interestingly, unlike many of the surrounding regions, the carinena (aka samso in Catalonia) vines are quite young, about 15 years old (over 100 yrs old in many nearby places), and the merlot and cab vines older (25 and 20). While this is a bit of a disappointment to those of us who have a Thang for Old Vines Carinena, this is still some very serious Juice worth savoring next to a fire on these long winter nights!

 

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: Hopes and Dreams, cont’d

Yes, yes, we know it is a Remote Possibility, but there is Increasing Evidence that some kind of “Deal” may be taking shape in the Nation’s Capital on Immigration. At a time when most other Threads of National Discussion remain Locked in Polarization (Climate, Environment, Equal Rights, Income and Wealth Distribution, Gender to name a few), there are a few tentative signs of Coalescence on Immigration. And let’s face it, the Very Idea that the Gazillionaire Class that populates most of our Congress could become Conscious enough to even begin to perceive some sense of Duty, Service, or Responsibility feels, yes, like Just Another Trick, so we remain Cautious…but, always, you know…Hopeful. We shall see what unfolds.

In the meantime, we have been recalling an old song by Woody Guthrie called “Deportee“. The song is a lament on the Futile Situation of migrant workers who died in a plane crash in 1948 as they were being deported to Mexico. It’s a beautiful and poignant ode to both their lives and their deaths, these people, these families with few options who made desperate decisions, took desperate chances, and worked their hearts out to find a Better Life than was possible in Mexico seventy years ago. Many were able to build a better life. Many were not. But we all must admire the Strength of their Commitment.

This system didn’t just benefit illegal immigrants. It has been the mainstay of agriculture in much of the American West and Southwest since before Woody wrote the song. In economic terms, there has been a Market for these workers for decades. In Business Terms, it has been without a doubt the Next Best Thing to Slavery. It’s the long, hard, rutted, and blood-stained Road generations of immigrants have taken to come to this country. For most of the world, the Gates of Heaven are Right Here in our Everyday Life. We are all Lucky Ducks, indeed.

So. How do we navigate the many paths that weave through our Compassion, our Selfishness, our Fears, and our Better Natures? It’s not an Easy Question. So the notion that this Congress might be able to get its Sh#* together long enough to achieve Any compromise on this issue is Breathtakingly, Head-scratchingly, and yes, even Seductively alluring, n’est-ce pas? Fingers crossed and Stay Tuned!

 

This week’s wine tasting

Bernier Chardonnay ’16 France $10
Lemon, herbs and lees on the nose. Full-on minerality, with a touch of lemon curd. Crisp, elegant, steely, and citrusy personality; classic Old World style.

Virginia Dare Pinot Noir ’14     California     $17
Uncomplicated but entirely engaging with notes of blackberry, ground black pepper, and black olives along with typical Russian River notes of strawberry and pit fruits.

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.

Robert Ramsay Mason’s Red ’1   Washington  $1
Easy-drinking cinsault-dominant Rhone blend; subtle nose of black cherry paste with a hint of cinnamon spice that expands on the palate to a soft anise finish.

Tomas Cusine Geol ’12   Spain     $21
Carinena, merlot, cab sauv; Elegant notes of cedar, eucalyptus, chocolate, and black currants with elegant and sweet wood on the nose. A wide and silky entrance, with rounded tannins; powerful, deep and persistent finish.

 

 

Wine Tasting

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