lummi island wine tasting july 27 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread Friday this week

Breton – Incorporates the flavors of the french Breton region. Bread flour and fresh milled buckwheat and rye make for interesting flavor and the salt is set gris -the grey salt from the region that brings more mineral flavors to this bread. Goes great with meats and cheeses – $5/loaf

Semolina w/ Fennel & RaisinsA levain (also known as sourdough) bread made with bread flour, semolina and some fresh milled whole wheat. A little butter for a tender crumb and fennel seeds and golden raisins round out the flavors. Judy A. says this is her favorite! These flavors also go really well with meats and cheese, but it also makes pretty darn good toast – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Bear Claws! – Made with a danish pastry dough rich in cream, eggs, sugar and butter, rolled out and spread with almond paste, powdered sugar, egg whites and just a bit of cinnamon to round out the flavor. Then, because bears love honey, topped with a honey glaze after baking! – 2/$5


Ferry Perspectives

Last weekend one of our visitors shared this photo she took of our trusty Whatcom Chief heading back to the mainland. Hale Passage isn’t often this calm, so the combination of the reflection of the boat in the smooth water and the Imposing Perspective  of Mt. Baker in the background makes it quite Spectacular!

Speaking of the ferry, for those of you who don’t live on Lummi Island, over the past several months there has been considerable public discussion about replacing our nearly sixty-year old ferry. In the last few years maintenance expenses and unscheduled time out of service have been increasing at an increasing rate, and there is pretty much a consensus that it is time for a replacement vessel.

Late in 2017 the County contracted with an engineering consulting firm ($350k!) to conduct an analysis of replacement options. Now anyone familiar with consulting knows that most studies like this are mostly “boilerplate,” i.e., the same for all similar clients– in this case, those in the market for a new ferry. But the Good Ones qualify the Boilerplate with an appropriate deference to the specifics of each Client’s situation.

Unfortunately in this case the consulting firm has an ongoing relationship with a Seattle shipbuilder which happened to have in hand a design for a 34-car vessel, but none, unfortunately, for a smaller vessel. So perhaps it was Coincidental when last week our joint Island-County ferry committee recommended only a single option, i.e., buying the 34-car vessel recommended by the consultant (as opposed to far less expensive 24-car vessel another Recovering Economist and I recommended). 

Since it will no doubt be some years before any replacement ferry goes into service, from a personal perspective these issues are of little consequence. From a social welfare perspective, however, we find ourselves curiously attached to the conviction that Small IS Beautiful, especially when it delivers comparable service at far lower cost, both monetary and social. The Good News is that this advice does NOT cost you $350k; it is our 2-cent donation for today! And whatever ferry serves this community in the future, it will still be an Awesome place to live!

photo courtesy of Karen Van Winkle


Island Quilters Show Next Weekend!

click photo to enlarge

“Island Quilters” (aka ‘IQ’s’) is the name chosen many years ago by our beloved Wine Gallery and Life Partner Pat and fellow Islanders Myra R. and Mary B. for their collaborative Quilting Support Group. They have met regularly for many years to share work in progress, commune with Peers, share a bit of wine and conversation, and encourage each other’s Creative Muses. In the fifteen years or so that they have been working together, they have done a number of group shows here on the Island and at Galleries on the Mainland. Each of their pieces is at the very least months in the making and richly deserving of mindful contemplation. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!!

Since in recent years it has been difficult to conform their schedules to the Studio Tour (Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends), they have chosen to open their next show Next Weekend here at the Gallery. This will be their first group showing since Spring 2014, and will remain on display through August.

Opening Reception Thursday August 2 from 4-7 pm All three artists will be present, along with complimentary wine and snacks. Since these are not our regular hours, Mark your Calendars and plan to come by! The show will continue through August during our regular hours: Fridays 4-6 pm and Saturdays 2-6 pm.

PS: The quilt in the photo (click to enlarge) was done by Pat back in 2014 during what now seems like minor Angst during the Obama years– and which has, sadly, metastasized into Donald Trump’s Brave New World of 1984 Newspeak.



Pouilly Fuissé

The vineyards of Pouilly-Fuissé rest on a foundation of 200-million year old limestone fossil corals of Jurassic origin mixed with clay and schist which have crumbled down over the ages, leaving hillsides cut by small, steep-sided streams and a south-easterly exposure.The only grape grown in this little region is Chardonnay, where depending on the vintage and precise vineyard, shows great minerality from the limestone soil, with aromas that can range from almond and hazelnut to citrus, white peach, bracken, acacia, breadcrumbs, buttered brioche, and honey. The texture is rich, well-structured, and full of flavor.

It is their minerality which makes these wines perfect partners for prawns, lobster, and other shellfish.. With a great balance of acidity and smoothness they also pair well with poultry and many varieties of goat cheese. Their structure and minerality also pair well with spicy couscous, savory fish tajines, sweet-and-sour sauces, and even sushi.

Our white wine this week is fifth-generation winemaker Pierre Vessigaud’s “Vielles Vignes,” blended from the fruit of seven different plots, picked by hand, vinified together with the stems, and fermented naturally using only local wild yeast in mostly neutral barrels (only 5% new oak). Bottom line: white burgundy is the global standard for the best that chardonnay can be, and this is a worthy example!


Mar a Lago Update: Fooling Enough of the People Enough of the Time

One of Abe Lincoln’s famous quotes was something to the effect of “You can fool Some of the people All of the time, and All of the people Some of the Time, but you can’t fool All of the People All of the Time.” As with much of his speech, it was elegant, instructive, and True.

Fast forwarding to Today, we find that Truth is no so much the Realm of Agreed Upon Fact, but rather just another Variable to be Manipulated by Media, Malice, Money, and Malarkey. Below you will find a link to a recent PBS discussion about how the Tweetster has been effectively and systematically undermining not just individual facts, but the Very Idea That Facts Exist.

We have to accept that for Whatever Reason, he Owns nearly forty percent of the population, Zombies who have Surrendered their Independent Reason to the extent that today they can Believe Proposition A, and tomorrow they can Prefer its Exact Opposite while feeling no sense whatever of Cognitive Dissonance. It is Baffling Beyond Reason, and only seen heretofore in the Realm of Cults, Gurus, and other Brainwashing Experiments.

So it was with some sense of Reassurance and Relief that we watched a recent PBS Panel Discussion on the nature of Truth, which did a nice job of inviting consideration of the Policy Implications of a Deliberate Political Policy of Undermining Facts. Most obviously, a Charismatic or Religious Leader who can successfully claim Infallibility is Irresistible to Authoritarians of All Stripes. All of our attention and effort through the next Electoral Cycle should be focused on supporting Reason and Rejecting the Simplistic Dualism that the Psychopathic, Misanthropic, Parental-Approval Deprived Tweetster uses so successfully to manipulate that huge proportion of our population that seems to have suffered the same Disillusionments.

watch video


This week’s wine tassting

Vessigaud Pouilly Fuissé Vielles Vignes ’12   France    $21
Blend from several Fuissé vineyards, ripe and expressive nose of floral and mineral notes with hints of spice, tea and honey; rich and unctuous on the palate, with notes of peach, pear, and almonds, with good mineral freshness. Delicious!

Bieler Bandol Rosé ’16   France $17
The fruit shows a beautiful balance between red fruit and the acid structure without either overpowering the other, or the savory, citrus and mineral core. Shows bright and lively fresh fruit in its aroma and flavors, and its crisp and chalky finish pair it well with simple seafood dishes.

Carmen Carmenere ’14     Chile     $16
Composed berry, spice, herb and oak aromas are complete and inviting. In the mouth, this is ripe and dense, with chewy tannins. Blackberry, mixed herb and dark chocolate flavors are integrated, while this settles nicely on the finish.

Avignonesi Rosso de Montepulciano ’14     Italy $18
Perfumed aromas of red berries, violets, cinnamon, and almond flower. Juicy and bright, with precise strawberry and redcurrant flavors and lively acidity. Finishes long and fresh, with lingering floral perfume.

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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