lummi island wine tasting august 10 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread Friday this week

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

Pain au Levain – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat and rye flours. After building the sourdough and mixing the final dough it gets a long cool overnight ferment in the refrigerator. This really allows the flavor to develop in this bread. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

For pastry this week…
A baker’s choice surprise! Sometimes inspiration for pastry comes later in the week than the email. Be assured it will be delicious! $5

Montagne d’Alaric

We have spoken before of our attraction to the wines of Chateau La Baronne in the Corbieres region of France, which we visited several years ago on a whim, passing by and knowing nothing about it. We met Andre Lignères, second generation winemaker on the verge of retiring, who poured his wines for us. He talked of the attention they paid to site selection and triage of the grapes. They have been registered with Qualité France for organic viticulture since 2007.

La Baronne makes numerous wines from several properties in the Corbieres region, with its broad vistas, long slopes, and rocky canyons. High pinnacles with the ruins of Cathar castle refuges stand as lonely markers of an entire people exterminated over many decades by opportunistic Papists who probably saw them as economic opportunities more than religious or political threats. As the nastiest of these is often quoted as he ordered the execution of thousands of Cathars at Perpignan over the concerns of his officers about how to tell Cathars from Catholics, “Kill them all and let God sort it out.”

Now hundreds of years later, these lands produce lovely wines. Today’s wine from La Baronne is the 2012 Alaric, a blend of 60% Syrah with 20% each of Mourvèdre and Carignan from vineyards on Montagne d’Alaric, a limestone mass that creates its own microclimate by cooling the air and maintaining optimal acidity and balance in the grapes, grown between 270 – 300 m.  Alaric is aged in older neutral oak barrels to keep it unmarked by oak.


Looking for the New Normal

California Governor Jerry Brown has been widely quoted this week for declaring the Extraordinarily Devastating forest fires that have wrought Havoc on California (as well as Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and almost everywhere else in the West) over the last several years as “The New Normal,” speaking in particular of the high likelihood that the fires will continue as long is CO2 keeps increasing.

But as Michael Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State pointed out after Brown’s statement, as long as we keep building up the stock of CO2 in the atmosphere by burning things to create energy, we will continue to see more and worse fires, floods, storms, droughts, habitat destruction, species extinctions, food shortages, killing heat waves…you know, pretty much Hell on Earth.

According to a recent report from the Dept. of Commerce, the annualized economic burden from wildfires
is estimated to be between $71.1 billion and $347.8 billion, including annualized costs from $7.6 billion to $62.8 billion, and annualized losses from $63.5 billion to $285.0 billion.And this is just the Beginning…they will continue to increase until many decades or even centuries even if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow.

Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution a mere century ago, the average global temperature has risen some 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Most climatologists agree that another mere 0.4 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, representing a global average atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) of 450 parts per million (ppm), could represent a Tipping Point of No Return. Continued below…



Mar a Lago Update: The Economics of Global Climate Disaster

The above Facts are agreed upon by some 97% of the World’s Scientists (including us), and every other country on the Planet but ours. Some while back we mentioned the alarming comment of environmental journalist David Suzuki at a public appearance here in Bellingham almost ten years ago when asked if we should be worried about Global Warming. His immediate response was, “You should be Shi#*ng Your Pants!,” which roughly translates into an old Zen line, “Awake, Awake, be Mindful in Practice…Time flies like an Arrow, It will Not Wait for you!”

Fast forward to Today, after we have all witnessed across the Globe many consecutive Years of increasing temperatures, worse and more frequent hurricanes, storms, floods, tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, landslides, and heat waves, more and more species at the brink of extinction, increasing food and water scarcity at lower and mid-latitudes, and the expansion of resource-based conflict and upheaval. Yet despite this Overwhelming Evidence, Tweetster and  Company continue to recruit converts to their Baseless, Lemming-Leaning Mantra that Global Warming is a Vast Left-wing Conspiracy to take away people’s guns, give their jobs to illegal immigrants, and cripple the US economy with silly environmental regulations.

At some intellectual level we have all known for many years that Propaganda is an effective tool– an Art really– for convincing people that Lies are Truth. But we have tended to think of it as in some other Time and Place, nothing to do with Our Safe American Cocoon. Yet here we are today, with Neo-Nazis marching in our streets, middle-aged White Men wearing T-shirts proclaiming “I’d Rather be Russian Than Democrat,” and Supreme Court nominees who support the concept of the Unitary Executive. We see a wide swath of our population more than willing to surrender their autonomy to a Central Government Authority under the paradoxical auspices of protecting their Freedom from Liberals, Intellectuals, and Immigrants, all of whom seem to them More  Threatening than the Comforting Reassurance of Big Brother’s Fake News.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 4229 in 558 days











This week’s wine tasting

Disruption Chardonnay ’15   Washington   $13
Beckons with aromas flavors of apple, pear, and lemon; calcium-rich soil adds complex minerality, and eight months on the lees adds creamy texture and notes of brioche, balanced perfectly with a zing of acidity stitching it all together.

La Croix Belle Caringole Rosé ’14   France      $11
Syrah-Grenache blend; intense nose of rose petals and pear-drop candies; palate of alpine strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries, with a citrus accent on the crisp finish.

Popolo di Indie Rosso ’16      Italy   $14
55% Nebbiolo, 30% Barbera, 15% Dolcetto; the Barbera brings the acidity and bright fruit, the Nebbiolo brings the tannins and the aromatics, and the Dolcetto brings the softness and rounds out this harmonious blend.

Maryhill Winemaker’s Red ’11 Washington $11
Fruit-forward and smooth with hints of cherry, blueberry and red fruit. Off-dry with fruity notes on the palate accented by cherry and vanilla. Food-friendly and perfect for everyday enjoyment.

La Baronne Alaric ’12    France       $27
Made from 120 yr-old Carignan vines (1892); aromas of plum, pepper, toast and spicy oak; palate is smooth, complex, and long on the finish with cask aging of great class (12 months in Taransaud/Darnajou barrels). Organic culture. Ideal with rich meat dishes.

Wine Tasting

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