lummi island wine tasting sept 14 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread Friday this week

Rosemary Olive Oil – made with bread flour and a bit of freshly milled white whole wheat for a little more flavor and texture. Fresh rosemary from the garden and olive oil to make for a nice tender crumb and a nice crisp crust. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Oatmeal Pan Bread: A new bread to introduce into the rotation. Made with bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and, of course, oatmeal. Plus a bit of honey. This bread has great flavor and makes perfect toast – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Morning Buns! – These have been made popular by Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, I use the same laminated dough as my croissants. The dough is rolled out, spread with a filling of brown sugar, orange zest, butter and cinnamon. Rolled up and sliced before baking. – 2/$5


Needle in a Haystack

One challenge of the last few weeks has been to get the Honda 9.9 outboard working on our little sailboat Dreamtime. We confess a broad lack of understanding of modern outboard motors, which seem fickle and moody, prone to random fits of pique today when they were running just fine yesterday.

Most of our marine engine experience for the last few decades has involved diesel engines, which, despite their many idiosyncracies, tend to run as requested despite their mood of the moment.

So it is that for the last several weeks we have been in a little dance with our outboard, trying to sort out why, after showing a willingness to start, it preferred to run with the choke engaged and with too high an rpm to allow easy shifting. Therefore it felt like the end of a long journey today finally to find and successfully adjust the idle adjustment screw that had been eluding us.

In the photo at left, in bottom center, there is visible a silvery bolt. At the right end of the bolt there is a dark opening. Inside the opening is located the idle adjustment screw. Because of the recess, the screw is not visible except from the left side at eye level. From above or forward the screw is not visible at all, which is to say, it is not visible from the boat it is mounted on. So it is with a great sense of aha! satisfaction today to have found and adjusted the previously invisible idle adjustment screw, the result of a fortuitous accident of having taken this photo that revealed it. Mystery solved…you know, for the moment…!



In the classic film “Sideways,” there is a scene where our male anti-hero asks our female heroine (as I see it) what was The Wine that did it for her, i.e., made her Love Good Wine. And frankly, I don’t remember what she said. What is important here is that the phrase “did it for you” roughly translates into, OMD, I never knew Wine Could Taste This Good! With the implication, of course, that Life would be Changed Forever from this experience, something between Transcendence and Addiction.

For us, it was a Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, probably around a 2000 vintage, which Pat’s son Donald offered as an antidote for my futile quest to find the perfect $7 wine. Bear in mind this was around 2004, when dollars bought a lot more, and that this wine at the time was about $40, Way out of our experience or comfort zone. I remember wanting to be able to inhale more deeply because the aroma was So Seductive. Life has not been the same since.

In Donald’s case the wine that did it for him was Pasanau Finca de Planeta, a blend of cabernet sauvignon and garnacha from the iconic Spanish wine region of Priorat, about two hours west of Barcelona. Pasanau is located in the Northwest corner of this very dry, rugged DOC very reminiscent of the American Southwest. It is famous for the complexity of its wines. Because its old vines have had to grow deep into the ancient schist, limestone, and licorella soils to survive and produce fruit, they have developed a certain profundity. We visited the winery a few years ago and were moved by its gnarly old vines and spectacular setting.

More important for you, by chance we have acquired a few bottles of the 2012 vintage of this wine at a substantial discount, allowing us to offer our limited supply for $35 each.


Mar a Lago Update: The Emperor’s New Clothes

In the original fairy tale, the scenario was that the Emperor was apparently not the Brightest Bulb in the Box, suffered from an Excess of Hubris, and liked Adulation. And for whichever of those reasons, the Emperor bought some Very Sheer Invisible Clothes and wore them in a Parade. The Moral Takeaway from the story was that only a young boy was free enough from Cultural Inculcation to be able to Name what Everybody Knew.

This week is a landmark because, after so many years of Silence, so many Witnesses have come forward on the subject. These include: 1) a fascinating NY Times OpEd about the Chaos in the White House that reeked of  misguided self-righteousness and martyrdom; 2) Bob Woodward’s methodical exposé of the Chaos in the Tweetster’s Government; 3) the Bizarre Senate Judicial Committee interviews with the Tweetster’s latest Federalist Society pro-Life, pro-Gun, Pro-Corporate Supreme Court pick; 4) the Tweetster’s claim of Total Success in rehabbing Puerto Rico after last year’s devastating Hurricane, despite troves of Evidence that the US Response was underfunded and understaffed to the point of Indifference; and 5) the Imminent Arrival of Hurricane Florence, just downgraded to Category 2 (100 mph winds instead of 130), but still LOTS of Rain and likely $100 billion damage, only the latest uptick in the now-inevitable-for-the-next-75-years annual Worsening of Storm Damage.

One is reminded of the Old Saying, “to Judge the Direction of the Wind, it is enough to look at a Single Blade of Grass.” On the other hand, as with the boy Naming the Emperor’s Nakedness, it won’t work until enough people are willing to open their eyes…

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 4713 as of 9/1/18


This week’s wine tasting

Popolo di Indie Bianco ’16 Italy $13
100% Cortese; aromas of white fruits blended with sweet citrus and a hint of tropical fruit that dance delicately on the palate, intertwining with fine acidity, a touch of mineral flavor and a long, soft.

Pech Celeyran Ombline Rosé ’15 France $10
Nice fruity nose, and palate of red fruits, strawberries, and raspberries, with an appealing freshness ideal for summer afternoons.

Portteus Bistro Red ’15    Washington    $13
Fun, smooth and easy drinking blend of Malbec and Merlot. A food friendly wine with delicate, elegant texture. Notes of blackberry, pomegranate, cocoa, honey and licorice, with a creamy finish. Over-delivers for the $.

Martoccia Poggio Apricale  ’17    Italy  $14
Sangiovese Grosso with a little Merlot and Cab Franc; Fruity and persistent nose of wild berries and spice. Soft and balanced with fine tannins this Sant’Antimo Rosso works well with any meal!

Celler Pasanau Finca La Planeta Priorat ’12   Spain $35
Crisp, focused aromas of ripe berries, asphalt, and spice; flavors of spicy plum, crushed peppercorn and mineral-rich schist; thorough and complex; drink through 2028.

Wine Tasting

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