lummi island wine tasting oct 5 ’18

Bread Friday this week

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a sourdough starter that is built up over several days. The bread is made with levain and bread flour and about 25% fresh milled whole wheat, giving it a ‘toothy’ crumb,  great texture and flavor and a nice crisp crust.  – $5/loaf

Buckwheat Rye – Fresh milled buckwheat and rye flours are soaked for 8 hours without any yeast in a method known as an autolyse. As buckwheat and rye don’t have much gluten this allows what little gluten there is to start developing and really gets the enzymes going before the final mix, which is then fermented overnight in the refrigerator. The buckwheat, rye soaker is mixed with bread flour, salt and yeast and a bit of honey. Goes well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche au Chocolate – A rich brioche dough made with plenty of butter, eggs and sugar, fermented overnight in the refrigerator before being rolled out, spread with pastry cream and sprinkled with dark chocolate. 2/$5


Fior D’Arancio

A few weeks ago we posted a note about a wine from Colli Euganei, a series of ancient volcanic hills north of Venice, where 50 million year old mineral deposits add depth and character to local wines. In that case we were talking about the success of red Bordeaux varietals like cab and merlot in the region.

This week we offer an unusual sparkling dessert wine from the same region, made from a local clone of muscat, which either through its own genetic identity or from some kind of cosmic osmosis  (cosmosis…?) from nearby orange orchards, has strong scents and flavors of orange. This wine is surprising and pleasing in many ways, with its lovely orange blossom bouquet, fine perlage, and fluffy mousse. It makes a great afternoon treat on the deck, or a fine accompaniment with fruit tarts, pies, puddings, or cakes.


October Sunset




Mar a Lago Update: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Kavanaugh

 Legend has it that the idea for Robert Louis Stevenson’s original story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to him in a dream, and the first draft was completed in a few days. The basic story is that Jekyll the upstanding scientist has a few flaws, and experiments with a dangerous chemical cocktail that transforms him body, mind, and spirit into the morally corrupt Hyde, through whose debauchery he can explore his own Dark Side. The tension between the two characters, one good and one evil inhabiting the same body, makes for a compelling story.

It is less well-known that late in life Stevenson suffered from tuberculosis and the effects of medicinal cocaine used to treat it, and there is speculation that he was experiencing some of the elements of his own personality split when he wrote the story.

Recently we have all witnessed a similar transformation in the Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In week one of testimony he played a casual game of softball with Republican Senators, while openly defying Democrats. Then we saw an astonishing day of  hearings which featured a composed, guileless, and credible Christine Blasey-Ford describing in detail how he assaulted her when they were both teenagers, followed by a disturbing, defiant, bullying, scowling, sneering, self-righteous and infantile Kavanaugh raging against the Gross Injustice of the Obvious Conspiracy by the Democrats, the Clintons, and Blasey-Ford to keep him from his Birthright to be a Supreme Court Justice.

He was painful to watch, and his Schtick was entirely familiar to those of us who grew up in alcoholic families. Self-righteous and self-deceiving, his basic message of How Dare You Question Me? is a classic psychopathic strategy for asserting Power. If you look back at the recordings of his Performance, you will see not Mr. Kavanaugh, but Mr. Hyde, sneering and outraged, blaming and vowing revenge, and wallowing in a strangely defiant self-pity. His demeanor, his language, his rudeness, his disrespect, and his bullying are all Familiar Hallmarks of Being Under the Influence of Something, maybe beer in high school, but something more intense, coke maybe, while watching Blasey-Ford’s testimony.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens just today withdrawn his endorsement for Kavanaugh’s nomination, saying there’s merit to the criticism that Kavanaugh’s Senate testimony last week showed a “potential for political bias.” Seems like a Fair Assessment and an Understatement. But it ain’t likely to keep Mr. Hyde off the Court. Sad times.


This week’s wine tasting

Ottella Lugana Bianco ’15     Italy    $12
Trebbiano di Lugano (Turbiana). Intense straw yellow color with green tinges. Exotic notes of candied fruit and citrus, warm and very deep on the nose. Widespread expressive finesse, with rich and persistent texture.

Château Lamothe de Haux Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux ’14   France    $12
A fine wine, with wood and fruit both rich and concentrated, with notes of spice, juicy black fruits and ripe tannins. It is developing slowly and surely and will be ready to drink from 2019.

Zenato ‘Alanera’ Rosso Veronese ’13       Italy            $15
Dark, inky color; rich and focused nose, with ripe berries, dusty oak and a precise note of waxy vanilla bean. On the palate delivers extracted flavors of cherries, strawberry, clay and even a hint of crushed mint. Soft tannins, rounded finish.

Betz La Cote Rousse Syrah ’10            Washington           $55
Black raspberry, flowers, minerals and spices on the nose; juicy on entry, then sinewy and penetrating, with obvious Red Mountain structure. Minerally, spicy, peppery finish with fine-grained tannins and lovely persistence.

Lovo Fior d’Arancio Sparkling Moscato ’17           Italy          $15
A very rare clone of Moscato with an unmistakable citrus scent from nearby orange groves for a sparkling wine with refined bubbles and beautiful, pearlescent color, a perfect aperitif with or without dessert!


Wine Tasting

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