lummi island wine tasting jan 25 ’19

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Bread Friday

Rustic French Country Bread –  A levain bread made with mostly bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and and a bit of toasted wheat germ. After building the levain with a sourdough culture 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. Not a refined city baguette, but a rustic loaf that you would find in the country to go along with a hearty soup or stew. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Sweet Corn & Dried Cranberry – this could be Sweet, corn & cranberry or sweet corn, & cranberry – either way it is delicious. Made with polenta and bread flour, enriched with milk, butter and honey for a soft and tender crumb, then loaded up with dried cranberries. Has great corn flavor but is not a traditional quick cornbread. A delicious bread that makes great toast and even better french toast- $5/loaf

And pastry this week…

Traditional Croissants – Made with two preferments, a levain as well as prefermented dough – which is also known as old dough where a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast is fermented overnight. The final dough is then made with more flour, butter, milk and sugar, laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants. 2/$5



This weekend we offer a sparkling wine from the Savoie region of France. It lies east of the Burgundy wine region and reaches well into the French Alps, and like Jura, its neighboring wine region to the north, borders on Switzerland to the east. It also offers a number of unusual varietals, grown in a large number of subregions shown in the map at left (click here for a larger view). The micro region of Seyssal has been producing wine grapes for about a thousand years.

The region’s vineyards average between 1000 and 2000 ft. elevation, often with southern exposures and favorable growing temperatures. Today’s wine is a blend of two varietals from the Seyssal subarea: altesse and molette. As in most sparkling wines, the flavor profiles of the grapes become subtle and yeasty, but with definite local nuances. Thus, sparkling wines from the Savoie and its neighbor Jura to the north have an appealing freshness and  rustic complexity. Altesse adds notes of honey, toast, nuts, and truffle, while Molette adds floral notes of magnolia and acacia, reminiscent of Viognier, and excellent acidity.

This wine is made from the traditional method, aging for two years sur latte, i.e., in bottle after injecting with yeast for the second fermentation that makes bubbly, you know, Bubbly.

We like it, hope you do, too!  read more



Around here we know it as lemberger, a lesser known red varietal with flavors that always remind me of ripe thimbleberries– yes, those weeds that line many of the roadsides here on Lummi Island and which usually ripen in mid-Spring (soon!). In Austria lemberger is more commonly known as Blau Frankisch, literally “blue grape from France.” In the past we have found that under either name it goes really well with spicy food, a revelation a few years ago when we were pouring it along with a tasting of jalapeno cheese– one of those Perfect Pairings one occasionally discovers.

The grape comes up today because it is seldom seen, and it appears this weekend as one of the grapes in an unusual blend in wine #5 that also includes sangiovese, zinfandel, and malbec. It plays a minor role in the wine (19%), behind two big grapes, so probably indetectable. Still…it would be fun to try it with something spicy just to taste how it goes….!



Mar a Lago Update:  The Language of Politics

Some time around 1980 Republicans began a continuing attack on Language and the Meaning of Meaning,  a long term campaign of Orwellian Newspeak and DoubleThink, by hijacking familiar words and giving them different meanings. Businesses, which have always had the goal of minimizing wages, began referring to themselves as job creators, to whom Workers should be grateful for being hired, Cities should be grateful for being selected for corporate locations, and Consumers should be grateful for the glittering mountains of products and services the Corporate World was trying to Poison them with, Charge them interest for, and Bury them in.

Back then it made a certain amount of Karmic Sense that the Last President of the US would be a mediocre Cowboy Actor in an Empty (but expensive!) Suit with a Nice Voice. But I was naive; it has gotten Far Worse since then. The Litany of Real , Nonfiction Newspeak has since then brought us terms like political correctness, coastal elites, death tax, pro-life, pro-choice, extraordinaty rendition, IED, downsize, enemy combatant. infomercial, pre-owned, insurgent, welfare moms, anchor babies…the list goes on and on and on. Each one is a deliberate strategy to reframe an otherwise nondescript phenomenon with a pejorative tag for a political purpose.

There is much that is disturbing about this Weaponization of Ordinary Language to mislead, confuse, and reprogram target audiences— the same tactics that are, or may be, the target of investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. One can only reflect and be sobered by the complexity of the international Media Rabbit Hole at issue in that investigation. And, as in the arcane Olympic Sport of Curling, every play involves numbers of trained operatives with Brooms continually brushing away Every Trace of Actual Facts.

Despite all that, there is for the first time since the Tweetster’s Coup, in the form of the U. S. House, the potential for some Leverage against the Boldfaced Lying we have been observing since 2016 in the persons and words of the Tweetster, abetted at every turn by Darth McConnell, his Soulless Henchman Graham the Empty, and their Undead Army of Avaricious Orcs in Red State Legislatures. It’s a welcome foothold in what looks to be a Long Siege, probably not Survivable without the Circle of Good Friends and Copious amounts of Wine you have come to depend on here at the Wine Shop!

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 7,546 as of 1/1/19


This week’s wine tasting

Seyssal Petit Royal Brut   France     $16
Traditionally made from Savoie white varietals Molette and Altesse, with extended time on lees and two years sur latte before rebottling, yielding a yeasty complexity and fine bubbles.

Matorana Nero d’Avola ’17    Italy   $14
From Sicilian volcanic soils; full-bodied and fresh with big notes  of ripe plums, berry cobbler, dark chocolate, and almonds, melting into earthy flavors with good minerality.

Altarocca Rosso Librato ’15     Italy     $14
Unoaked blend of canolao and cab franc from volcanic soils. Zesty, spicy, lush, and smooth.

3 Rings Shiraz ’15     Australia    $17  
Rich and full-bodied with attractive aromas and flavours of fleshy ripe black plum and blackberry liqueur;  squid-ink black with expressive and powerful aromas of dark and exotic berries and palate of chocolates, tar, leather and spice.

Owen Roe Abbot’s Table Red  ’16     Washington      $22
Charming blend of sangiovese, zinfandel, lemberger, and malbec showing rich notes of black currant, blueberry, cherry, white pepper spice, tobacco, and roasted red pepper, with gripping acidity and balanced flavors.

Wine Tasting

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