lummi island wine tasting Groundhog Day ’19

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Bread Friday

Our baker has taken this week off…so sorry, no bread this week. If you have signed up for her mailing list, you can expect an email with next week’s breads on Sunday.

But Bread or Not, we will be open for wine tasting on Friday!





Another Cross-Quarter Day

This Saturday is Groundhog Day, a good time to reflect on our seasonal place in the Great Sidereal Movement by which we humans reckon Time and the passing of the Seasons. As we discuss periodically in these pages, we are all familiar with the greater solar holidays– the two equinoxes and the two solstices– that mark the official transitions from one season to another.

Lesser known is the ancient tradition of celebrating the “cross-quarter days” that fall halfway between these quarterly events. February 2, aka Groundhog Day in our time, falls midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, and has been variously known as Candlemas, Imbolc, Oimelc, Brigit, Brigid’s Day, Bride’s Day, Brigantia, or Gŵyl y Canhwyllau by various cultures, many of which consider it the beginning of spring. In the picture, it is labeled 1st.”

The Solstices and Equinoxes divide the year into four quarters; the addition of the four cross-quarter days further divide it into 8 six-week periods, important for planting and harvesting over millennia. Together they refine our view of the changing seasons. This all becomes clear to kids when they realize with a start that there are always six weeks between Groundhog Day and the First Day of Spring, whether the Groundhog sees his shadow or not!


Lirac is a small wine region across the Rhone River from, and shares the same geologic history and grape varietals, terroir, and climate as the more famous Chateuneuf-du-Pape region, just across the river. One of our favorite regions, it consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. Deposits of a great number of round stones known as “galets” were formed when the current tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them downriver on the plain.

This weekend’s Lirac, as reviewed by Robert Parker with a stellar 93 pt rating, is a “serious, large scaled, voluptuous effort that has lots of ripe tannin, a bold mid-palate and copious amounts of blackberries, black cherries, scorched earth, licorice and roasted herbs. One of the bigger boned and concentrated reds in the lineup, it will have a decade of longevity.”

Our tasting yesterday suggests that the tannins have yet to settle down, suggesting the wine needs a bit more aging. Even so, we are fond of the wines of Lirac, sort of a poor man’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Come by and see what you think!


Mar a Lago Update: Learning is a Beautiful Thing

It has been a Long Two Years, and if you are like most of us, this Anniversary is deeply Sobering. Those of us who have steadfastly refused to mention the Tweetster by any other name have always maintained the Conviction that this Mistake, this Miscarriage, this Farce, this Outrage could last even for a few months. Yet here we are, two years into our worst Dystopian Nightmare and almost certain to continue for another two, regardless of eventual findings by the Mueller Investigation. It is sobering and distressing, but blessedly tempered by a more balanced distribution of power in Congress, and the recent failure of the infantile Tweetster to get his way with his Shutdown. Or to put it another way, at least one of the Parents is home now and things are gonna stop getting worse faster than we are getting older, we hope. Hallelujah!

On a more micro level, there are signs on the Horizon that the Tweetster is starting to come out of his childhood Trance. This is, to be sure, a tentative observation on the Sartorial Mystery of the Tweetster’s Necktie Practices. I know, I know, most of you have No Idea what we are talking about here, but those of us who spent time in the Service learned that whatever kind of knot you put in your necktie, the fat end may hang to your belt buckle and no further; the skinny end must be clipped or tucked into your shirt so as not to show; and the knot, whether four-in-hand or Windsor, Must have a Dimple. As we all know the Tweetster’s “style” is to make the fat end long enough cover his Private Parts, uses the four-in-hand (a Child can learn it), not the Windsor, and is seldom seen with a Dimple. However, that has recently started to change. This is, admittedly a pretty crappy dimple (and does he look as menacingly Froglike to you in this photo as to us…?), and maybe he is starting to suspect that OMG, there are Other People besides me!

Okay, admittedly we are grasping at straws trying to create a little positive spin. But maybe the Dimple and the new Dem control of the House are simple signs of Progress.








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


This week’s wine tasting

Montinore Borealis White   Oregon   $15
Aromas of orange blossom, honeydew, guava and kiwi; sumptuous flavors of stone fruit, Meyer lemon and juicy pear drizzled with caramel.

Domaine La Croix Belle Caringole ’14      France       $11
Syrah, Carignan and Merlot blend from Languedoc’s Cotes de Thongue region; fresh and supple with flavors of cherry, and black olive, and herbs.

Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo ’14      Italy    $17
Amarone-like raisiny opulence to the ripe, soft red cherry, sweet spice, and herb aromas and flavors. Velvety, well balanced and smooth, with long, lush, smooth tannins. Terrific buy!

Amalaya Malbec ’16 Argentina $15
From high in the Andes, notes of crushed currents, plums, fig, and raisins.

Alain Jaume Clos Sixte Lirac ’15   France    $25
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.  Aromas of  kirsch and wild blackberry; full on the palate, with notes of black currant and spice. Fleshy, elegant tannins with hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish.


Wine Tasting

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