lummi island wine tasting june 14-15 ’19

Friday Breads This Week

Levain w/ Dried Cherries and Pecans – Begins with a levain starter the night before final mixing of the dough; the final dough for this bread is made with comnbines the levain, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat with dried cherries and toasted pecans. A nice rustic loaf that goes well with meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Pan de Cioccolate – A delicious chocolate artisan bread made with bread flour and fresh milled rye flour, honey for sweetness, vanilla and dark chocolate. Makes fabulous toast, even better french toast, or maybe peanut butter toast! Let your imagination go wild – $5/loaf.

…and pastry this week— should go particularly well with the season’s fresh berries

Brioche Tarts au Sucre – aka brioche sugar tarts. A rich brioche dough full of eggs and butter, rolled into a round tart and topped with more eggs, cream, butter and sugar. – 2/$5



World’s Best Canned Tuna!

Pretty much everyone on Lummi Island (maybe a thousand year-round, maybe two thousand in the summer) knows, respects, reveres, and salivates at the name “Lummi Island Wild.” People from Elsewhere have most likely Never Heard of neither it nor of  Reefnet Fishing, an ancient method developed by the Salish People of this region a Long, Long Time Ago. The technique found favor with immigrants to the Pacific Northwest beginning about a hundred years ago, and persists today in only a few places around the world, most famously right here on Lummi Island.   see photo

Earlier this week, in preparation for a brief visit from Old Friends, and in search of local Gourmet Delights, we stopped at Lummi Island Wild on the way into Bellingham and, and learned several Good Things we would like to share with You Our Faithful Followers.

Of particular interest are the facts that 1) LIW has been canning some of the Best Albacore Tuna on the Planet for several years now (how could we Not Know This???); 2) YOU can now BUY THIS TUNA right here in the wine shop for their regular (and well worth it) price of $7.50 per 6 oz. can; and 3) they also sell (sadly we can’t without a proper freezer) 6 oz. frozen fillets of Reefnet Wild Sockeye Salmon, which we bought and grilled simply for our friends two days ago, and All Agreed it was easily the Best Salmon We Had Ever Tasted, largely due to its Supernaturally High Fat Content.

The Bottom Line here is that we Now Carry the Lummi Island Wild canned Albacore Tuna, well worth keeping At Ready in the Pantry for those last-minute Food Emergencies that so often arise…! As we yoos-ta say in Maine, “My Gawd it’s Good!”


Pic St. Loup

We confess a certain infatuation with the little wine region of Pic St. Loup, a short distance north from the French Mediterranean city of Montpellier. The “Pic” is a 640-meter “Tooth” of Rock that dominates the French landscape for miles in every direction. At some mythic level, there is a Powerful Energy here, as if there is something in the soil composition that makes gravity a little stronger, or the ancient gods of the place Still Rule Deep Under the Mountain. It’s Tangible; you can Feel It.

The wines from this place, which must be predominantly syrah, grenache, and mourvedre (as in nearby Southern Rhone) have a certain gravitas. The vines must be at least six years old (not three) before being harvested for making red wine, but make excellent rosé. The climate tends to be cooler and wetter than elsewhere in Languedoc, which stretches in a band along the Mediterranean, while Pic St. Loup is open to more of the Atlantic climate from the north and west. This combination of soils and weather, along with whatever Magic is sown by the energy of the Pic itself, makes for wines that have an esoteric je ne sais quoi appeal that goes beyond notions of terroir in the direction of something more Profound, archetypal, or, for lack of a better term, “Spiritual.”

And yes, this is all a big Metaphor to describe my own personal affection for wines from this appellation. As always, of course, it is up to you to make up your own mind!


Mar a Lago Update: Polarization Check

In late 1952 I turned seven years old. Several months earlier (June) my older sister and I had been sort of ‘kidnapped’ from Maine by our recently estranged Father. Our parents were, as it turns out,  splitting up their marriage, though even they wouldn’t realize it for some many months.

For half a year we lived with our grandparents in Hartford, Connecticut in a pleasant 3-story Row House with our War Hero-Body Builder Uncle Joe and his son (our cousin); and our Uncle Frank, his wife Our Aunt, and their two sons (More Cousins) .  It was the first time we had seen Television and the first time we had encountered Political Campaigning. I remember Panel Trucks with Loudspeakers on top driving through the neighborhood broadcasting Slogans and bearing signs “I Like Ike!”

As a six-year old, I had no idea what an “Ike” was, but I got the notion from what I heard that he was the Good Guy and the Five o’clock Shadowed Stevenson (remember it was black and white TV days) was the Bad Guy. But Now I wonder: so was this the Beginning of Polarization?

Politics remained more or less in the Great Background and it seemed about Personalities…this time the beard-shadowed Nixon vs. the stylish JFK. And then there was major cultural polarization over the Vietnam War– the heart-breaking tragedies of 1968, and then Nixon-Agnew’s Silent Majority vs. the Hippies and the War Protesters until Agnew’s conviction and Nixon’s resignation. The Nixon years laid the Foundation for our present Dystopia with the consolidation of power under Reagan and Bush. The Eighties became the Decade of the Bottom Line, the Nineties the Decade of Vapid Pragmatism, the Aughts the Decade Republican Secession, and the Teens the Decade of Autocratic Consolidation.

The last fifty years tell a story of deliberate undermining of Truth, deliberate polarization of Americans into distrustful and pliable blocks, and consistent efforts to distract attention from the consolidation of power and wealth into fewer and fewer hands. All of this has brought us to the brink of a Global Dystopian Apocalypse by crippling historical mechanisms for collaboration and compromise on the essential business of harmonizing human activity with the physical and social constraints of our tiny and vulnerable planet. Or, more succinctly, as one dear friend put it a few years ago, “Things are getting Worse faster than we are getting Older.”

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 10,000 as of 5/1/19


This week’s wine tasting

Idilico Albariño ’17     Washington    $14
Stainless steel fermentation and aging with moderate lees contact for four months. Shows notes of citrus and tropical fruit followed by luscious, crisp and refreshing flavors. Drink anytime the sun shines.

Chat. Lancyre Pic St. Loup Rosé ’18      France       $14
Raspberry and pear aromas on the nose, with distinctive spicy, minty garrigue notes. Big, bold and firm on the palate, ending with a long, clean finish.

Tenuta Rubino Oltreme Susamaniello ’16       Italy      $14
Fresh, fragrant notes of cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and hints of ripe plum; fruity, minerally, and round on the palate with soft, pleasant tannins, a versatile and seductive pairing with richer dishes.

Can Blau Can Blau ’16      Spain     $16
Long a favorite; always shows aromas and flavors of ripe, dark fruits and berries, a seamless texture, and long, silky finish. Generally improves with lots of aeration.

Pomum Red ’15       Washington       $19
Cab, and cab franc with malbec, petite verdot, & merlot; aromas of both fresh and leathery red fruit and exotic spices; on the palate shows black cherry, cranberry and garrigue,  fine elegant tannins and a long finish.








Wine Tasting

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