lummi island wine tasting groundhog weekend ’20

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No Friday Breads This Week

Baker’s week off. Bread returns next week!

(breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)










Fior D’Arancio

This week we bring back an unusual sparkling dessert 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.

The wine is a clone of muscat from this region, which either through its own genetic identity or from some kind of symbiosis from nearby orange orchards, has strong scents and flavors of orange. This wine is unusual, 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.

We poured this wine a year or two ago, and it sold out quickly as people tasted it. As the season gets colder, it’s a great wine to have on hand for cozying up to a fire!


Wine Club Membership Renewal Time!

Thanks to all of you have already re-upped for Aught-Twenty; it is gratifying to have your continuing support! Our membership renewal campaign will continue for another couple of weeks.

Annual membership is $50 per person, for which you get $5 weekly tastings (save $5/week!) AND we pay the sales tax on all purchases, a hefty 8.7% discount!

Yes, yes, we must be Crazy to offer this incredible Bargain, but there it is, time to sign up for another year to enjoy this great community AND great savings!



Around here we know it as lemberger, a lesser-known red varietal with flavors that always remind us of ripe thimbleberries– yes, those weeds that line many of the roadsides here on Lummi Island and which usually ripen in mid-Spring. 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.

This week’s version is from Kiona winery on Red Mountain here in Washington. Rumor has it that Washington winemakers love the varietal but universally hate the name because too many people imagine some relationship with the famously smelly cheese (limburger) of similar name. We were impressed with this one at a tasting a few months ago. The warmer weather in Eastern Washington provides this version with an enjoyable richness.  (photo by Richard Duval)


Mar a Lago Update:

4pm: As we write, the Senate Impeachment hearings are nearing a close for the day, leaving on the table a modest proposal from minority leader Schumer to bring in additional witnesses, while limiting additional testimony to one additional week. While there is little doubt that the Tweetster will not be impeached, there is still at this moment a slim possibility that the four Republican Senators (Romney, Collins, Murkowski, Alexander) necessary to join Democrats in favor of additional testimony might step forward. If they do, there will be witnesses, possibly including Bolton, Mulvaney, and a few others. But if even a single one does not, the trial will be over.

Republican pressure for party conformity being what it is, each of these Senators is facing enormous pressure from McConnell and the rest of the the Hive Brain they all share not to allow witnesses under any circumstances. So chances are that not even a single one of them will dare defy the Pack. But whether there are additional witnesses or not, it is certain that this Fake President will be acquitted, setting the stage for the coming year which is in many ways shaping up to be the World’s Last Chance to save Life As We Know It.

8pm: Home from a lovely dinner break at neighbor Anne’s; six people present, and for statistical purposes, I was the youngest person there at 74. So we are all people with, shall we say, an “experienced historical perspective.” Over dessert I asked everyone to comment on their feelings about the day’s  political developments. The common thread was an increasing sense of unease and shock at the relentless Republikan spouting of Orwellian Newspeak.  Paraphrasing Orwell:  The political purpose of Newspeak is to reduce the expression of ambiguity and nuance to simplistic concepts of pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink, linguistically reinforcing the State’s totalitarian dominance. Or, as we quoted Hitler recently, “Their character, thought, and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than reasoning, and neither their intellect nor their sentiment is  differentiated enough to understand more than a childlike binary view of love and hate, right and wrong, truth and lie.

We share a growing disbelief that every day since the disaster of the 2016 election has brought yet another outrage, another 50 Outright Lies (see Latest Count below), another full day of Tweets belittling his latest target, destroying yet another American institution and its values, alienating another historic ally, appointing yet another unqualified but subservient cabinet member or another twenty-five Ultra-Conservative federal judges, or conspired to rig the next election.

The basic feeling we share is this: there has been a War. Our side has done our best, and we have Lost, and it Hurts All Over. So let’s take a little break, exhale for a few days, then regroup and come back with Determination. A majority of Americans still believe in the Constitution as our guiding moral principles, but Republicans have shown in the past two weeks that they would repeal the Bill of Rights in a heartbeat. They continually turn upside down Maury’s famous words over a century ago: “Where principle is involved, be deaf to expediency…” Every day of these hearings it has become increasingly clear to all that Republicans have neither honor or principle, and we are depressed because we need our country to be better than that. 

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date : 16,241 as of 01/24/20


This week’s tasting

Lovo Fior d’Arancio Sparkling Moscato ’18           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 accompaniment to dessert, or maybe dessert all by itself!

Kiona Lemberger ’18   Washington   
Perfumed aromas with traces of orange zest and flower, along with notes of blueberry.

Marchetti Rosso Conero ’17   Italy    $11
Rich and inviting aromas of flowers, plums, brown spices, and hillside brush. On the palate, round notes of cherries, blackberries, cocoa and spice. Culminates in a satisfying, lengthy finish.

Lagone Aia Vecchio ’16  Italy    $15
“Super-Tuscan”blend of Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc. Rich and expressive, with aromas of cherry, vanilla, raw beef, and herbs; structured palate of plum, wild berries, and hints of spice, with a long finish that begs for food.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet  Sauvignon ’17   California    $20
Nose of black plum, blackcurrant and black cherry fruit open to leather, graphite and cast-iron pan with red cherries and chocolate; medium to full-bodied,  with  chewy tannins and a long, refreshing finish.




Wine Tasting

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