lummi island wine tasting oct 3 ’20

click on photos for larger images

Moving Inside

In a year when Time has become even more of an abstraction than usual, it feels a little shocking to note that it is now officially October. And that is strange, because the days and weeks since February have been so similar, lacking the  distinguishing features by which we unconsciously catalog the passage of time. No trips, no parties, no dinners out, precious little time with friends and family. No adventures, no movies, no sports events. And maybe worst of all, no wine tasting! It feels like being under siege by some vague outside force we can’t see or hear. Abstract and creepy. Tiring.

We have all made our peace with it as best we can, but now comes Autumn, and time to see if the wine shop can safely operate indoors again. Therefore this Saturday will mark our Last outdoor wine tasting appointments and our First “indoor shopping” appointments. Thanks to all of you who have taken part in those events, which provided us all with comforting doses of the ongoing “salon energy” the wine shop has fostered the last fifteen years, and which we have all been missing.

We are therefore trying out a modest reopening protocol this weekend to test the waters. We will be open for wine sales this Saturday, October 3 from 3-5 pm. And since we are far from ready to accept the risk of of our familiar five-wine tasting flights, We will provide a modest complimentary tasting of our “wine of the week” while you shop or schmooze for a few minutes. Social distancing guidelines (see below) will apply. Windows will be open and fans and air filters will be in place to maintain a rapid air exchange cycle while the shop is open.

Social Distancing Guidelines:
1. Only one group (up to four people) allowed in the shop at once for up to 20 minutes.
2. Everyone must wear a mask whenever they are not actually sipping (!);
3. Each group must be a “pod” that willingly takes responsibility for managing social distance within their group.
4. Reservations optional (most likely not necessary).

To make a reservation, call number next to our logo (above, right).


Wine of the Week:  Conundrum Red

Napa Valley’s Caymus Winery has been famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon almost from its first vintage in 1972. The founder, Charles Wagner, died in 2002, and the winery passed on to sons. Properties and labels were bought and sold, and an array of new wines were created. As we like to point out, a key difference between Old World and New World wines is that in Europe there are complex Rules that make place of origin Sacred, so that every wine tells a story of its particular vineyard in any particular year. The story changes with each year’s particular weather pattern, but like a series of mystery novels with the same detective in the same city, every vineyard has a consistent underlying structure and identity associated with the uniqueness of every particular place.  Thus wines change in many ways from season to season, but they always bear their vineyard footprint and a particular winemaker’s fingerprints.

So while Caymus wines can rightfully stake a claim to particular Napa vineyards, blends like Conundrum might blend fruit from many different vineyards. Many top wineries have separate labels for wines blended from “less than the best” juice that did not make the cut for their Flagship wines. In many cases, these are above-average wines even though they don’t have a single, identifiable footprint.

Conundrum Red ’17     California      $22
Petite Sirah, Zin, and Cab; rich, complex and seductive, with round notes of cherries and baking chocolate, fine tannins, and a silky smoothness.


Mar a Lago Update: “We’ve Always Been Republicans!”

Back in the Fall of 1972 I was visiting my mother in Bangor, Maine where she was born and where I grew up. The Presidential election was only weeks away, with Democrat McGovern challenging Republican Nixon.

At some point the conversation turned to politics, and I told her I was strongly for McGovern. “But Richahd,” she said in her native and R-less (as in “Ah-less”) Maine accent, “We’ve Always been Republicans!” To which I responded with something like, “But Muthah, we’ve Always been pooah (poor)…it doesn’t make sense for us to be Republicans!”

Of course, back in those days, there were still liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, and all shades in between. Many Maine Republicans were generally far to the Left of many Southern Democrats until not so many years ago. And true enough there have indeed been lots more Republican Maine  Senators over the years than Democrats. Margaret Chase Smith is famous for cutting fellow Republican Senator Joe McCarthy down to size in the early 1950’s, and many other Maine Senators from both parties served several terms with bipartisan support: Republicans Bill Cohen, Olympia Snow, and Susan Collins; Democrats George Mitchell and Ed Muskie; and Independent current Senator Angus King.

Nowadays there are far fewer regional differences in the party loyalties of Senators and Representatives, with more and more “party discipline” holding individuals to the Party Line of the Moment. This political style came into being with a vengeance when Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich burst onto the scene as Speaker after the 1994 election. His outrageous “Contract On America” declared War on the two-party system, on President Bill Clinton, on All Things Democratic, and on inter-party collegiality itself.

Bottom Line: This Election is too important to vote from habit, and our votes should be about more than Party loyalty. They should be about what’s best for a healthy society and a bright and sustainable future for our planet and our species. Your vote is important; please cast it wisely!




Wine Tasting

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Leave Comment