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lummi island wine tasting may day ’20

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Bread Friday, Covid Rules

Although Social Distancing remains in place to limit the spread of Covid-19, those on the Friday Bread mailing list will continue to receive a Sunday email from Janice with details about the week’s bread menu. And to maintain Social Distancing protocols, for the time being she will continue doing the weekly bread deliveries from her car (you know, the black Tesla that is So Popular with bakers!) from 4-5 pm at the North exit of the ferry overflow parking lot.

It has become something of an impromptu party, with people setting up lawn chairs and wine glasses to hang out for awhile,  some kind of new Covid Tailgate event. So…depending on your Social Distancing parameters, you might want to just drive in, pick up, and drive out, or make camp, set up, and Party. At a safe distance, or course. Just sayin’…



Wine Shop Remains Open for Wine Emergencies!

As most of you know, our fifteen-year run of Friday and Saturday Happy Hours have been suspended until social gathering is safe for the retirees that make up most of our membership.

On a more positive note, we have been called in to resolve numerous Wine Emergency orders over the last few weeks, including several who responded to our post last week of a list of recommended wines we currently on board.

The Takeaway here is that when you find yourself in this precarious position, Help is just a phone call away. Click on the ORDER WINE link at the top of this page for a list of many of our current offerings. Then forward your choices to us by using the CONTACT US link above, or by phoning us (number next to logo above right)  to arrange a pickup appointment at your convenience. And maybe an elbow bump and a taste of something… 🙂




Wine Notes

The wine list mentioned above has a number of new wines we have never poured for you. So each week we will add notes on a couple of them and keep a bottle open should you drop by to pick up an order.

The Terre Brulee Swartland Chenin Blanc is a new arrival along with a few other wines from South Africa. For some reason we have rarely crossed paths with this French varietal that originated in France over a thousand years ago as Chenere.  It was renamed Chenin Blanc in the 15th Century, and introduced to South Africa, where it is the dominant white wine grape, by the late 17th Century. There is some speculation that the grape is an offspring of savagnin, the dominant white grape of the French Jura region, where it is traditionally allowed to oxidize during fermentation. In the current manifestation offered here is evidence of this long history. The wine is pleasing on many levels, with aromas of soft, ripe aromatic stone fruits and crisp acidity of Spanish verdejo, to which it may also be related. All in all, it’s an intriguing and enjoyable wine for the season.

Notes: Enticing floral aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, yellow apple, and citrus; palate shows textural richness and precision, juicy and vibrant acidity, and lingering notes of yellow apple and grapefruit.

We brought in the Summers Andrianna’s Cuvee ’17  several weeks ago on the recommendation of one of our reps. It is a California cab blend from Calistoga and shows overlapping influences of the Sonoma and Napa wine regions. See Tech Sheet  As it was recommended to us for some reason the wine usually sells for around $20, but was available for a price that would allow us to sell it for $14. So we bought two cases a few weeks ago, and have poured it for some of our recent Emergency customers, who all bought some. We just got another two cases (!). The main thing here is that this wine really is worth the price it usually sells for, and we have No Idea why it is for the moment such a bargain, but this is a tasty wine at an exceptional price.

Notes: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes procured from several select vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties, including the Summers’ own vineyards. A medium-bodied wine with a deep ruby plum color, rich in texture, showing notes of black currant, cedar and spice. Laced with plums, espresso and dark cherries, with subtle floral notes rounding out the finish.


Mar a Lago Update: Let Them Eat Surplus Labor!

Never let it be said that the Tweetster hasn’t Outdone Dubya, who in his last year in office presided over what was then the worst economic Crash since the Great Depression. President Obama stepped into that mess and over the next eight years carefully and deliberately kept a Steady Hand on the Tiller. Using the same Keynesian economic rationale as FDR used during the Depression, Obama used government deficit spending, tax cuts, and government loans to stimulate economic activity. Progress was slow but steady, and by the end of his second term in office, the economy had been rebuilt and was working again.

Why did that work? Because in the Keynesian model, the economy is a circular flow where investment produces infrastructure, which produces demand for labor, which pays wages, which pay for household goods and services, which pay businesses, and so on. The message: if aggregate demand falls, stimulate the economy by lowering taxes and increasing spending.

The Republicans have never grokked Keynes, preferring to imagine that Investment is the main driver of the economy, and therefore Investors must be coaxed to invest by low interest rates and low taxes, which will allow them to create capital, start new businesses and pay higher wages,  which will increase consumer spending. So, they imagine, it is the same thing as Keynes, only better, because basically they like the picture that has the money start at the top. Unfortunately it didn’t work with Reagan, or with Bush, or with the Tweetster. The tax cuts have never delivered the promised economic growth, because consumer spending is the largest force in the circular flow. If consumers don’t earn, they don’t spend, and the whole machine slows down.

At present Social Distancing has shut down extensive parts of the economy, and the government has agreed upon a pretty good (Keynesian) plan to keep the circular flow going with huge increases in unemployment subsidies and rent and loan payment deferments. These are good ideas that are very likely to keep a light on in the window while we fight the Covid virus.

Yet in the last few days we now have a Movement among Red State Republican pols to relax social distancing protocols sooner rather than later. At root what is driving these guys crazy is the idea that working people should get anything for “free” while at the same time their entire Class gets Fat from a deep Matrix of interconnected laws that lets them pass Go and collect a Prize every time anyone uses a credit card just because they wear a fooking necktie.

At the end of the day we stick with our belief that the Default political economy of human beings is Feudalism. It’s not about Honor, or Valor, or Honesty, or any other known Virtue. It’s about raw selfishness, power, and Entitlement. Maybe we should work on a vaccine against Tyranny…









Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting June 28 ‘014

Jura Wines: Ouillé vs. Sous Voile

DSCN0530One of the greatest highlights of our trip was our visit to the Jura wine region of France, north of Geneva and east of Burgundy. Here there is a very long history of making oxidized wines, which taste very, very different from the wines we are all used to. We spent three days in the absolutely charming town of Arbois, exploring the food and wine of this unique and beautiful area.

The simplest way to explain Jura wines is to point out that however wine is aged, there is always some evaporation, often called the “angel’s share.” The most common practice of winemakers around the world is to top off barrels frequently in order to keep air away from the wine in order to prevent oxidation. In Jura, however, the traditional method is to let the wine evaporate without topping up, which causes two things to happen. First, the wine oxidizes as wine evaporates and the wine is exposed to more and more air. Second, the local air contains naturally occurring yeasts which start growing on the surface of the wine. As in the photo at left, the wines develop a veil (voile) of yeast on the surface where the air touches the wine. As the yeast dies, it sinks to the bottom, even while new yeast grows on the surface.

The entire process is very similar to how sherry is made in Jerez, Spain, and wines from Jura do taste a bit like fino sherry. In the photo at left of Desiree Petit winemaker Damien during their big annual release event over their annual Ascension Thursday (I am not making this up) weekend, you can see the inner workings of the sous voile (under the veil) aging process, in contrast to the more common ouillé process of topping up barrels to prevent oxidation. Sometime in the next few months we will pour both styles of Jura’s most famous grape, savagnin, in both styles, so you can taste the difference!

Lyon: it’s the Food, Dude!

DSCN0610Lyon is France’s second largest city. And though Paris is absolutely a World Capital in every respect, even Parisians give a nod to Lyon as the Food Capital of France. This reputation dates back to the early nineteenth century shortly after the French Revolution, when “Les Mères Lyonnaises” began a tradition of “honest cooking with taste and spirit, but most of all―with local and seasonal top quality ingredients.”  Thus Lyon designed the day’s menu around what was available that day in the market. The tradition of Les Meres led to the contemporary Bouchon which one finds thoughout the more touristy areas of Lyon, and which offer traditional Lyonnaise dishes.

For the Real Thing we actually booked a lunch at the most famous reincarnation of Les Mères Lyonnaises, La Mere Brazier (Michelin **), with our seasonal neighbor Brenda. All you need to know is that there was a platoon of black-suited wait-staff attending to our every need. We Knew we were in a thinner atmosphere when, as we got off the city bus right in front of the restaurant (in a bit of rain) the liveried Doorman came to Brenda’s rescue with an umbrella and an arm, to guide her all the way to the door, and the subsequent meal was a parade of exquisitely prepared and beautiful dishes.


What show is that???

link to video

Southern France is littered with well-preserved Roman ruins, such as the Pont du Gard and the amphitheater at Nimes, both of which date back some  two thousand years– a very long time to us, a passing moment to our Planet. So it is that we took the Funicular (tram) up the hill from Vieux Lyon to the plateau overlooking the city, with its spectacular panorama, and took a leisurely stroll to the ruins of the old Roman amphitheatre dating back the the 1st Century. We were drawn to it because Amplifiers were filling the Air with Sound. On arrival, we found a rehearsal in progress of a fascinating show, obviously American, with great music. We have not been able to sort out what show it is, or whether it will play at the Amphitheatre or not. All I can say is that we would buy tickets Immediately if we knew how, where, and when!


This week’s Tasting Notes

Perazzeta Sara Bianco ’13 Italy $11
Something of a “super-tuscan white,” this blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc has arrived just in time for Summer. Nose of lemon zest, sage, mango, and pineapple leads to a rich bouquet of flavor and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Chateau Lancyre Rose ’12 France $15
(50% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% cinsault): Bright pink. Intense red berry and tangerine with notes of anise and white flowers; juicy and precise, with palate-coating cranberry and bitter cherry flavors.

Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec ’11    Argentina    89pts    $14
Crushed blackberry, licorice and violet on the lively nose.  Quite ripe and sweet in the mouth, showing impressive volume and breadth for the price range.  Finishes with serious ripe tannins and noteworthy persistence.

Tineta Ribera del Duero  ’11     Spain    91 pts    $12
100% tempranillo; copious notes of creme de cassis intermixed with hints of wood smoke and charcoal. Intense aromas of blueberry, cherry liqueur, licorice and Indian spices. Lively, sweet and spicy in the mouth, with energetic black and blue fruit flavors, zesty minerality, and notes of bitter chocolate and dark berries on a long, spicy and sharply focused finish.

Avignonesi Rosso de Montepulciano ’11 Italy $18
Perfumed aromas of red berries, violets, cinnamon, and almond flower. Juicy and bright, with precise strawberry and redcurrant flavors and lively acidity. Finishes long and fresh, with lingering floral perfume.

Wine Tasting