lummi island wine tasting jul 10 ’20

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Phase II Wine Ops

For the past couple of months we have been exploring whether we could move some semblance of our usual weekly wine tastings to the ferry overflow parking lot for a couple of hours on Friday afternoons. Since Janice had already established the venue for weekly Bread Pickup and Happy Hour, it seemed worth a try. But after some reflection on how that has gone, we have decided NOT to continue the practice. Instead, we will drop down to pick up our bread, put out our chairs, and join you to  schmooze, share a little wine, and visit in the relative safety of the spacious outdoor setting.

Over the next week or so we will be setting up the wine shop entrance area to accommodate half-hour Saturday afternoon outdoor wine tasting appointments for groups of up to three people at a time. There will be the usual tasting fee of $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Social distancing is required, and masks are encouraged. More on this next week!

 

Ordering Wine

While the Shutdown continues, we hope you will all continue to think of us for your wine shopping while Covid keeps our shop closed. You can phone or email wine orders for pickup here at the wine shop or delivery at Friday Bread Pickup. Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings.

When you have made selections, you can submit an order as follows:

It’s that Simple! Operators are Standing By!

 

 

 

Jay Inslee, Paul Simon, and E. O. Wilson

We took time to watch a special Zoom event on Monday evening featuring our Governor Jay Inslee and music icon Paul Simon, who sang several of his iconic songs (American Tune, Homeward Bound). Mostly the hour-long session was a conversation between them about climate change, politics, and art.

Simon has been an active advocate for global cooperation to save our Planet from the mass extinctions that climate change is already causing, and which will get worse at an increasing rate if we humans do not immediately start rolling back carbon emissions. He is a strong advocate and supporter of the ideas of biologist E. O. Wilson (see photo, left), including his Half-Earth proposal: “By setting aside half the planet in reserve, we can save the living part of the environment and achieve the stabilization required for our own survival.” Read more

Their conversation was notably positive and hopeful, despite the array of Deep Holes we humans seem to have put ourselves into, discussing the roles of artists in inspiring us to our better selves, and the array of man-made challenges threatening the very existence of Life on Earth. The great Takeaway from their mutual positivity and determination was a feeling like Obama’s inspiring “Yes, we can” speech. We don’t know what is going to happen in the future. There are a lot of Threats to everything we hold dear, and solid ground is hard to find these days. We have some tough choices ahead.

 

Mar a Lago Update: Shifting Gears

I began this part of the weekly blog in February 2017 as a small but ongoing commitment to Resist accepting that a psychopathic narcissist had been the winner of a fair election. I still don’t believe it, just as I don’t believe Dubya was actually “elected” in either 2000 or 2004. And I believe that Obama only won in 2008 because more people turned out to vote for him than the Republican gerrymandered, voting machine-rigged 4% advantage that they had built into the system over many years.

As part of those concerns, in about 2002 I discovered an organization called verifiedvoting.org, dedicated to making every vote verifiable everywhere in the country. They discovered major vulnerabilities in voting machines, conflicts of interest with politicians involved with particular voting machine manufacturers, and many more. Over all these years the organization has sought one universal metric for all voting systems: that every ballot cast should have a verifiable paper trail to assure that every individual vote actually reflects the intention of the person authorized to cast it.

In fact, it isn’t all that difficult to design such a voting system. The one we use right here in Washington does a pretty good job of providing a paper audit trail for each vote cast. But lots of states (especially Red ones) use machines that provide no such trail, and which are easily hacked or falsified by either outsiders or insiders. In addition, of course we know that it is common practice in many Red states to make voting either impossible or very difficult in Democratic districts by reducing both the overall numbers and the hours of operation of polling places to cause long waiting lines in Democratic districts and the opposite in Republican ones. In addition it has become common practice in many Red States to remove vast numbers of legal Democratic voters from the rolls.

As we go to press here on July 9, we are now fewer than four months away from the next National election. The coronavirus has placed a major Damper on likely voter turnout at the polls and increased likely demand for absentee ballots, which, like our ordinary ballots in Washington, are sent out and returned by mail. However, Republicans around the nation are lining up against absentee ballots, claiming they are unreliable and subject to falsification and forgery.

In fact, it is exactly the opposite: universal use of mail-in ballots would make voting both more inclusive and more accurate. So let’s all pay attention to the discussion over the next few months about how individual states handle their voting. It will say a lot about institutional Integrity.

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting july 3 ’20

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Wine Tasting Reset Time

For the past couple of months we have been trying out piggy-backing a minimal wine tasting on Janice’s Friday bread pickup and DIY Happy Hour at the ferry parking lot each week. As you know, she is taking this weekend off, so we remind you there is no bread pickup this weekend. Look for next week’s menu email sometime Sunday.

After experimenting for a couple of months now with with the Friday Tailgate tasting, we have decided to discontinue the practice. That will free us to just drop by and visit along with everyone else on Fridays…and to focus on promoting tastings by appointment. We will have more on that next week.

In the meantime, have a relaxing, sunny, and Happy Fourth of July (with caveats as noted below…!)

 

Annual Fourth of July Alert

Every Fourth of July we like to remind you all to “Watch out for Falling Elephants!” That’s because of an old limerick (even back then!) that was popular in my neighborhood in Maine when I was a kid in the Fifties. It goes like this:

“I asked my mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence;
He jumped so high he touched the sky, and
Didn’t come down till the Fourth of July.”

So, a word to the wise for this Saturday: Take nothing for GrantedKeep a Sharp Eye For Falling Elephants!

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: How’s That MAGA Thing Goin’, Mate?

Here it is now July, 2020, and a Long, Long time has passed since the most recent Republican Coup in 2016. As Jesus said in Superstar, “I’ve tried for Three years, Seems like Ninety..!” America’s last three years have been Exhausting and Crazy-Making. We occasionally think back to the Republican Candidates’ Debates in 2015 and just scratch our heads. How could this have happened?

It’s not that any of the other candidates would have been more worthy than the Tweetster in any measurable way. It’s more that their particular forms of insanity were Familiar. We didn’t Like them, and had little respect for them, but weren’t Afraid of them.  On the other hand, the Tweetster’s whole MO is his penchant for the Outrageous, his complete willingness to pull the chain that flushes Everyone and Everything down the toilet. As if the only Element of his actions that is relevant is that they make the Front Page, not that they accomplish or contribute anything of lasting benefit.

Supposedly the Tweetster’s strong suit is the Economy. But a recent article in Independentaustralia.net presents a damning Statistical assessment of the Tweetster’s economic failures.

First, although the economy was supposedly Booming, government revenue went from 85% of gdp in 2016 to 75% in 2019, the worst budgetary outcome of all 36 wealthy members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Second, his penchant for Trade Wars (you know, the Art of the Deal guy)  led him to start trade wars with numerous trading partners in 2018, causing increasing trade deficits. Exports have tumbled, trade deficits have deepened severely, production has declined, farms and businesses have gone bankrupt, and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs.

Third, The rationale for Trump’s costly 2018-19 trade wars was that our deficits were too deep, averaging $39.8 billion over the last ten months of 2016. The trend continued  for two more years, with exports falling and imports rising, costing tens of billions in lost treasure, thousands of farmer suicides, and trade deficits approaching $50 billion. At the same time, since the 2018 tariffs, counterbalancing production and exports have continued to fall.

Fourth, the Tweetster has claimed since taking office in 2017 that he deserved credit for jobs expansion that was more correctly attributed to the policies of the Obama Administration: “It took gross mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic to reverse the positive trend in American jobs which started back in 2010, although the rate of decline eased somewhat in 2018 and 2019 as exports and economic growth faltered.”

Bottom line: There is no Art of the Deal. There is no Business Acumen. There is no Art and No Deal, no Leadership, no Understanding, no Heart, no Mind, no Caring, no Responsibility. And most disturbing of all, our so-called President has not even a Touch of Class.

 

New Wine Tasting Protocol

Pretty simple: call or email us to make a 30-minute appointment for a tasting on our deck. We will pour five wines (as usual over these many years– members $5, non-members $10). More details next week.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting june 26 ’20

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Covid Wine Schedule

  1.  As long as COVID remains a risk, we will be pouring a comp!imentary 3-wine tasting on Fridays during Bread pickup from 4:30 till 5:30pm at the north exit of the ferry overflow parking lot (bring your own glass!) and…
  2. You can order wine online for U-pickup by appointment or during bread pickup (details below!)

 

Buying Wine During Covid Shutdown

During the Shutdown we are happy to fill wine orders online or by phone for pickup at the wine shop or during the weekly Friday Bread Pickup and Happy Hour mentioned above. Just click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings. To submit an order:

It’s that Simple! Operators are Standing By!

 

 

 

 

Friday Bread, Social Distance, and Wine Tasting

As mentioned last week, Janice continues to send the week’s Bread Menu to our mailing list each Sunday, and accepts orders till Wednesday for Friday pickup. Though the wine shop remains closed for indoor tastings due to social distancing precautions, Friday bread pickups have morphed into an impromptu Tailgate party at the Ferry Parking Lot beginning around 4-ish each Friday afternoon.

No, it’s not as Festive as our regular gatherings at the wine shop, but it IS nice to see some of the friends you’ve been missing (with appropriate physical distancing, of course!). So pack up your folding chairs and wine glasses and drop by to share company and conversation and visit for a while (and there’s plenty of parking!).

To make it more like old times we are now offering a mini-tasting (three wines, see below for this week’s menu) from the back of our car. It’s not the same experience as the wine shop, but it is an entirely pleasant and safe opportunity to grab some relief from the ongoing Isolation, taste a few wines, and enjoy some company.

We all thank Janice for beginning this tradition by moving weekly bread deliveries from the wine shop to the parking lot to allow for appropriate Distancing. It has become an enjoyable weekly Relief to catch up on some of the conversations and camaraderie we have been missing during the Shutdown!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Matters of Principle

We have mentioned before the continuing relevance of National Oceanographer Maury’s memorable ethical assertion some 150 years ago: “Where principle is involved, be deaf to expediency.” It is often claimed that “We are a Nation of Laws,” and we need assurance from time to time that our laws are principled in purpose and enforced honorably, equitably, and fairly. Without Principle, laws become the means of tyrannical oppression by an autocratic minority. When we look around our country and the World today we see lots of reasons to believe that basic Principles have become a quaint and archaic fantasy, wholly and purposefully undermined at every turn by players willing to abandon every ethic in order to stay in power.

In the last few decades politicians have strayed far beyond misspeaking, misstatement, and everyday spin into an ongoing practice of crafting Outright Lies, nowadays straight-facedly calling them “Alternative Facts.” It has become everyday practice for  Republican office holders and their media surrogates to slander their political rivals in mock outrage to maintain their grip on their Base– you know,”the Some of the People they can fool All of the Time.” The Washington Post has documented some Twenty Thousand Public Lies by the Tweetster since he took office, any one of which would have done in most politicians. He seems to have the gift of the true Con Man, the ability to “Pat you on the back with one hand while picking your pocket with the other.” His gift is the unconscious ability to to spew Nonsense to a crowd in such a way that each person hears only “what they want to hear and disregard the rest.’

Since about 1992 these behaviors have been legitimized in the public arena by endless repetition across a broad constellation of cable TV programs, right wing media personalities like Limbaugh and Beck, Hannity and Carlson, and countless blogs and websites. We take our hats off to the morally courageous acts of Republican Senator Mitt Romney and Congressman Justin Amash who broke with the party and voted in favor of the Tweetster’s Impeachment.

It has been clear for some time that Republicans have given up all pretense of having a Platform or meaningful Guiding Principles.  Under the Tweetster they have one by one even abandoned those they have pretended to support since the 1950’s: invincible military, strong international alliances, balanced federal budget, low taxes. In the last four years it has become clear they will abandon any pretense of integrity to hold onto Power. At this point we can safely assume that the next few months will not look like any campaign season we have ever seen before. We should expect no rules, no Integrity, and no limits to Dirty Tricks, like:

Remember: as in the Twilight Zone, we are now Traveling in Another Dimension with no Rules, no Guard Rails, and Anything goes. And the head lemming thinks it’s time for us all to jump off a cliff into the Sea.

Scary stuff.

 

This Week’s Friday Tailgate Tasting

La Vielle Ferme Rosé ’19    France  $10
Classic and tasty blend of grenache, syrah, and cinsault from Ventoux;  fruity, dry, crisp, delicious, smooth, at a bargain price.

Folie a Deux Pinot Gris ’18    Calif      $14
Guava, pineapple and lemon-lime flavors make for a fleshy, brightly layered expression of the varietal, both soft on the palate and crisp on the palate.

Oregon Solidarity Chardonnay ’18     Oregon     $18
Bursts with fresh apple, pear and peach aromas. Barrel fermentation has smoothed any rough edges and polished the flavors to a bright sheen.

Oregon Solidarity Pinot Noir ’18    Oregon   $25
Rich and intense fruit flavors that reflect the warm and dry growing season. Aromas and flavors of cherry, blackberry and spice. Excellent balance, with solid structure, concentration and firm tannins.

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting june 19 ’20

click on photos for larger images

Covid Wine Schedule

1. Our regular Friday and Saturday wine tastings at the shop have been discontinued due to Covid 19;
BUT…
2. As long as COVID remains a risk, we will be pouring a complimentary 3-wine tasting on Fridays during Bread pickup from 4:30 till 5:30pm at the north exit of the ferry overflow parking lot (bring your own glasses!) and
3. You can order wine online for U-pickup at the shop! (details below!)

 

Friday Bread, Social Distance, and Wine Tasting

As mentioned last week, Janice continues to send the week’s Bread Menu to our mailing list each Sunday, and accepts orders till Wednesday for Friday pickup. Though the wine shop remains closed for indoor tastings due to social distancing precautions, Friday bread pickups have moved from the wine shop to morphed into an impromptu Covid Tailgate party at the Ferry Parking Lot beginning around 4:30 each Friday afternoon.

So bring your folding chairs and wine glasses and share company and conversation (with appropriate physical distancing, of course!) and visit for a while. We are now offering a mini-tasting (three wines, see below for this week’s menu) from the back of our car. It’s not the same experience as the wine shop, but it is an entirely pleasant and safe opportunity to grab some relief from the ongoing Isolation.

We all thank Janice for beginning this tradition by moving weekly bread deliveries from the wine shop to the parking lot to allow for appropriate Distancing. It has become an enjoyable weekly Relief to catch up on some of the conversations and camaraderie we have been missing during the Shutdown!

 

Order Wines Online

During the Shutdown we are continuing to fill your individual wine orders online or by phone for pickup at the wine shop. Click on the “Order Wine” heading at the top of this page for a partial list of our current offerings. When you have made your selections there are two ways to order:

It’s that Simple! Operators are Standing By!

 

 

 

 

Cloudlift Returns

Our regulars know we have a particular fondness for the lovely wines from Cloudlift Cellars in Seattle. Winemaker Tom Stangeland and wife Joanie dropped by last Sunday with a number of new releases that we will be pouring at this Friday’s parking lot tasting. Last time we did this the Hit of the Show was Tom’s  2012 “Ascent,” mostly cab franc from Horse Heaven Hills. This week we will be pouring the 2013 vintage, along with his latest “Lucy” cab franc rose and Zephyr, his Southern Rhone style blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvedre.

Cab Franc is the fourth most-produced red wine grape in Washington, behind Cab, Merlot and Syrah. Most often, as elsewhere in the world, it is primarily used as a blending grape in wines where cab sauv and/or merlot dominate. In our Fair State, cab franc often has softer tannins than cab sauv or merlot, and brings notes of garrigue and black pepper along with hints of chocolate and coffee…yes, indeed, very easy to like!

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: “Equal Justice Under Law”

These are the words engraved over the main entrance to the United States Supreme Court. They represent an Ideal, a Goal, maybe just a Wish that the Court would and could be a just arbiter of the kinds of legal challenges which pit some groups of Americans, some behaviors, some laws against others in an ongoing struggle to define over time the Real Meaning of the Constitution and what it means to be an American.

Several months ago we watched Chief Justice John Roberts enjoy the questionable pleasure of presiding over the Impeachment of the Tweetster in the U. S. Senate. His role was sharply limited by the Constitution, which was, interestingly, written with broad and astute acceptance of the political nature of government. Impeachment was intended to be not so much a search for Justice as a nod toward Political Practicality. It must have taken a very sophisticated view of politics for the Founders to discern so clearly how unlikely it would be that any Congress, by its very political nature, would be able to try a sitting President without the intrusion of political affiliation.

Roberts managed to maintain a veneer of Dignity over his general Disdain for the Political Circus of the Impeachment Process, occasionally unable to keep himself from chastising both sides for their partisan dishonesty. But his assigned role left him few prerogatives for actually managing the process, and his discomfort was often subtly visible. The unexpected and welcome reality seems to be that, despite his being far from Liberal, Roberts has recently been stepping up to emphasize the coequal responsibility and authority of the Court to define the boundaries where legislation or executive actions conflict with the Constitution.

In the last few days we have been pleasantly surprised by Justice Roberts’ votes against Trump’s position in two major cases, one involving the rights of LGBT people and the other, just today, requiring the Administration to provide more solid foundation for its reversal of Obama’s protection for DACA recipients. In both cases he, as Chief Justice, was the deciding vote in 5-4 decisions. Which suggests he is filling a role as a deliberate Balancing force.

And in these challenging times, that is a Good and Welcome development for which we are grateful.

 

This Week’s Friday Tailgate Tasting

Cloudlift “Lucy” Rosé of Cabernet Franc ’18     Washington        $16
A rare single-vineyard rosé, this wine is pale salmon in color. It offers aromas of fresh herb, citrus peel and strawberry. The palate is dry, bright and focused with lively citrus flavors and minerality that extend through the finish.

Cloudlift Ascent ’13    Washington  $28
76% Alder Ridge Cab Franc with 18% Merlot, 4% Cab Sauv and 2% Petit Verdot;  rich, smoky nose of raspberry, cherry, and plum with scents of rosebuds, brambles, tobacco, sage and pepper. The flavors mirror the aromatics notes of licorice, cocoa, coffee and scorched earth. Chewy texture with notes of roasted berries and nuts, mocha, toffee, and a savory, ripe tannin finish.

Cloudlift Zephyr ’13     Washington   $34
44% Syrah from Arianses Vineyard, with 28% each Mourvèdre and Grenache from Elephant Mt. Its blueberry pie, huckleberry, orange peel, herb, raspberry, black pepper and spice aromas make for delicious Southern Rhone blend with soft and lingering fruit flavors.

 

Wine Tasting