lummi island wine tasting march 21 ’19

Note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Uh-0h, No Bread This Week!

As all of you on the Bread Mailer already know, Janice is away this week, so no bread pickup this Friday.

Also, of course, we are away as well, so no wine tasting this weekend either.

In fact…and this will be repeated below…the Wine Shop will be closed both Friday and Saturday this week.

NEXT WEEKEND,  March 29-30: Bread Friday as Usual! (expect your usual bread email pre-order info sometime Sunday).

And…since we will be back as well, the wine shop will be open as usual Friday, March 29 from 4-7pm, and Saturday, March 30, from 2-6pm. Looking forward to seeing you!


Another Short Blog this week

Apparently the Oregon Coast is Terra Incognita for our cell phone server, so we are still  finding wifi connections few and far between. Therefore, with apologies, we are limited to another short post this week.


March Wine Shop Schedule

To reiterate from above, Wine Shop hours for the rest of March are:

Friday-Saturday, March 22-23: CLOSED

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30: OPEN BOTH DAYS AS USUAL!




Mar a Lago Update: 2020 & the Senate, Cont’d…

Last week we explored the vital strategic importance of control of the US Senate after 2020 in determining the Future of Human Civilization, and our belief in the Absolute Existential Imperative for Democrats to win control of the Senate in 2020. In summary, the Democrats (plus a couple of New England ‘Independents’) are currently four seats in the minority, and that’s a Big Haul for any Party in a single election.

Added to that is the fact that Republicans, being what they are, have the combined Advantage and Disadvantage of, you know, sharing the One Brain. They all look alike, talk alike, dress alike, bow to the Great Reagan four times a day, go to the Spa and soak in steam-heated Greenbacks for Deep Relaxation, eat kittens and puppies as Snack Food during Floor Debates, and all Wish They had invented themselves as the Tweetster. The point is that Republicans are only concerned with money and power, and from a practical political standpoint, they are all completely interchangeable.

In contrast, given the mathematical properties of the two-party system, Democrats are therefore Everyone Else Who is Not a Republican, and this necessarily creates a an ongoing Chaos, not unlike Harry Truman’s observation about Economists: If you laid all the economists in the world End to End, they would Still All Point in Different Directions.

Our case in point at the moment is the evolving situation in Arizona, where newly elected Democrat Kyrsten Sinema now occupies the seat held by Republican Jeff Flake, and Republican Martha McSally temporarily occupies the seat held for thirty years by the late John McCain. That seat will be at stake again in 2020. Running against McSally, an atypical Republican candidate with a creditable military career, will be high-profile Navy veteran,  astronaut, and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly. Kelly, in turn, is likely to face a challenge from popular Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego.

A review of the numbers shows that despite Kelly’s high national profile, and because Gallego represents the dominant Phoenix metro area (half of Arizona), and Kelly the Tucson area (1/4 of Arizona), a contest between them could be extremely divisive and result in another Republican win. read more


Sorry, No Wine Tasting This Week, see you next week!











Tuscany Trip 2010 Sighs and Reflections, Wine Tasting

Lummi Island wine tasting March 14 ‘19

Note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Whole Wheat Ciabatta – Uses an italian biga pre-ferment as well as a poolish. A long, slow overnight ferment adds a lot of flavor to the final bread. Made with regular bread flour and fresh
milled whole wheat, olive oil for more flavor and a lot of water. With so
much water this bread can’t really be shaped, just cut into pieces and baked. -$5/piece

Dried Cranberry Walnut – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled
buckwheat and whole wheat flours. Orange juice and olive oil are a unique
combination in this bread that add flavor and keep a soft crumb, then loaded up with
dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Makes great toast! – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

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


Short Blog this week

We are finding wifi connections few and far between, so this is a short post this week…


March Wine Shop Schedule

We are still away, been enjoying the Thaw that started here in Oregon pinot noir country the last few days. Nights are no longer freezing, and days are Sunny and Comforting, as seems to be the case across the coastal PNW. For all kinds of reasons it is a Big Relief after all this year’s nasty cold, snowy, and unseasonable Deep Freeze, n’est-ce pas?

Wine Shop hours for the rest of March are:

Friday, March 15: Open 4-6pm for Wine Tasting and Bread Pickup

Friday-Saturday, March 22-23: CLOSED

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30: OPEN BOTH DAYS AS USUAL


Mar a Lago Update: 2020, the Senate, and Survival of Life as We Know It

The Eyes and Ears of the World are following the pre-game activities in the run-up to the 2020 US elections with Existential Fear. As it has for the last three years, the American News Cycle revolves around the Madness of the Tweetster. What card will he pull from behind his ear next? What animal will he pull from his hair? What group of The Disenfranchised will he disparage? Whose struggles to get by will he make even more difficult? What new barriers can he put in the way of keeping our Planet Habitable?

But regardless of who is in the White House in 2021, if the US Senate remains in Republican hands, the Survival of Life as we Know It on Planet Earth will change from being a philosophical question about the Distant Future to the Dreaded Conversation with your doctor about OMG, How Long Do We Have Left?

At the Center of this all-too-likely Nightmare sits Darth McConnell, the Evil Incarnate, completely committed to the idea that the Ultimate Republican Win will be for the Wealthy to be In Charge at the Final Apocalypse. No Senate leader before him has twisted the rules so Cruelly, scuttled all debate so Blithely, exercised the Privileges of his office so Blindly, or ignored the Responsibilities of his Office so Casually. Piece by piece he has been dismantling the system of checks and balances that keep our system of government functioning.

And while there is some good news in the fact that there are more Republican Senate seats up for re-election in 2020 than Democrats, the Democrats must win back four of them to take control of the Senate and unseat McConnell. It is difficult and unlikely, and Everything depends on it. Scary Stuff.


This week’s wine tasting

Though we are away, for the next two weeks Janice will be choosing wines for Friday tastings from a broader menu we have provided. Please come on by the shop and see what she has decided to pour for you!


Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 8 ’19

Note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Kamut Levain – Kamut, also known as khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that has more protein than it did comeconventional wheat. Some people who can’t tolerate wheat find kamut to be more digestible. The bread is made with a levain that is fermented overnight before being mixed with with bread flour and fresh milled whole kamut flour. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Barley & Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds – Also a levain bread, the final dough is mixed with a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled rye, barley and whole wheat flours. Some buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and toasted pumpkin seeds add to the flavor and texture. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Chocolate Croissants – a traditional laminated french pastry made with a bit of sourdough flavor and another pre-ferment to help strengthen the dough to create the traditional honeycomb interior. Rolled out and shaped with delicious dark chocolate in the center. Quantities are limited so get your order in early so you don’t miss out – 2/$5


David Hill Winery

We have carried wines (usually pinot noir, riesling, or their no longer available white blend) . from David Hill Winery near Forest Grove, Oregon at various times over the years and have enjoyed them. However Monday this week was our first visit, as it turned out to be about five minutes from where we were getting our trailer serviced earlier this week.

The gnarly shapes in this photo (should expand when clicked) are not Old Soldiers Bent over their Shovels, they are Old Vine Grapes planted way back in 1955, making them close to 65 years old. Unfortunately this winery sells the fruit from these old semillon vines to another winery (probably to make White Bordeaux, a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc.) From vines like these, we bet it is pretty interesting!

We also learned that David Hill was a long-ago pioneer in these parts (20 miles west of Portland) who farmed here. So, no, David Hill is not the Winery Founder or current owner or even the winemaker. Rather, he is a piece of Local History. We can offer a toast to him next time we pour one of these wines for you!


March Wine Shop Schedule

As mentioned last week, we are away for few weeks in a general southerly direction to get some work done on the trailer, play grandparents, and try to get Warm. Your Important Takeaway is that Wine Shop hours for the rest of March are:

Fridays, March 8 and March 15: OPEN for Wine Tasting and Bread Pickup

Friday, March 22: CLOSED

Saturdays, March 9, 16, 23: CLOSED

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30: OPEN BOTH DAYS AS USUAL


Mar a Lago Update: Quicksand on the Moral High Ground

Being somewhat off the grid the last few days, we just learned about the Congressional Kerfuffle over House Member Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israeli politics, which you can view here. The essence of the controversy is to what extent it is possible for anyone in public life in the United States, particularly a Muslim woman,  to say anything in public which takes issue with Israeli policy without being labeled and Severely Criticized as Anti-Semitic.

As we have seen this week, the resounding answer is No, it is not possible to say anything about Israel’s Aparteid/genocidal policy toward Palestinians without igniting a Firestorm of public criticism. The Message is that there is a widely recognized Taboo against speaking critically of Israel’s long-term colonial policy. Indeed, even calling it Colonial Policy could probably be attacked as Anti-Semitic.

Rep. Omar appears to be correct in many of the assessments she makes (see above link) about the power of Israeli lobbying in US politics, and the Big Question all this raises is how one should behave in the face of obvious and disturbing acts of persecution and genocide by one’s Friends. Pretend not to see? Pretend not to care? Give tacit approval by pretending it’s all right? Or do you use whatever levers your long relationship has given you to promote behavior you find more congenial?

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 7,546 as of 1/1/19


This week’s wine tasting

Though we are away, for the next two weeks Janice will be choosing wines for Friday tastings from a broader menu we have provided. Please come on by the shop and see what she has decided to pour for you!


Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting march 1 ’19

 note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a levain, bread flour and about 25% fresh milled whole wheat. I like to say it has a ‘toothy’ crumb, with great texture and flavor and a nice crisp crust.  – $5/loaf

Buckwheat Rye – Fresh milled buckwheat and rye flours are soaked for 8 hours without any yeast in a method known as an autolyse, which allows what little gluten there is to start developing and really gets the enzymes going before the final mix – which is then fermented overnight in the refrigerator. The buckwheat-rye soaker is mixed with bread flour, salt and yeast and a bit of honey. Goes well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Bagels – always popular and usually sell out quickly. These bagels are made with a bit of preferment, in this case a sponge, mixed, shaped and refrigerated overnight before being boiled and baked in the traditional manner. This results in a delicious chewy bagel. Your bagels come with assorted toppings, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, mixed sesame and poppy and plain. Each order is mixed – sorry no choices – 4/$5


Touriga Nacional

Portugal has a lot of interesting wines with unusual and difficult to pronounce names. Most of these varietals are peculiar to Portugal and rare in our experience, the best known being Touriga Nacional, a full-bodied Portuguese red wine grape with aging potential similar to Cabernet Sauvignon. It has long been a blending grape in Port, and now is more often seen as a dry red wine which stands very well on its own.

Some people liken it to Napa Cabernet or Australian Shiraz for depth of flavor and tannic structure. It typically shows palate-coating and tooth-staining notes of blueberry, plum, blackberry, bittersweet cocoa, and a touch of mint and violet. Our featured wine this weekend is a particularly pleasing 100% touriga nacional that we think everyone will enjoy.

We have had one bottle sitting on the shelf for a year or so, having sold most of it when we first poured it at a tasting. Out of curiosity, we opened it a few days ago, and immediately ordered another case. It has a lovely, subtly gritty yet velvety texture, big dark notes of ripe plum, blackberry, and chocolate, while delivering at the same time a higher, almost ephemeral, register of peach, apple, and nutmeg.

It’s the kind of wine Ben Franklin must have been thinking about when he wrote to his friend André Morellet, “Behold the rain which descends from Heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!


March Wine Shop Schedule

We have been delaying our customary Winter Break for all kinds of reasons this year, mostly about Polar Vortices and the Ongoing Nor’easter we have been having for the last several weeks, with record duration of low temperatures and snowfall. Even so we have had it Easy compared to much of the country.

So. Our plan is to pack up the trailer and head off on Sunday for a few weeks in a general southerly direction to get some work done on the trailer, play grandparents, try to get Warm, and, you know, Re-Create. What this means for our Faithful Members and Visitors is that the Wine Shop will be Open both Friday and Saturday this weekend, March 1-2.

The shop will be OPEN for Bread Fridays (including wine tasting!) through March, but will be Closed the following three Saturdays: March 8, 15, and 22.

We regret any inconvenience, and hope to see you all here this weekend as usual!


Mar a Lago Update: Matters of Character

Yesterday we found ourselves hypnotically drawn to the Compelling Drama of Tweetster lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Committee on “Oversight and Reform” (does that actually Mean Something…?). The continually Surreal takeaway from the experience was the Obvious Partisanship of the committee members.

Democrats, generally considered Heathens by the more Pious Republicans, tended to relate to Mr. Cohen as a Prodigal Son who had succumbed to Temptation, fallen into Shame, confessed his Sins, and Come Home to pay his Due Penance.“Yes, my Brother, we welcome you back to the Flock, and celebrate your Redemption!”

Republicans without exception held to the Party Line of, as one member put it, “Liar, liar, Pants on Fire!” (Did these people actually go to School somewhere…?) All of them played the “You are a Condemned Liar; we Casteth you Out, we Sticketh our Fingers in our Ears to protect ourselves from Hearing your Blasphemy” card over and over. As if they had no internal resources whatsoever to tell, as Grace Slick once sang, Truth from Lies– no powers of discrimination; no options for investigation, confirmation, or refutation; and Most Disturbing (but Predictable), not the slightest hint of compassion, empathy, or respect for the Confession of the Prodigal Son.

Politicians are by their nature Liars and Hypocrites. It is their nature to characterize every issue, no matter how complex, in the simplest Binary Terms. In our time we have seen this tendency refined to its Most Toxic Level by Dark Lord McConnell, who can, more than any politician we have seen in our lifetimes, take one position one day and its exact opposite the next as if neither the previous day nor the previous position ever existed.

For our part, the point in the hearings where the Rubber Met the Road was when Mr. Cohen responded to a Republican Antagonist who was attacking him in Defense of the Tweetster, “I did the same thing that you are doing now for 10 years…I can only warn people that follow Mr. Trump– as I did blindly– are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”

to which we can only say…”Whisper Words of Wisdom, Let it Be…”

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 7,546 as of 1/1/19


This week’s wine tasting

J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rose    France      $15
 A longtime favorite here at AWG–Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Noir; shows a gentle yeastiness, effusive effervescence and rich, tangy, mouth-filling fruit. Makes just about anything Festive!

Phantom Chardonnay ’16     Calif    $17
Fermented and aged sur lie without oak; delivers rich aromas of white and yellow fruits, with bright crisp notes of citrus zest, honey, apple, and spicy minerality on the long, broad finish.

Townshend Red Table Washington $12
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah blend; aromas of black cherry, blackberry, strawberry, cedar and a hint of orange zest fill your senses with lingering pepper & tobacco notes.

Lonardi  “Bepi” Rosso Veronese  ’16   Italy    $18
Corvina and Rondello; something of a ripasso, fresh and clean with ripe bright notes of cranberry, cocoa, and black cherry, sweet earth and spice.

Quinta de Pinto Riserva Touriga Nacional ’14    Portugal   $22
aced with violets and wonderful aromatics that combine with its fine structure, balance and elegant mid-palate for a very pleasing whole. Fresh and lively, with a hint of eucalyptus on the finish: a great food wine!


Wine Tasting