lummi island wine tasting october 20 ’17

Yes, we KNOW it’s Upsetting, but it Can’t Be Helped!

As mentioned last week, we will be away through November 4, so the wine shop will be closed Saturdays till November 11. Also, Janice your baker is away this weekend as well, but she will be back NEXT weekend for Friday Bread Delivery and Wine Tasting.

What this means for Our Faithful Followers the next three weekends is:

Friday-Saturday Oct 20-21:  CLOSED both days

Friday, Oct 27: OPEN for bread pickup and wine tasting

Saturday, Oct 28: CLOSED

Friday, Nov 3: OPEN for bread pickup and wine tasting

Saturday, Nov 4: CLOSED

We will be open again for regular hours 4-7 Friday November 10 and Saturday November 11. See you then!

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting oct 13 ’17

 (note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Whole Wheat Levain –  made with levain and bread flour and about 25% fresh milled whole wheat and then a long, slow, cool overnight ferment in the refrigerator, giving it a nice ‘toothy’ crumb, great texture and flavor and a nice crisp crust. – $5/loaf

Breton – From the French Breton region. Bread flour and fresh milled buckwheat and rye flour with and ‘sel gris’– the grey salt from the region– that brings more mineral flavors to this bread. – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week…

Chocolate Croissants – a traditional laminated french pastry made with a bit of sourdough flavor and a pre-ferment to help strengthen the dough to create the traditional honeycomb interior. Rolled out and shaped with delicious dark chocolate in the center. – 2/$5



October Hours: Open Fridays Only Till Nov 10!

A long time ago in a barely remembered Galaxy we were all Really Young– some of us maybe Younger than others! In my case from 1963-67 I attended the U. S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1967. This month is the 50th Anniversary Reunion of my class, and Pat and I will be attending. We will be leaving in the middle of next week. Our friends Roger and Deb (from whom we bought our boat Dreamtime two years ago), will be house- and dog-sitting while we are away– but they will NOT be Wine Shop Sitting…except maybe dropping by on Fridays to say Hi…please give them a Big Welcome!

Instead, for the rest of October the wine shop Will Be Open Fridays Only  from 4-6:30 or so for Bread Pickup, wine tasting, and Of Course Wine Sales— Janice presiding As Usual. After a few days in Annapolis we will be spending a week on the Maine Coast visiting family, and then five days in Montreal wining and dining with The Ryans and a representative group from– I’m Not Making This Up– Lummi Island! (you know who you are!).

However, Please Note, the wine shop will NOT be open for the Next Three Saturdays, Oct 21, Oct 28, and Nov 4. We regret any inconvenience, and look forward to catching up with you on Nov 11-12. 



As with the above paragraph, it is hard to believe it’s been six years since we visited Seguret, arguably the Most Picturesque Village in France. Washington winemaker Bob Betz had suggested it was not to be missed, and so we made a point to visit. Like many Designated Picturesque Villages in France, there is little Industry beyond Being, well, Picturesque, constantly Posing in a way. Every turn of an alley, every stone stair climbed, every archway-framed view has its Finger on your Cute Button before you can even begin to shrug and exclaim Jacques Robinson!

This photo was taken from the window of a (of course) Charming Little Tea Shop about halfway up the steep, narrow, and winding cobbled walkways of the village. It was great to sit down, have a little something, and explore the interesting selection of teas. I settled on an Oolong tea called Tung Ting (aka Dong Ding), which has become a Favorite Late Afternoon soother.

I bring this up today because this weekend we are pouring a white wine from Seguret which blends some of our favorite white varietals (see notes, below). Hopefully it will taste as good accompanying the view from our wine shop window as it would if you were actually there!


Mar a Lago Update: Chickens Blow Home to Roost

Climate science is not really that Complicated. Even Republicans should be able to Grok the Basic Mechanisms. Either they actually do, and are deliberately Choosing Short Term Personal Gains over Long Term Global Survivability, or they Really Doh!-n’t grasp the Basics of Earthly Thermodynamics, and it falls on All of Us to Set Them Straight.

The Basics:  Solar heating evaporates water from the Earth’s Surface and moves it to Higher Latitudes where it condenses  and falls as Rain. Increasing Heat in the Atmosphere means it can Hold More Water and can carry More Kinetic Energy. As has been predicted by Climate Models for the last Forty Years, that means more evaporation (some latitudes get much drier); more Rainfall (and more Floods), and more Kinetic Energy in the Atmosphere (More Wind).

We have many friends in Northern Califonia. Right now many of them are on mandatory Evacuation from their homes, and this only one week after the worst series of Hurricanes in memory have Devastated the Caribbean.

Donald Trump’s America is the Only Country in the World that finds it politically and economically Convenient to Deny that these Catastrophic changes in Global Temperature and their Systemic Effects on Evaporation, Rainfall, and Winds are Directly Causing more intense Hurricanes, Increasingly serious and more frequent Flooding, and More and More Costly Wildfires. It’s hard to imagine what kind of Accounting Stance can find a Profit Motive in Refusing to Acknowledge what the Entire Rest of the World Accepts as Fact, and what our fellow Citizens in Texas, Lousiana, Florida, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Northern California are presently Experiencing.


This week’s wine tasting

Domaine de l’Amauve La Daurèle, Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret ’16    France    $17
Grenache blanc, clairette, viognier, & ugni blanc; expressive nose of white fruits, mirabelle plum, and acacia honey; soft on the palate with lively citrus flavors…very Food Versatile!

Cloudlift Chardonnay ’14   Washington    $18
Toasty oak leads the aromatics, picking up butter, brioche, ripe pear and dried apple; on the palate flavors of sweet Bartlett pear and fresh Golden Delicious apple. Bright acidity and a finish of ripe nectarine– enjoyable and complex.

Robert Ramsay Mason’s Red ’14   Washington  $17
Easy-drinking cinsault-dominant Rhone blend; subtle nose of black cherry paste with a hint of cinnamon spice that expands on the palate to a soft anise finish.

La Rocaliere Lirac Rouge ’14              France              $16
Equal parts grenache, mourvedre, and syrah. Clay hillsides and serene aging in cement tanks yield this
inky purple wine with floral and spicy aromas and soft, mouth-pleasing texture.

Catena Zapata Cab Franc San Carlos ’14    Argentina   $19
Purple color with ruby tones. Elegant aromas of spices, garrigue, red berries, cassis, and raspberries, with layers of cedar. Mouth-filling and rich with flavors of cassis, raspberries and notes of black pepper and oregano. The finish is bright and fresh with finely grained tannins.



Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting october 6 ’17

 (note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Levain w/ Dried Cherries and Pecans – A levain is made the night before using a sourdough starter; the final dough combines the levain, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. A nice rustic loaf that goes well with meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Poolish Ale Bread – Starts with a poolish preferment from bread flour, yeast and a nice ale and and fermented overnight. Mixed the next day with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. This makes a great all around bread with a nice crisp crust – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week – Palmiers!!

Palmiers aka Elephant Ears – Puff pastry that is rolled out, spread with sugar, folded over and sliced. Makes a delightful, crisp, crunchy, buttery, sugary pastry. – 4/$5



Wines of La Mancha

La Mancha is the largest wine appellation in Europe, with more  than 500,000 acres (202,350ha) of vineyards spread over 182 municipalities and four provinces (Albacete, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Toledo).  While summer daytime temperatures can often exceed 104 degrees F., winters are often cold, with frequent sub-zero temperatures, and it is extremely dry; the Moors called it al-mansha, meaning “parched earth.” As one winemaker has described it, “Nine months of Winter and Three months of Hell!” The heat is somewhat mitigated by slight elevation ( 2000 feet in many places), and limestone-chalk soils which retain moisture.

A number of varietals do well in these challenging conditions, including tempranillo (called Cencibel locally), the primary grape of this and many other Spanish wine regions, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, as well as a number of other French and Spanish varietals. Today’s tasting menu includes the Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva, a blend of cencibel and cabernet sauvignon. Like many wines from this region, it has mouth-filling flavors and a bargain price, a great combination. We previously poured this wine on Labor Day Weekend, when it proved Very Popular!


Cloudlift Zephyr

We have spoken often in these pages of our fondness for the wines from Cloudlift Cellars in Seattle. This week we have another Cloudlift release for your tasting pleasure, the 2013 Zephyr (in case you hadn’t noticed, all of the wines are named after atmospheric conditions). This is the first time we have carried this wine, which is winemaker Tom’s Washington wine-take on the traditional Southern Rhone blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvedre. I am tasting it for the first time as I write, finding that unlike many of Tom’s wines, this one has been taking a particularly long time to open up.

After over an hour, the nose is still quite shy, but the palate is deepening into dark cherry and dried plums with hints of coffee and a persisting acidity that begs for Grilled Meat dripping with Crispy Fat. And garnished with, oh, how about mushy Baked Apple? Hmm…yes, that should work Pretty Well….!


Mar a Lago Update

A new poll suggests that only 11% of Americans approve the Republican Direction for Health Care. Yet Congressional Republicans Persist in their Obsession with Repealinobamacayeh (yes it is now All One Word). On the one hand They Know they should probably Deliver Something to their Base before the 2018 election, but on the other hand their Basic Philosophy seems Always to Have Been to Train their Constituency to Bark and Bare their Teeth on Cue rather than to Deliver any Real Nourishment to them. Makes you suspect that indeed many voters will Settle for a Scapegoat rather than actually Get What They Want…Sad!

On the one hand it is Difficult to find a time in Recent History (last 30 years or so) when Republican voters have shown any signs of Rebellion, any misgivings about the Failures of their Chosen Leaders to Deliver on Promises. Could it really be As Simple as the Cumulative Brainwashing effect of 25 years of Right Wing Talk Radio and Fox News?? Or must we Dig Deeper for Understanding? Certainly we are All Suckers for Ego-Strokes, and it feels Really Good to Have Your Feelings Acknowledged. But at the End of the Day Acknowledgement, while it Feels Really Good, is not Enough to Float your Boat.

So a lot of People are Angry, and not Only Republicans. It is hard to look at Today’s Political Landscape and see Anyone whose Interests are served by American Elected Officials other than the Uber-Wealthy. But it is Easy to look at Today’s Political Landscape and see that Everyone But the Uber-Wealthy are Being Manipulated into Division Against Each Other, when it would make a Lot More Sense to be United against our Common Manipulation. Years ago I saw an Old Cartoon (New Yorker…?), in which Someone is sitting on a Park Bench feeding Bread Crumbs to a Big Pigeon. But on closer Inspection, the Pigeon is Obviously a Person in a Not-Very-Convincing Bird Suit. A Second Person is saying: “Excuse me, but That Person is Making a Fool of You.” 

There is a Great Deal of Money and Power Invested in Maintaining the Polarities which Paralyze our Democracy. “Excuse me, but These People are Making Fools of All of Us…!”


This week’s wine tasting

Marchetti Tenuta de Cavaliere Verdicchio ’15     Italy    $16
Full-bodied, with lush pear, melon, and a touch of honey; a little off-dry, with an extra month on the vine to develop greater body, structure, and fruit essence; deftly made, with beautiful acidity. Lovely!

La Rocaliere Tavel  Rose ’16      France       $14
Scents of dark berries, cherry, and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva ’15    Spain   $10
Tempranillo/ cab sauv blend; Warm aromas of spices and ripe fruit; wide and round palate, easy drinking, great buy!

Domaine Turenne Cuvee Bastien ’15  France   $15
Mourvedre-syrah-carignan blend; semi-carbonic maceration and
fermentation with indigenous yeasts; aromas of black berries, spice, pepper, and juniper, with flavors of roasting cocoa/ coffee beans and game.

Cloudlift Zephyr ’13     Washington   $32
Syrah-Grenache-Mourvedre; aromas of black cherry, dark strawberry and light toast. Rich dark purple fruit flavors of blackberry jam and blueberry make for a voluptuous structure and lovely finish.



Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting sept 29 ’17

 (note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Pain Meunier Contains all portions of the wheat berry, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat as well as cracked wheat and wheat germ. A portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast are fermented overnight before mixing the final dough which gives this bread great flavor. Always a favorite and a great all around bread and it makes the best toast! – $5/loaf

Fig Anise – One of the more popular breads in the rotation. Made with a sponge that is fermented overnight, then the final dough is mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Honey, dried figs and anise bring in all the flavors of the Mediterranean. A great flavorful bread – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week Chef’s Surprise!!

Janice’s mixer is undergoing repairs, and she couldn’t be sure what her pastry options would be this week. However there will be pastry, it will be delicious, and it will cost $5! If you are willing to take a chance, just put in an order for pastry and wait for the surprise!


It’s back! La Rocaliere Tavel Rosé

We have mentioned frequently our fondness for La Rocaliere, a little winery in the Lirac region of France, a bit west of Avignon. Like many wineries in Lirac (there aren’t that many), La Rocaliere also makes wine from the neighboring region of Tavel, where rosé is the only wine allowed to be made. You will recall that essentially rosé is basically a white wine made from red grapes. To keep it a rosé and yet retain some color the juice must be allowed only a very short period of contact time with the skins.

In Tavel, the contact time with the skins is longer than in many other appellations, making Tavel rosé darker in color than other rosés, with more structure, tannins, and aging potential. Well, we certainly think so, having visited this winery a couple of times (see photo, left) ; and though summer and rosé season are winding down, this one is good one to carry into Fall!


Brunelli Apricale

dscn1247 (Modified)Our recent semi-annual shipment of Italian wines from Seattle importer Small Vineyards included another Favorite we haven’t seen for a couple of years, the Brunelli Apricale Tuscan blend of sangiovese grosso with a little merlot and cab franc. Although Italian DOC regulations prohibit including any other grapes than sangiovese in either Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino wines– or pehaps because of these prohibitions– in 1996, Italian authorities approved the Sant’Antimo DOC (at the southeast corner of Montalcino) which Montalcino producers could use to produce wines that were not 100% Sangiovese.

During our last sampling of this wine the Sun shone through the wine glass, staining my hand with Bacchan Light…OMD, a Miracle? Better come taste it for yourself! Or, as Benjamin Franklin put it, “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy!”




Buy Partisanship

The First Time we Remember Seeing It was 1994, when the Republicans took over the House in the First Midterms of the Clinton Administration. Newt Gingrich somehow became House Speaker and Manifested Hubris, Outrage, and Utter Disbelief that a Democrat could Occupy the White House. He Declared War on the Clintons and the Democratic Party, and Pioneered the Position that Partisanship left No Room for Negotiation in the Historic Sense of the Word. Rather, the Implication was that since the Great Reagan, the Presidency Belonged to the Republican Party, and as long as that Office was occupied by a Democratic Pretender, it was the Duty of Republicans to Defy, Resist, Demean, and Refuse to Engage with Democrats. It was a Parting of the Ways, the End of Negotiation and Compromise and the Beginning of Power Politics on Every Issue.

Fast forward to Today’s McConnell-Ryan-Trump-virate, and we see a Government crippled by the double-edged Sword of “we don’t need your Stinkin’ Votes”/ How Come We Don’t have Our Own Party’s Votes?” The Same tactic used to Shut Off Inter-Party Compromise is now On Line with its Own Agenda for Shutting Down Intra-party Compromise as Well. It leaves us Wondering Where in the World these Bozos got the Idea that a Government elected by a slight majority has the Right– even the Duty– to Strive to Impose Its Views on Everyone, including the Half which is Strongly Opposed.

Ultimately, we see the Fallacy of Majority Rule in all of this. If there is No Compromise among points of view, no accommodation for the wants and needs of Everyone at the Table, no Give and Take, then the Best We Can Hope For is to Ricochet through History from One Extreme to Another. Not an Appealing Prospect…the Toxic Legacy of Newt.


Mar a Lago Update: Not Just Another Hurricane Season

There have been So Many Gi-Normous Hurricanes in the last couple of weeks that I can barely remember their Names. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott estimates Harvey will cost the state up to $180 billion – more than previous Epic Hurricane Katrina. Then Hurricane Irma maintained 180 mph wind speeds for 37 hours, a record for Most Intense Storm Ever, Anywhere on Earth, and hit a Glancing Blow on Florida. Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico 10 days later as the strongest storm to hit that island in 90 years. In the last few weeks, this unprecedented Series of Record-Strength Hurricanes has devastated the United States Gulf Coast, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. It would not be extravagant to imagine the Total Cost of this one-season series of Hurricanes to our Country exceeding 500 Billion Dollars.

About 97% of the World’s Scientists have Concluded that Climate Change is Directly Related to the concentration of CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” in the Earth’s atmosphere. Their views are not Opinions to be considered on Equal Footing with Crackpots. The test of their Accuracy is in their Predictive Value. Everyone now Agrees that the the Average Temperature of our Atmosphere is Increasing. Countless studies have shown that the rate of temperature increase is predictably correlated with the concentration of Greenhouse Gases (CO2, methane, and others) in the atmosphere.

At Some Point in the Next Few Years the Annual Costs of Climate Disasters will become So Obvious and So Catastrophic that even Republicans will be muttering, “Holy Sheet, Batman, Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Us About This?? Unfortunately, the Complexity and Scale of our Planetary Climate are So Huge compared to our ability to affect them that it is going to Keep Getting Worse for Decades even after we start making a Concerted Effort to Slow it Down. To paraphrase Mark Twain:“It Ain’t what we Don’t Know that gets us into Trouble. It’s What we Know for Sure that Just Ain’t So…” 


This week’s wine tasting

Bergevin Lane Linen Sauvignon Blanc ’16    Washington   $11
The nose is a trip straight to the tropics, pineapple, Mango and a hint of lime. In the mouth the tropical flavors melt into Fresh pear, peach and apricot with an undercurrent of citrus. The finish is smooth peachy lemons and limes.La

La Rocaliere Tavel  Rose ’16      France       $14
Scents of dark berries, cherry and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

 Domane Laroque Cab Franc ’16   France    $11
Nose of subtle raspberry, rhubarb, spice and tobacco aromas. In the mouth elegant and silky tannins bring a very feminine touch to this wine with concentrated fruit, attractive aromatics and good body. Great with savory Moroccan and Asian spices.

Zenato ‘Alanera’ Rosso Veronese      Italy        $15
Dark, inky color; rich and focused nose, with ripe berries, dusty oak and a precise note of waxy vanilla bean. On the palate delivers extracted flavors of cherries, strawberry, clay and even a hint of crushed mint. Soft tannins, rounded finish.

Brunelli Apricale  ’16    Italy  $14
Sangiovese Grosso with a little Merlot and Cab Franc; Fruity and persistent nose of wild berries and spice. Soft and balanced with fine tannins this Sant’Antimo Rosso works well with any meal!



Wine Tasting