Lummi island wine tasting April 24 ’15


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Bread Friday
no bread today

Sorry, Janice is away, no Bread this week. Also, Friday regulars take note– Ryan will also not be behind the bar here on Friday night for the next month or so as he prepares to take the next group of you to Tuscany next week.


Up in the Sky…it’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a Kite!


We have been away for a few days with our little trailer out on the Peninsula. Monday and Tuesday we were at Pacific Beach State Park adjacent to the little  settlement of the same name. We parked next to Mike and Diane, who insisted we buy a kite for the occasion because this is Kite Country. And, to be sure, there was a constant wind from the north seldom getting below a “fresh breeze,” and often considerably more energetic than that. Here’s our little kite, above.


We also met a couple from Olympia who are kite addicts of a sort who have been making their own kites for many years…here’s the one they brought, complete with fifty-foot tails…! (That’s our kite at lower right)


Looking out from the Edge of the World

Pacific Beach was was not so long ago home to a small Naval Base th at may have been at the time a high-tech communications facility. At present, like many small coastal communities, there’s not much of an economic base. The whole area feels tired from the constant roar of wind and surf, the emptiness emphasized by this tiny couple on a vast and empty beach.



Fort Worden

This post is being written from our site at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. It’s been cool, cloudy, blustery, and spitting rain from time to time, but cozy in the trailer. Late this afternoon the sun emerged briefly with a spectacular Rainbow framing our little trailer. That’s gotta be a good sign, right???


We’re even getting used to our lost car-trailer color coordination…



All Betz are off! 

Again we are pouring from our library of Betz wines; however, we have no idea which one we will be pouring…gotta get home and check the cellar!

All you really need to know is this: take off 10% on any Betz wines in stock! AND, if you are a wine club member, WE PAY SALES TAX, too!



This week’s tasting

For a Song Chardonnay ’13. Washington $10
Apple blossom and citrus aromas; broad, flavorful palate of quince, lemon custard, lime, and honey-tinged mineral notes; bracing acidity;

Mouchao Dom Rafael Tinto ’09 Portugal $12
60% Aragonez (Tempranillo), 20% Alicante Bouschet, and 20% Trincadeira; Nose of strawberry fruit and leafy Tempranillo notes turning sultry and earthen-mushroom; palate is fresh, intense, vibrant.

Riojanas Rioja Canchales ’11 Spain $12
Pungent redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with a peppery lift and focus. Firm bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors, with juicy acidity; aeration brings up deeper blackberry and licorice notes that linger on the taut, youthfully tannic finish.

Bocelli Sangiovese Italy $14
Bright,, lush, and appealing; deliciously ripe and smoky, with notes of marasca cherry, granite, and rhubarb compote. Finish is long and dry, with admirable acidity that makes the palate taut and pleasing.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting april 18 ’15

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Bread Friday (sign up for


(For you newcomers,Janice H brings fresh bread to the wine shop shortly after 4pm each Friday, including samples for the Faithful!)

Kamut Levain - khorasan wheat is an ancient Egyptian grain with lovely golden wheat berries with a nutty flavor, and leavened with natural starter. – $5/loaf

Walnut Raisin Levain- 30% fresh milled whole wheat and rye with toasted walnuts and dark raisins . - $5/loaf

Sourdough Croissants- Plain or chocolate, with crispy crust and tender interior, a la Paris. - 2 for $5


You Make Me Feel That Spring Has Sprung…!

dscn1125 (Modified)Maybe it’s the light, or the Sun angle. Maybe it’s the deep blue Spring Sky. Maybe it’s the blossoms. Or maybe it’s the cool mornings and radiant, warming afternoons.

Whatever it is, it is delightful and deeply nourishing. Even better, the Seers tell us we can look forward to several more days of it…!

Isn’t this the Perfect Time to take that long exhalation that has been building up for the last six months…? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….!

TPP: You Too Will Be Assimilated

Every once in a while Something Urgent demands all of our attention, and it demands it Right Now. The something of the moment is called TPP. What you need to know right now is that it is not a battle between Right and Left; it is the Battle of the One Percent against Everyone and Everything Else. If you are on the Right, note that it will give corporations the right to control your life. If you are on the Left, note that it will give corporations the right to negate all of the environmental and labor gains you have made over the last fifty years.

It is the New and Improved NAFTA and WTO rolled into one. It has been written over the last five years by attorneys for the Very Rich. At its most basic level it takes authority from nation-states and gives it to a tribunal of three Corporate Lawyers (I am NOT making this up!), who will have the power to sue any member nation for any  potential corporate losses that might be caused by national laws (like environment, labor, free speech, health…you know, the things essential to human life and the survival of our planet).

Congress will decide on this issue within the next week or two without asking for public discussion.

Folks, this is, sadly, NOT a joke. First, learn more about the issue here. Second, contact all of your Congressional representatives and Senators immediately with your vehement opposition to TPP. Third, pass on this information to everyone in your social media circle immediately.


This Land is “Their” Land

dscn1122 (Modified)As I went walking I saw a sign there
The sign was painted, said “Private Property”
But on the backside it didn’t say nothin’
This land was made for you and me. — Woody Guthrie




dscn1123 (Modified)Okay, I can understand that no one wants Intruders wandering through their yards, peeking in their windows, casing the joint for a robbery, whatever. It is harder to understand what the Big Deal is about undeveloped acreage that is just sitting out there, day after year after decade, undeveloped or not even developable at all, that causes people to litter their properties with “No Trespassing-Private Property” signs, such as this little grouping along Legoe Bay.

For those of you who don’t live around here, in Washington State shorelines are mostly privately owned, making public access to the shore extraordinarily limited compared to other saltwater States such as Oregon, where public access is the rule. So, here on Lummi there is no public beach, no public boat launch, no public dock. Which is, let’s face it, Bizarre.


dscn1124 (Modified)Anyway, on our daily dog walk around Legoe Bay we pass a gauntlet of such signs, with no idea of who or what they are trying to protect from who or what threat. For your entertainment and contemplation, click on the photos to enlarge…Can You Find the “No Trespassing” sign in each photo…?





All Betz are off! 

We continue to pour from our vast(!) library of Betz wines; this week we are pouring the 2012 Clos de Betz, the latest (and imho, possibly the best ever) effort in Bob’s ongoing ode to Right Bank (mainly merlot) wines, or as he puts it: ‘Merlot’s dominance in the blend takes center stage on the mid-palate, with a deep, textural fullness.  It’s the weight of this wine which impresses most, with a depth and breadth that envelop the palate and linger for a long finish. Vibrant black and red fruits abound, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot that complete the blend add anise, bay leaf and underbrush to the palate…Despite the attractive up-front development, don’t be too hasty: a long cellar life awaits!”

Our Betz  special sale will continue until we have whittled down our inventory a bit:  10% on all Betz selections, PLUS we pay sales tax for wine club members!

See detailed tasting notes below.



This week’s tasting

OS Riesling ’12 Washington (92pts WE)     $11
Apple blossom and citrus aromas; broad, flavorful palate of quince, lemon custard, lime, and honey-tinged mineral notes; bracing acidity; should evolve further over time and age well thru 2034.

Chateau Fontanes Rosé’13 France $17
Redcurrant and strawberry aromas are accented by orange zest and cinnamon. Silky and broad in the mouth, offering juicy red fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness.

Olivares Monastrell Altos de la Hoya ’11 Spain 91 pts $10
Black raspberry and cassis aromas, with spicy mineral and floral elements. Powerful dark fruit flavors with vanilla and cola nuances and juicy acidity; velvety texture, with lingering spiciness.

Writers Block Cab Franc ’12 California $14
Complex aromas of fresh dark berries, black cherry, plum, and a subtle brambly profile. Tobacco, chocolate, and herbal flavors blend with a floral component and notes of toasted oak.

Betz Clos de Betz ’12     Washington    93-95pts   $52
67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon- Aromas of blackcurrant, bitter chocolate, licorice and burnished oak. Perfectly integrated acidity energizing fine-grained flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, cocoa powder and violet, and a long,juicy finish.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting april 11 ’15

Bread Friday (sign up for


This week’s breads: Janice H brings fresh bread to the wine shop shortly after 4pm each Friday…

Pain au Levain – think of it as French sourdough; mostly bread flour with fresh milled whole wheat and rye for a nice, chewy  bread with a great crust. – $5/loaf.

Flax Seed & Dried Currant Ciabatta. Includes a bit of fresh milled whole wheat and rye plus flax seeds and dried currants; too hydrated for shaping loaves, so just cut into chunks before baking. – $5/piece.

Traditional Bagels! Yep– shaped, boiled, topped with seeds, and baked– plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, or mixed sesame and poppy. Limited, so order early! – 4 for $5.


Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

 dscn1118 (Modified)For a few months there our Chocolate corner was looking pretty empty. A couple of weeks ago we restocked with our favorites from both Theo Chocoloate in Seattle, and Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Arcata, CA. Both make their chocolate “from bean to bar,” and then combine it with other quality ingredients like sea salt, ginger, dried fig, coffee bean, coconut, or spices to produce delectable, addictive, and satisfying (and Good for you!) taste sensations.

Chocolate fan…? Come on by and try some samples!     click photo for larger view



One thing we can safely presume about Evolution is that it really doesn’t care if anyone Believes in  it. At the moment I am curious about the way we think about Evolution…as if it is something that happens to US, which is a really slippery concept, especially when we talk about “humans” evolving into Something Greater, usually in some metaphysical sense. Some part of us hopes that We Personally will Evolve into something “Greater.”

This of course begs the question, who or what “evolves?” Certainly not a particular entity like you or me, because it is a Process, after all, and any being can only be, you know, one species at a time: This begets That, which begets Those, one of which begets one of These, and so on, until in some little pocket in Time and Space there exists for a time some group of beings of a new and unique Particular Sort, doing their little Dance for the sweet moment Their Music plays. According Darwin’s logic, such entities are optimized for that Time and Niche by a long process of trial and error, and what worked best got to keep working for a while. Survival is its own Reward, and maybe that’s the point.

But really, can we take any particular comfort in imagining that we bloodthirsty, conniving, scheming (think Golllum) bipeds will someday evolve into some more adaptable, more sophisticated, more wonderful beings? Maybe what we really hope for is that our species (and therefore by inference, “we”) actually has some Noble characteristics that will keep us in The Game in some form for, you know, Eons. Ah, sure, why not, let’s lift a glass and wish our Dear Species “Hey, Good Luck with That!”


All Betz are off! 

Again we are pouring from our library of Betz wines; this week we are pouring the 2009 Cote Rousse Red Mountain Syrah , Bob’s ongoing ode to Northern Rhone wines, or as he puts it: ‘This year’s blend of Syrah La Côte Rousse is nearly equal portions of our two Red Mountain Syrah vineyard sources, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road. Once again the synergy between these two sites and the four clones creates a blend of power, complexity and completeness.”
By the way, this blend is often my favorite of the annual Betz lineup; maybe its dark, brooding style just resonates with my basic dark, brooding Scorpio nature…!

Our Betz  special sale will continue until we have whittled down our inventory a bit.

Here’s the deal: Buy one Betz wine at the sticker price, and take off an additional 10% on any additional bottles. AND, if you are a wine club member, WE PAY SALES TAX!

See detailed tasting notes below.


This week’s tasting

Dom. Tremblay Quincy ’12 Loire Valley France $18
Nose of yellow grapefruit, tangerine and sea air. Suave, fine-grained and concentrated, with zesty green apple & citrus flavors with a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel and finish.

Chateau Virgile Rose ’13 France $12 (grenache-syrah); Musky aromas of red berries and cherry pit; Dry and nervy with a floral nuance that gains power with air; tightly wound and vivacious enough to work with a wide range of foods.

Palacios Vendimia Rioja ’12 Spain $15
50/50 Garnacha and Tempranillo. Aromatic, with notes of flowers, wild strawberries and licorice. The palate is fruity, with velvety tannins and good acidity– a quaffable young Rioja.

Rio Madre Rioja ’13 Spain 90pts $10
Smoky blackcurrant, cherry and violet aromas with good clarity and zesty mineral lift. Juicy and focused on the palate, with bitter cherry and dark berry flavors; Finishes with strong punch, sneaky tannins and lingering berry and floral qualities.

Betz Cote Rousse Red Mountain Syrah ’09     Washington  94pts  $50

Good bright medium ruby. Tight, pure aromas of black raspberry, strawberry, white pepper and flowers, complicated by a sexy apricot quality. Suave on entry, then spicy and aromatic in the middle, with firm acidity and a repeating note of white pepper contributing to the impression of sharp definition. This dense, supple wine is very long on the aftertaste.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting April 4 ’15

Bread Friday (sign up for


Sonnenblumenbrot (Sunflower Seed Bread). Bread flour + cracked rye and toasted sunflower seeds. – $5/loaf.

Semolina, Fennel Seed & Golden Raisin. A wine shop favorite,  great with cheese – yum! – $5/loaf

Individual Sweet Rolls. Rich with eggs, butter, pastry cream and cinnamon sugar. My oh my…!  -2 for $5



Our 15th Anniversary!

wedding 1  wedding 2 dscn1121 (Modified)

Today (4/2) as I write this is our 15th Anniversary (wedding, not wine shop!). The ceremony was held at Ann Morris’ cottage, where Constance does her yoga classes (and where we were  this morning!). Our friend and Buddhist teacher Eileen Kiera (background) performed the ceremony, which included a brief tea service using raku bowls I had made for the occasion. I also sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” as part of the ceremony (now and for All Time a Special Song) which was followed by a lovely dinner at the Beach Store Cafe. And, as you can see, daffodils were in full bloom and the weather was warm and embracing. All in all it was a Truly Great Day, as some of you will remember.

To all of you who attended the ceremony or the reception: thank you again for being there for us! We invite you to stop by the wine shop at your convenience for hugs and of course wine tasting on us!



dscn1120 (Modified)As mentioned last week, our micro-climate here on Lummi’s waist gets too much cool wind and fog from the Southwest to generate many apples or any plums. However, this afternoon, peeking out from behind where the cars are usually parked, we found these Rhodies (and some pink things…azaleas…??) lifting their hearts to the late afternoon sun. This is a remarkable shade of red– might show up if you click on the photo and wait for the larger version. Or better yet, swing by this weekend and see for yourself!




All Betz are off! 

Again we are pouring from our library of Betz wines; this week we are pouring the 2010 Clos de Betz, Bob’s ongoing ode to Right Bank Bordeaux, or as he puts it: “With Merlot as the dominant variety in this blend, it shows dense color saturation and aromas of pure, vibrant black cherries, camphor, cocoa and a slight kirsch essence.  It enters very supple and plush, with a jolt of black cherry and red berries that stays true to the aroma.  Dried herbs, chocolate and a touch of smoky oak play supporting roles. The finish dances with a combination of refined tannin and vibrant fruit, the signs of a successful future in the cellar. ” (see video here; scroll down, select Clos de Betz, and click to start video)

Our Betz wine display is now finished, and our special sale will continue until we have whittled down our inventory a bit.

Here’s the deal: Buy one Betz wine at the sticker price, and take off an additional 10% on any additional bottles. AND, if you are a wine club member, WE PAY SALES TAX!

See detailed tasting notes below.


This week’s tasting

San Martino Prosecco    Italy     $11
Pale straw yellow in colour, aromatic and elegant nose (unusual in prosecco), with notes of apple and banana; pleasantly full and harmonious on the palate.

Mt. Baker Zinfandel ’09 Washington $17
Curiously Old World in style, with dark, earthy aromas of prunes and dried fig, opening brightly acidic red berry flavors on the palate.

Borsao Garnacha ’13    Spain $9 
Expressive aromas of blackberry, licorice and and fruitcake aromas; Juicy, spicy and supple, sweet, red and dark berry flavors; finishes fresh, focused and nicely persistent.

La Liquiere Vielles Vignes  ’13     France     $22
From old vines planted on a schistous terroir, this wine shows layers of red and black fruits, underbrush, spice and hints of pepper; lively, medium-bodied, and juicy on the refined, lingering palate. 

Betz Clos de Betz ’10   Washington  94pts   $48
58% Merlot, 35% Cab Sauv, 7% Petit Verdot. Ripe, voluptuous and supple, with aromas of black cherry, currant, tobacco, cedar, with a medium to full-bodied, mouth-filling and beautifully textured personality.

Wine Tasting