Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting december 16 ’16

lummi island wine tasting december 16 ’16

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Friday Breads

dscn1364 (Modified)Challah- A traditional celebratory bread. Made with bread flour, plenty of eggs, a bit of sugar and vegetable oil – no milk. Shaped into a 4-strand braid. A delicious, refined bread that makes great toast or better yet, french toast. -$5/loaf

Cinnamon Raisin Bread – For your whole grain loving guests. Made with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat, rolled oats and milk and honey for a tender crumb and some sweetness. Unlike other cinnamon breads the cinnamon and raisins are mixed throughout the loaf. This is a nice rustic bread that also makes great toast.- $5/loaf

And for a bit of pastry…

Palmiers (a.k.a. ‘Elephant ears’) – Made with a buttery puff pastry that is rolled out, spread with sugar then folded over and sliced. When baked the sugar on the outside gets caramelized into a crisp, crunchy delightful crust. Di says these are one of her favorites! – 4/$5


Long Day

pat-rich-dogsIt’s been a tough week for all of us. Coopie did not bounce back from his chemo last week. Quite the contrary, gradually but rapidly losing his appetite and strength despite the barrage of remedies we forced him to take and a parade of favorite foods that he turned away from. If you have not been through this, it is a challenge learning to dance between a need to make sure he takes all the stuff we Hope is Good For Him and the Inner Voice that keeps telling us to Trust His Inner Wisdom.

There is an old Zen saying, “The Three Realms are just like a Burning House…No One can Remain There for Very Long.” My sophomoric take on that is that Consciousness is embedded in the Illusion of Continuity among Past, Present, and Future, an illusion to which we become understandably–even Necessarily– Attached. With all our hearts we want our Future to have Cooper in it for The Duration, and that is hard to let go of.

This morning we found him unable to stand up, his gums a ghastly white, indicators that his cancer had Spent his red blood cells trying to repair the Damage it was continually inflicting. The day evolved to his getting a transfusion of Fresh Young Blood from a Healthy Young Dog, which has miraculously brought him Back From the Brink for a Little While, whatever that means. Yes, every Stay of Execution draws an inevitable Sob of Relief, which is necessarily followed in the Very Next Breath by the Sobering Reality of its Fleeting Nature.

So. Coopie is home tonight, running at about 50% of Healthy, and we are Deeply Grateful for this Blessed Reprieve. As everyone who has lost a beloved companion animal knows, each moment is an Ephemeral Blessing to be Cherished, alongside a Raging Anger at our Inability to Protect Them from Harm. Seems All Wrong somehow, but we are wired to cherish and protect those we Love.


Twelfth Annual “East Coast” New Year’s Eve Gala Extravaganza!


Yes, our annual “East Coast New Year’s Eve Party” is now an Established Tradition; from 7-9pm on New Year’s Eve we provide the wine, you bring something delicious to share, and when the ball drops in Times Square three hours East, we all hoist our glasses and belt out Auld Lang Syne and toast the New Year! We welcome this annual opportunity to thank all of you for your support during past year, and toast to even more fun in aught-seventeen . Arrrr, lads and lassies, ye best mark yer calendars now ‘n’ start planning yer finger food!

Important Note! Speaking of Finger Food, we will again this year have a Secret Operative sampling the dishes and Assigning Points! Yummiest Dish wins a $25 credit, and Yummiest-Looking Dish wins a $15-dollar credit! So make ’em Good an’ make ’em Pretty!

Also, please note that, as in 2011, both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Saturday, when we are usually open from 2-6. Our People have been talking to Our People about how to handle this; current inclination is to be open Friday, Dec 25 and Friday, Dec 30 as usual from 4-7, but closed all day on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve except for The Party from 7-9! Stay tuned!

This week’s Wine Tasting

Maryhill Viognier Washington $10
Vibrant aromas of orange zest, honeysuckle, and pink grapefruit; flavors of lemon, pear, and white peach. The mouthfeel is delicate, yet full-bodied, with lingering notes of fresh flowers.

Marchetti Rosso Conero ’14 Italy $10
Rich and inviting aromas of blue florals, plums, brown spices, and hillside brush. On the palate, dry and round textured with red and black cherries, ripe blackberries, cocoa and spice. Culminates in a satisfying, lengthy finish.

Writers Block Cab Franc ’13 California $15
A perennial favorite here, with aromas of red cherry, raspberry, plum, and licorice. Flavors are of red fruit, raspberry, and plum with smooth acidity, followed by soft tannins.

Porca de Murcia Douro Tinto ’13 Portugal
Dark, ripe, and tannic wine with a nice sense of balance between structure and rich, chewy, and full-blown blackberry fruit.

Betz Clos de Betz ’13 Washington 94pts $55
Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauv, mostly from Red Mountain; sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and and garrigue; a full-bodied beauty impossible to resist.

Wine Tasting
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting december 9 ’16

lummi island wine tasting december 9 ’16

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Friday Breads

dscn1364 (Modified)Le Pave d’autrefois – which translates roughly as “old paving stones.” This is a ciabatta-like bread which has a lot of hydration so it isn’t really shaped so much as simply divided into approximate squares – hence the paving stones name. Made with a mix of bread flour as well as fresh milled whole wheat, rye and buckwheat flours for a lot of hearty whole grain goodness. A great artisan bread -$5/loaf (or paving stone!)

Semolina with Fennel Seed & Golden Raisins Made with about equal amounts of bread and semolina flours as well as a little butter for a tender crumb. The addition of fennel seeds and golden raisins make a bread that works well for toast and even better for an antipasto platter. – $5/loaf

And for a bit of pastry…

Brioche Tart au Sucre – a delicious brioche dough full of eggs, sugar and butter is rolled out, topped with more eggs, cream butter and sugar and baked. A scrumptious delicious treat. Quantities are limited so order quickly or you might miss out! 2/$5



imageThe French wine region known somewhat vaguely as the “Sud-ouest” (Southwest) includes a number of very old appelations, a number of varietals found elsewhere in France, and a number of varietals found nowhere else, often dating back to Roman times.

To the west of the very old city of Cahors lie most of he vineyards of the Cahors appelation, where the dominant grape is malbec. Yes it is the same varietal found in Bordeaux, and made world-famous and extremely popular in wines from Argentina and Chile. But the same grape takes on different characteristics depending on the soil and climate where it grows. One winery we visited while visiting Cahors in September was Clos de Coutale, and we will be pouring their blend of malbec and merlot for you this weekend. Wines from this area have a certain rustic strength of character that we find very appealing; our goal is to taste more of them with you in the coming months.


Cooper Update

cooperMonday we took Cooper to Lynnwood to see a vet oncologist and get some blood tests. Today we returned for some scans, which, sadly, confirmed the the diagnosis of hemiangiosarcoma, a nasty and aggressive cancer of the blood vessels.

There are not a lot of options at this point except to try to slow its progress and buy him as much quality time as possible. He got a preliminary dose of chemotherapy (supposedly a lot less debilitating than the stuff we give to people), and continues on several Chinese herb and mushroom extracts that have proven quite effective in slowing down the progress of the disease. We have been learning that “cancer” can be thought of as the eventual cell replication errors when after a zillion successful replications, a mutation sneaks in which doesn’t get it quite right.

So…we clutch at Straws, and find ourselves making difficult decisions under conditions of Great Vagueness and Uncertainty as to the relative value of various therapeutic choices, striving to implement whatever adds comfort and eliminate interventions which do not. As we all do when loved ones are suffering…what hurts them hurts us.


Eleventh Annual “East Coast” New Year’s Eve Gala Extravaganza!

Logo_winterAs the Fortunate Few well know, our annual “East Coast New Year’s Eve Party” is now an Established Tradition. From 7-9pm on New Year’s Eve we provide the wine, you bring something delicious to share, and when the ball drops in Times Square three hours East, we all hoist our glasses and belt out Auld Lang Syne and toast the New Year! The Young at Heart move on to the next party, and we old timers can get to bed at a decent hour! We welcome this annual opportunity to thank all of you for your support this past year, and to toast ahead to even more fun in aught-sixteen. Arrrr, lads and lassies, ye best mark yer calendars now ‘n’ start planning yer finger food!

Important Note! Speaking of Finger Food, we will again this year have a Secret Operative sampling the dishes and Assigning Points! Yummiest Dish wins a $25 credit, and Yummiest-Looking Dish wins a $15-dollar credit! So make ’em Good an’ make ’em Pretty!

Also, please note that, as in 2011, New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, when we are usually open from 2-6. We are having Our People talk to Our People about how to handle this; current inclination is to be open Friday, Dec 30 as usual from 4-7 but closed on Saturday except for the Party from 7-9. Stay tuned!

This week’s Wine Tasting

Finnriver Apple Abbey Belgian-inspired Craft Cider     Washington   $10
A silky, full-bodied cider. Lingering apple sweetness with tropical aromas of ripe banana and hints of pepper and clove spice. Nutty, bread-like finish.

Waitsburg Cellars “Three” white  ’15   Washington  $16
Outstanding blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne Picpoul; Medium-bodied, pure, clean and lively, with lots of apple blossom, buttered citrus and hints of tangerine on the nose. Rich and fresh with hint of bitters on the finish.

Clos La Coutale ’14      France    $16
80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, creating an intense wine that juggles elegant rusticity with everyday drinkability.

Gilbert Cellars Allobroges ’12      Washington    $22
48% Grenache, 27% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah; a delicious Rhone blend with lots of dried herbs, ground pepper, roasted meats and both red and black fruit nuances. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, and textured.

Quinta Seara d’Ordens tawny port
Starts with a minty hint, and finishes rich and sweet with a spicy finish; leans to the hedonistic while remaining rather sunny. Ultimately, it’s impossible to dislike just because it tastes so darned good.

Wine Tasting
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting dec 2 ’16

lummi island wine tasting dec 2 ’16

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No Bread this week

no bread todayArrr, sorry to say yer best tighten yer belts, lads ‘n’ lassies, no bread again this week, aye, ‘n’ a sad thing it is.

Cheer up, thought. as Hearty Loaves return next week; watch yer email for details.

‘N’ jus t’a whet yer appetites, there be rumors in the fo’c’sle there may be special treats for the Holidays, so keep yer eye to Weather for more News!




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. It often shows fine-grained tannins and aromas of toasted marshmallow, vanilla and nutmeg.

Our featured wine this weekend is a particularly pleasing 100% touriga nacional that we think everyone will enjoy.





Looking for Landmarks

When we feel Stressed, or Confused, our Instinct is to Put Up our Antennae, Take Bearings, and Reorient. This little set of tasks is often summed up as LOL, OMD, or, most indicative of a Need to Re-Orient, WTF? In the course of our lifetimes we have all gone through this many times. The necessary but not necessarily Sufficient Condition for Successful Reorientation is the ability to Stay Present. The point at which Stress becomes Trauma is where it becomes Too Yooge to Integrate into Meaning with the Resources and Experience we have available at the moment, and we just, you know, Freak Out or Collapse.

Our personal challenge at the moment is to adapt to the imminent loss of our sense of National Identity and the lifetime hopes we have had for equality and social justice,  The Reality is that the Jabba Administration is Gearing Up to give the Ultra-Right 20% the Country they have Dreamed About by dismantling everything the other 80% has build up since 1932. Yes, it’s Traumatic and Disorienting. And no, not a single inch can be given up without a Fight.

“The loaf is gone and now the white man wants the crumbs.”  — Luther Standing Bear


Worse than Rat Poison

dscn1501 (Modified)You may recall that last summer our younger dog Cooper (8 yrs old) suddenly got very sick. His clotting factors were wiped out; his gums had gone quite white; and he was bleeding into his abdomen. He was diagnosed and treated for rat poisoning, and got two emergency plasma transfusions and six weeks on Vitamin K. By late August he was pretty much back to 100%, and we were relieved and grateful. Seemed a good diagnosis and treatment. Whew!

In early November he developed an unusual little cough; X-rays suggested an accumulation of fluid in his lungs, and he was given another shot of Vitamin K. Within twelve hours another X-ray showed substantial clearing of his chest, but the vet was concerned about a number of unusual shapes and spots in the photos. Within a few days the cough stopped, his energy returned, and for the moment we all believed that somehow he had again gotten into rat poison. But a week or so later the cough returned just as we took dogs and trailer south to Sonoma for Thanksgiving, where we made more vet visits and tests. The Bad News is that those suggested a very high probability that he had a Horrible kind of Cancer called Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels, for which there is no known cure.

A recent study at UPenn demonstrated that extract of the Turkey Tail Mushroom was curiously effective at slowing the progress of this disease, and he is now getting that, along with other supplements that won’t hurt and might help. As this Crushing Reality has been sinking in, we have made a commitment to do everything we can to savor however much precious time we have left with Coopie, not knowing if it will be a day, a week, a month, or longer. At this present moment we are happy to report he is cheerful, active, and enjoying life, and that is a blessing to be savored.




This week’s wine tasting

Virginia Dare Chardonnay ’14  California    $17
Creamy and ripe with notes of pear, pineapple, crème brulee and banana bread.

Septima Malbec ’13     Argentina   $10
Musky, ripe aromas of currants, leather, chocolate and espresso. Supple and generous flavors of  sweet currant and tobacco flavors with a note of pepper, soft tannins and good length.

Domaine Moulinier Les Sigillaires ’07 France $16
Aged 12 months in neutral barrels. Nuanced notes of tapenade, dark fruits, and a fresh finish. Harvested quite early to retain acidity; nuanced palate with hints of orange and an elegant finish. We love this wine!

Quinta de Pinto Riserva  ’13    Portugal   $22
A lovely Touriga, laced 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!

Terra d’Oro Zinfandel ’13 California $14
Vibrant aromas of clove and big, generous fruit lead to concentrated flavors of juicy plums and  blackberries,all with a good dose of toasted oak.

Wine Tasting
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting nov 25 ’16

lummi island wine tasting nov 25 ’16

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Closed for Thanksgiving

Please note that the wine shop will NOT be open Thanksgiving weekend. History shows that most of you will either be Away or Otherwise Engaged with family and friends. We wish you all Good Cheer, Warm Hearths, and Warm Hearts, and look forward to seeing you Friday, December 2!






No Bread this week

no bread todayHopefully you froze your Dinner Rolls from last week as Janice suggested so you could pop them into the oven and enjoy them with Thankgiving dinner. Both wine and bread will be back next week, and we hope all are enjoying a heart-warming holiday with friends and family.






Yes, this is really happening! In many places the recent election results were So Surprising that they substantially contradicted the usually extremely reliable exit poll data, which can and should always be used to verify election results. When exit poll results differ significantly (in a statistical sense) from “official results,” it is a strong indicator of irregularities that should be investigated.

Such is the case with much of the recent election results, particularly in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The Green Party has initiated a fund drive to pay for a recount and vote verification in those three states. You can read more about this effort and add your donation here.


Wisconsin Court Decision

No doubt all of our Regular Visitors and Members have found themselves involved in intense conversations with our dear friend (and Member!) Peter Earle and wife Sandy, who moved to Lummi Island from Wisconsin earlier this year. Peter is an almost-retired lawyer who, like Don Quixote, has spent much of his legal career Tilting at Giant Legal Windmills.

One such case has involved the matter of Partisan Gerrymandering, under which many states, helped by ALEC, the Koch brothers, and their Ilk, have drawn up Bizarre and Unfair District lines to give Republican candidates an Unfair Advantage. The case was heard by a three-judge panel of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in June, and a decision has been postponed until after the 2016 Election. That decision has just been announced, and they have WON! Almost certainly the case will move on to the Supreme Court. Some years ago Justice Anthony Kennedy lamented that gerrymandering was indeed a problem that could not be resolved legally without the development of some valid test to prove it was unconstitutional.

The Good News here is that Peter and his colleagues engaged a Stanford statistician who developed just such a Metric, based on the idea of “wasted votes.” That is, in an unbiased districting, each party would have equal efficiency at converting votes into legislative seats. In unfairly drawn districts, the dominant party jams as many opposing votes into a few districts as possible, giving it an unfair advantage in all the other districts.  This decision is a very exciting development, and we all hoist our glasses to Peter and his national team of colleagues on having put this case together and brought it to this recent victory, a Grand Thing Indeed!

Go Peter!

Wine Tasting