Lummi Island Wine Tasting April 20 ’13
Special note on next week’s hours
Ryan will open the shop as usual tonight (Friday, April 19) from 4-7 and on Saturday from 2-6. Next week, however, THE SHOP WILL NOT BE OPEN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 26 , but we will be back in time to open for regular hours next Saturday, April 27. We will post another reminder about this next week, and look forward to seeing you then!
Boondocking with Leigh and Brian
Boondocking is what RV people call dropping anchor for the night someplace where you don’t have to pay. Apparently there are tons of public lands out there, particularly in the West, where this is allowed. So we met up with them just outside the northern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park in south-central California, and set up a little compound. Lots and lots of space…the dogs loved it, and it does have a certain charm, a little like being out on the ocean…
as usual, click on photos for larger image
our little compound in the middle of Nowhere
Brian and Curtis on a morning stroll
Leigh at the back door of the Airstream
We drove through Joshua Tree from south to north. Although we had been here before many years ago, I had not realized how huge the park is. There aren’t so many Joshua trees in the southern part, but there are other cactus, and many were just starting to bloom. There are areas with expanses of cholla and others with expanses of ocotillo. A wild and beautiful place…
Lummi Island Wine Tasting April 13 ’13
On the Road
We picked up our new trailer in Denver last Friday, and spent our first night at Lake Pueblo State Park in southeast Colorado. We discovered that yes, the car is underpowered for the job, in the sense that we go very slowly up hills and the mileage dropped from about 22 mpg on the trip to Denver, and more like 15-16 with the trailer. It does seem to do better with a little more octane in the fuel. Here in the mountain states they call 85 octane “regular,” and 87 “plus,” or as we know it, “regular.” Sometimes this “plus” has 88 octane, and the car seems to like that pretty well.
We stopped in Santa Fe for a few days visiting Toby and Barbara, who also have a place here on Lummi. They have a spread southwest of town which they have turned into a private jewel. We visited a couple of museums in Santa Fe, and this little creation caught my eye– a bejeweled model of an old VW bus towing an old trailer…Cute, huh??? Remind you of anything…???
The Road to Phoenix
Somewhere around Gallup, NM we found this viewpoint, which is quite spectacular in person. Looking at the photo here the landscape is just too big to capture. This view is looking east back toward Albuquerque. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version! Big Sky, huh??
Currently we are in Phoenix visiting family, heading west tomorrow to rendezvous with Leigh and Brian this weekend in California.
This week’s tasting
Although we are on the road, Ryan will open the wine shop as usual on Friday (4-7) and Saturday (2-6). I have no idea what he will be pouring, but as always it will be good! So stop by and keep him from getting lonely!
Lummi Island Wine Tasting April 6 ’13
On the Road
The picture at left is of a sister (brother?) trailer to the one we are picking up (taking in tow, actually) in Denver tomorrow. From there we will meander our way back to scenic Lummi Island over the next few weeks, visiting with old friends and family along the way, several of whom we (and possibly many of you) first met at our wine shop (e.g., Leere, Leigh and Brian, Kier and David…).
The Dark Lords of Coors
As I write this, we are visiting an old high school friend of mine in Golden, CO, a lovely upscale town a bit West of Denver. This summer marks 50 years since our high school graduation, a fairly iconic milestone, and it has been a great visit.
I have to say that while I have no strong opinions one way or the other about Coors beer, which is made here, I do feel compelled to say that the structure that houses the brewery has an unmistakable Darkness about it, its vast gray concrete ramparts strongly resembling Mordor itself, so Creepy I doubt that anyone who has seen it could ever again drink the beer it produces. I mean, I thought it was some kind of Power Plant, built to last maybe, but without a shred of aesthetic sensibility.
However, the town of Golden and surrounding countryside are quite lovely, and we have enjoyed our stay.
Tomorrow we hit the road in the new trailer, and so will not be present for the usual festivities at the wine shop. Ryan will open the shop for regular hours on Friday (4-7) and Saturday (2-6). Only he knows what wines he will pour, so stop by and find out. We will be thinking of you, and will update our travel notes periodically over the next couple of weeks.
The Dark Lords of Coors
Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 30 ’13 Easter Weekend
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Here it is Easter again, and you still have no reasonable explanation for why a Christian celebration of the resurrection of the historical Jesus should be confounded with the, let’s face it, rather bizarre symbol of the “Easter Bunny.” How exactly do these things fit together? I mean, how did this happen? I can’t tell you how many Easter Sundays of our childhood (my older sister and I) involved waking up, going downstairs with some excitement (like Christmas) to find these beautiful baskets my mother had put together, with lovely fake grass, chocolate eggs, chocolate rabbits, jelly beans, and of course marshmallow chickens, bless her heart. Also part of the ritual was hunting for little candy-coated “eggs” that she would have “hidden” on bookshelves, picture frames, lamps, and windowsills. But of course you couldn’t eat any of these things until after Mass…!
Oh, and before walking the mile or so to church, we would stand out in the street in front of the house and be photographed in our new spring dress clothes, the annual just-in-case we need to get dressed up this year outfits my mother really could not afford, but were some kind of annual cultural obligation that she took very seriously. I mean, that is So Irish! But as usual, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, how to reconcile the Christian thing with the Bunny thing…
Historically speaking, “Easter” was probably named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre), the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: “eastre.” For the last two thousand years or so Christians have celebrated Easter as the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. But for thousands of years before that, people celebrated the arrival of spring with the symbol of the oh-so-fecund symbol of fertility, the Rabbit. All of this business of Easter and Jesus and rabbits and pagan history came to a head in 325 AD when (Christian) Roman Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea which decided once and for all that (I mean, this is So Obvious, why didn’t they think of it sooner?) Easter would be celebrated on the First Sunday after the First Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. You have to admit it was Brilliant! What pagan could resist converting with a deal like that?? read more
Plonk! It’s here!
Okay, folks, this is It! Many of you have told us that sure, good wine is a delight, but when are we going to have something CHEAP? You know, as if price were the only issue! I mean, I understand that. I spent several years back in the late nineties looking for the Perfect $7 bottle of wine. Somewhere in that process our young-man-of-the-world Donald took pity on me and showed me the Way, bringing home several seriously above average wines and some nice glasses. And Lo, there was a Difference, and Taste and Aroma appeared from the Deep, and we saw that it was Good, and have never looked back. (Except, you know…editorially!)
I mention this because I got an email yesterday from our friend Kevin the Distributor that for the next few hours (this is SO used car sales!) we could get this little Spanish tempranillo for a very nice price. Unfortunately, HE had not tasted it, WE have not tasted it, and we have nothing to go on except it is said to be drinkable, it is from Spain, and it is Very Inexpensive! So come by and check it out! Maybe it’s wonderful! Maybe horrible! But we bought a bunch for thou bargain-driven, so we expect you to show up, belly up, drink up, and buy up!
When white wine is Very, Very Good!
Per The Spanish Table, “Blanco Nieva” is a classic Rueda white wine made from the indigenous Verdejo grape. Crisp, bright and refreshing, it will pair well with salads, egg dishes and all manner of seafood. Some of the vines for this wine are planted on original root stock that has thrived in this region for over a hundred years. This verdejo has the crisp acidity and citric blasts of its compadres, but adds dimensions of complexity and texture that you don’t often find in this varietal. Definitely something special!
Footnote on Betz
Being as we are a tiny wine shop far off the Beaten Path, we sometimes gaze jealously at our better located and marketed cousins around the region. One of those sends a daily email with the wines we should all be buying from them today. Today’s email extolled the virtues of the new Betz releases which we poured for you last weekend, including the 2010 Clos de Betz, which we listed at $50. All you need to know is that in today’s email, the (arguably) most popular wine shop in the region lists this wine for $61…$11 over our price, while expressing concern that they had such a small allocation they would sell out online in a few hours. I’m just saying that even though we are on some kind of Frontier, we have some extraordinary deals on some extraordinary wines. Pass it on!
This Week’s Wines
Vilarnau Cava Brut Spain $14
Well-balanced and light-bodied, this cava features lively acidity and an appealing mix of pear, star fruit, Meyer lemon and smoke flavors, ending with a creamy finish.
Blanco Nieva verdejo ’11 Spain $15
From 100 year-old vines, this beautiful white shows mineral-driven lime, quince and floral scents with notes of anise and mint. Graceful, focused and pure, with zesty lemon/lime and pear flavors.
Volteo Tempranillo ’10 Spain $6
This plump red offers flavors of black cherry, herb, anise and smoke, all with good focus. The moderate tannins and fresh acidity are well-balanced, with a clean finish. And at this price, who even cares??!!
Andeluna cabernet sauvignon ’10 Argentina $11
Red-ruby. Currant, pepper and coffee on the nose, complicated by licorice and menthol notes. Juicy, brisk and intense, with a savory quality leavening the wine’s sweetness. Finishes with serious, toothcoating tannins.
Perazzeta Erio Supertuscan ’10 Italy $15
Sangiovese, cab, syrah blend from Tuscany just south of Montalcino (we also carry their olive oil–delicious!) – this vintage is richer and more balanced, with even bigger flavor than last year– totally yummy!