lummi island wine tasting may 23-24 ’24

Drydock Hours May 17-18  ’24

We seem to have successfully made it through the first week of drydock and passenger-only ferry. Had to make three trips to town this week. We have a car on the mainland side in the limited luck-of- the-draw roadside parking available…every day it’s parking roulette. We were lucky to get spaces about a five minute walk from the dock the first two days, but today was more like ten. So we should be pretty much set till drydock ends around 6/11.

We will remain OPEN for wine tasting and sales as usual:   

Fridays  4-6 pm     Saturdays 3-5 pm

the trusty passenger ferry “Salish Sea”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s wine tasting

Sineann Gruner Veltliner   ’23    Washington   $20
Made with fruit from Pear Blossom Vineyards in the spectacular Columbia Gorge, this Gruner has classic aromatics, great acidity, and remarkable body, texture, and mouthfeel.

Chapoutier CdR Belleruche Rouge ’21
Intense black currant and raspberry notes with hints of white pepper; juicy, lovely palate with silky, delicate tannins; good pairing for grilled meats, pizza, pasta, and and (someone says) especially lamb ragu!

Black Stallion Napa Cabernet  “21         $28
Powerful, driving wine with notes of blueberry jam, lavender, graphite, crushed rocks, and sweet oak make for a brooding Cabernet that will benefit from a year or two in bottle

 

Friday Bread This Week

Levain w/ Dried Cherries and Pecans –A levain is made by mixing the dough with a sourdough starter to begin the fermentation process. The final dough is made with the levain, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and then loaded up with dried cherries and toasted pecans. A nice rustic loaf that goes well with meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Pan de Cioccolate – Also made with a levain, this bread is a delicious chocolate artisan bread… an enriched sweet pastry dough with lots of eggs, butter and sugar. Rather it is a rich chocolate bread made with a fermented levain, bread flour, fresh milled rye flour, honey for sweetness, vanilla, and plenty of dark chocolate. Makes fabulous toast, & even better french 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. These are perfect with fresh fruit on top! – 2/$5–2/$5

Island Bakery has developed a rotation cycle of several dozen breads and pastries. Each Sunday Janice emails the week’s bread offering to her mailing list. Orders received before 5 pm Tuesday  will be available for pickup at the wine shop each Friday from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Go to Contact us to get on the bread email list.

 

Wine of the Week: Sineann Gruner Veltliner   ’23     Oregon   $20

 

Gruner Veltliner is a relatively new varietal in Washington that, like so many others from Europe, seems to feel at home with our climate of hot days and cool nights. Like the great Gruners of central Europe, here in Washington they are also among the most food friendly of white wines, with beautiful aromatics, acidity, complexity of fruit and mouth feel.

The fruit for this one came from Pear Blossom Vineyards in the spectacular Columbia Gorge.

The wine has classic aromatics, great acidity, remarkable body, and a mouthfeel like few others.

So, to remain in nonchalant equilibrium through drydock, we recommend attending our weekly tastings on Fridays and Saturdays (see hours, above)…!

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: Democracy at the Crossroad

In my heart, this week feels as if Everything Depends on the outcome of this little trial in NY. You know the one. Early next week the case will be turned over to the jury, and together these twelve people will decide not just the future of the Tweetster, but the future of every living thing on our planet. And whether there will even BE a future for any kind of life on this planet for very long.

My fear is that if the jury is rigged with one or more Maga Believers, it will mark the end of everything our country has stood for in our lifetimes. Power will be completely concentrated in the hands of a very small number of extraordinarily wealthy white Protestant men from Red States whose only interest will be to eliminate all threats to their own Power and Wealth.

They will achieve their ages-old Capitalist Corporate Wet Dream of eliminating all those annoying rules and regulations having to do with anyone’s so-called “rights,” or “environmental protection,” or “equal standing before the Law,” or the right for a woman to decide for herself if her personal and economic circumstances will allow her to provide adequately for a child (or another child).

It is blatant Hubris for any human to Assert that Their superstition about the Existence or the Nature of The Supreme Being are somehow superior in the Eye of that Being to those of all the other religious philosophies across human history. Those in many cultures who have presumed to speak for the intentions of a Supreme Being have allowed small groups of men (and sometimes women) to dominate entire cultures using religious claptrap to justify their Authority over everyone and everything.

As described in great and interesting detail in a very thought-provoking book some years ago, “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess,” there is a direct line from the development of writing to the oppression of individual spiritual inquiry and experience. We see throughout the world how governments have enforced conformity to the rules of their Bibles, or their Korans, or their Commandments to gain and maintain control and dominion over the Believers.

Other experiments over time have shown that as the density of a population of rats reaches a certain point, they all go mad, destroying habitat and each other. Maybe this present world our species has created with such blithe hubris is another kind of “God” that is thinking, “well, these little beings have been an interesting distraction in the ongoing creation and destruction of Everything in Every Moment, so let’s see how they will handle This, (hee hee…) as our collective behavior rolls out the next challenge to our collective existence.

So, we digress…the point is that a powerful, dangerous collective insanity has metastisized in our nation’s body politic which, like the worms eating RFK, jr’s brain, are shredding our Constitution, our values, our will to care for one another and for the health and well-being of every living thing on our little planet. It is always dangerous to believe that any subset of humans knows what’s best for all humans.

And the court decision next week will tell us something meaningful about where we are with our collective karma. No, not the kind of karma like “destiny,” but rather the kind of karma like “every step creates the conditions for the next step,” so “Be careful where you step!”

In any case, one week of drydock down, three to go. Hope you can stop by this weekend, see hours above.

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting may 17-18 ’24

Drydock Hours May 17-18  ’24

Mainlanders should take particular note that car ferry service will not be available from May 17- June 15 for Annual Drydock overhaul. There will be a passenger-only ferry, and parking on the mainland in designated areas (expect a bit of a walk to the dock).

We will remain OPEN for wine tasting and sales as usual:    Fridays  4-6 pm     Saturdays 3-5 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s wine tasting

Quinta de Aveleda Vinho Verde  ’22    Portugal       $10 
Loureiro, Trajadura and Alvarinho  blend;  apples, lemons and a touch of ripe pear fill the palate. It is an off-dry very young white wine, refreshing and crisp with a mineral aftertaste…a longtime local favorite!

Girot Ribot Masia Parera Brut Rose Cava   Italy    $16
Delicate perlage, deep minerality, and intoxicating white flower and baby mushroom aromas make this wine memorable and delightful.

Jacob Williams Sadie Red Blend  NV     Washington                   $28
Named for beloved longtime winery dog Sadie, this is a special blend of Cabernet Sauv, Merlot, Syrah and Cab Franc. Medium body, broad selection of red fruits, cedar, cassis , and savory herbs; multi-faceted  and easy to enjoy for its primary fruit, herbal complexity, chocolaty tannins, and clean finish.

 

Friday Bread This Week

Breton – Incorporates the flavors of the french Brittany region. Bread flour and fresh milled buckwheat and rye make for interesting flavor and the salt is set gris -the grey salt from the region that brings more mineral flavors to this bread. – $5/loaf

Spelt Levain – Spelt is an ancient grain that is a wheat. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and has gluten but it isn’t as strong as the gluten in modern wheat. This bread is made with a culture that is used to create a levain before the final dough is mixed with traditional bread flour, spelt flour, fresh milled whole spelt and fresh milled whole rye. It is a great all around bread – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Chocolate Muffins – Rich and delicious, great chocolate flavor, and a seductively moist texture: flour, brown sugar, sour cream, and eggs, with lotsa chocolate chips inside and sprinkled on top  –2/$5

Island Bakery has developed a rotation cycle of several dozen breads and pastries. Each Sunday Janice emails the week’s bread offering to her mailing list. Orders received before 5 pm Tuesday  will be available for pickup at the wine shop each Friday from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Go to Contact us to get on the bread email list.

 

Wine of the Week: Jacob Williams Sadie Red Blend  NV     Washington

sadie red label photo

On our recent trailer trip we were able to pay a return visit to this casual winery a few miles west of Maryhill. It has a small tasting room on the high Washington bank of the Columbia, with a stunning view of the river and of Mt. Hood in the distance.

We liked their wines so much we ordered six different wines which we will be pouring over the next month or so, a nice way to keep morale up while the ferry is in drydock. Let’s face it — from many years of experience we all know that week 1 is pleasantly quiet; week 2 is still soothing; and by week 3 tempers start getting a little short.

This is the first 4-week passenger only service we can remember in our 30 years here, testing our resilience (and putting a cold wet blanket on the traditional Memorial Day Artists Studio Tour!)

So, to remain in nonchalant equilibrium, we recommend attending our weekly tastings through drydock on Fridays and Saturdays (see hours, above).

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Nightmare That Keeps on Taking

This little image appeared in just about every posting of this blog from Inauguration 2017 until Inauguration 2021. During that period every hour, day, week, and month of our lives was filled with news broadcasts about the Tweetster. He failed at everything that mattered, but  succeeded wildly in achieving his lifetime goal of having the entire world reading about him, thinking about him, talking about him…HIM!…pretty much all day every day for the whole time.

By now we should have been rid of him, rid of his picture, his voice, his boasting caricature of himself, his spotlight, his need for attention. But alas, he remains the bad penny that won’t go away.

On the positive side, we have enjoyed three years of having people in charge who actually know how to govern; how to effectively address the economic, social, and health needs of our nation; and how to take our necessary place in the world’s need to cope with climate change, international aggression, poverty, and suffering of every form.

We watch in horror as the Tweetster’s cronies in Congress, on the Court, and in the Media flood the airwaves with Orwellian Newspeak (aka “Lies spoken with righteous assurance…”) so effectively that half the people in our country remain completely oblivious to the extraordinary economic and international accomplishments of the Biden administration on the one hand and the shadowy, behind-the-scenes, well-organized, and extraordinarily well-funded effort to con their votes to overthrow our country and our Constitution from within.

An extraordinary amount of financial and political power and decades of planning created the circumstances that have been keeping the Tweetster immune from prosecution for their own purposes. And as the old phrase goes, “just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us!”

The Tweetster doesn’t pack the gear to be the force behind all of this. These are people with deep pockets and deep connections in our national infrastructure and institutions, and who have been planning all of this for a very long time. They now control enough of Congress, the financial system, State Houses and right-leaning think tanks, and probably parts of the military and law enforcement to succeed in their next coup attempt this year that very nearly succeeded in 2020.

So. Maybe paranoia is a reasonable response when we watch our institutions being neutralized by glib Fake News personalities who smile brightly as they tell the same lies over and over with righteous assurance. In any case, the next shoe to drop will be the NY election-tampering verdict in the next week or two. If the Tweetster skates again on this one, we are in Serious Doo-Doo.

But hey! This is exactly the kind of situation that makes us seek out the companionship of friends and neighbors at our local wine shop. It’s a comfort whether “They” are out to get us or not!

 

Wine Tasting

Lummi island wine tasting May 3 ‘24

Hours May 3-4  ’24

OPEN for wine tasting and sales:

Friday  4-6 pm     Saturday 3-5 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if photo does not appear here, click on page title to see post online…

Oops!

Usually we post the weekly blog on Thursday nights. However, this week we were in the trailer at Cape Disappointment, aptly named as it turns out because our trusty hotspot found no signal. AND btw, the laptop battery crapped out several days ago, so this is written on Pat’s iPad, and I so don’t grok the setup.

So this little apology is being written at Nehalem State Park where we settled in a few hours ago.

Though the limitations of our post-forwarding service won’t get this to you till sometime Saturday AM, we hope many of you are at the shop as we write, picking up bread, sipping wine, and enjoying yourselves with Jonathan behind the bar (tomorrow 3-5 as well) and the Usual Suspects!

Hope to have next week’s post to you earlier…!

Rich & Pat

 

Wine Tasting

lummi island wine tasting april 26-27 ’24

Hours, April 26-27  ’24

OPEN for wine tasting and sales:

Friday  4-6 pm     Saturday 3-5 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the moment we are in our trailer at Maryhill State Park on the north shore of the Columbia River.

Over millennia the river has cut a dramatic canyon through the deep basalt built up by Cascade volcanoes. This photo is looking west toward Mt. Hood (from a winery backyard!). By our unofficial count, about 20 120-car trains go each way on each side of the Columbia every day, carrying mostly raw materials west and empty cars east.

At the same time we can look across to the Oregon side and see I-84 running along the river with a steady stream of semis carrying finished products to markets in both directions. Just above us is a steep climb from the nearby bridge to Highway 97, with the frequent sounds of big semis grinding up the half-mile grade in low gear, and the explosive sounds of air brakes on the ones coming down.

Though we have been here many times before, this is the first time we have been so consciously aware of the ongoing sounds of truck and train traffic. It doesn’t change the fact that this is a beautiful and relaxing place, a wide open piece of unique geography.

This visit does, however, strike a resonant note with my training and experience as a resource economist, my research on climate change some 40 years ago at nearby Batelle Labs in Richland, and the fact that my friend Peter just gave me a copy of the book Slow Down: the Degrowth Manifesto, by Kohei Saito. More on that below.

 

Friday Bread This Week

Buckwheat Rye – Fresh milled buckwheat and rye flours are soaked for several hours without any yeast in a method known as an autolyse. As buckwheat has no gluten and rye has very little, the autolyse allows the grain to start the overnight fermenting process in the refrigerator. The buckwheat-rye soaker is then mixed with bread flour, salt, yeast and a bit of honey. Goes well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Whole Grain Spelt Sweet Levain – Also made with a levain of freshly milled whole wheat and whole spelt before mixing with bread flour and a nice combination of dried apricots, golden raisins, slivered almonds and both sunflower and flax seeds. Chock full of flavor!– $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche Almond Buns – Made with a delicious brioche dough full of eggs, butter and sugar. Rolled out and spread with an almond cream filling. The almond cream is not made from pre-made almond paste, but rather is a delicious creamy filling made with lots more butter, sugar and eggs as well as almond flour. Yum, yum – 2/$5

Island Bakery has developed a rotation cycle of several dozen breads and pastries. Each Sunday Janice emails the week’s bread offering to her mailing list. Orders received before 5 pm Tuesday  will be available for pickup at the wine shop each Friday from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Go to Contact us to get on the bread email list.

 

Economics of the Heart: Climate Change Elephants in Every Room

Slow Down, by Saitō Kōhei,  is essentially a refresher course in environmental economics from the viewpoint of a Marxist economist. Lots of people outside the profession don’t know that there are a lot of different specialties in the field, and in particular that there is a bona fide group of modern day Marxist economists called the Union for Radical Political Economics. (URPE)

My experience with these people is that they are particularly bright theoreticians who have long been “onto” the duplicity of the so-called “perfectly competitive model” dating back to Adam Smith a very long time ago, and have developed their own vocabulary for analyzing its many shortcomings.

Years ago I taught a course in “Urban Economics” several times, found the subject fascinating, and learned a lot! I stumbled onto a great textbook, a collection of readings by mostly URPE neo-Marxist economists. One takeaway that has stuck with me all these years is the particular absurdity of expecting markets to sort out fair or efficient resource allocations in the close  complexity of any large city…or anywhere else where the distribution of wealth (i.e.,” the ownership of income-earning assets”) is highly skewed to a uber-wealthy minority.

Back in the early fifties, Ronald Reagan hosted a weekly series of video plays called General Electric Theater with the slogan, “Progress is our most important Product.”  That progress has been achieved by systematically destroying the environments where these resources were extracted and the global environment upon which the damages from both their extraction and use have fallen.

Since 1980 and Reagan’s deliberate policies of lowering taxes for the rich while reducing assistance for the poor, the crazy, the disabled, and the sick became bedrock of Republican Policy, more guard rails have fallen off in many directions. In particular, under the auspices of “free market forces,” fossil fuel consumption since 1950 has risen 7-fold, from 20,000 terrawatt-hrs  to 140,000 TWH. And that is where the carbon that is killing our planet is coming from: a bunch of rich guys in suits sitting around a table willing to destroy all life on Earth for a few more years of personal wealth and power.

The essence of URPE thinking is that there is no such thing as a “perfectly competitive market” in the real world, where market power would be equally divided between producers and consumers. Rather,Kōhei‘s view is that under capitalism the owners of the means of production collect $ every time anyone passes “Go,” while workers only get paid for a day’s labor, and non-pecuniary  external costs are exported to the environment rather than mitigated by moderation and due responsibility. These outcomes are the predictable outcomes of unregulated capitalism.

Adam Smith is considered the founder of market economics, in which the Invisible Hand of self-interest “leads everyone to promote the overall good of the society more effectually than when by direct attention.”

But Marx considered that capitalism, i.e., ownership of the means of production by an elite few, would serve only the needs of its owners while at best keeping everyone else at basic subsistence levels, and at worst condemning them to lives of poverty and misery.

to be continued

 

Wine Tasting