lummi island wine tasting nov 20 ’20

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Friday Bread Crumbs

The second outing of the new outdoors-at-the-wine-shop weekly bread pickup went even better last week. Janice and David are set up under a rain shelter (now with heaters!) just outside the wine shop garage door.  Both pickup and payment can be conducted quite efficiently with masks and social distancing as well as a bit of winter weather protection.

Pick-up hours are from 4-5:30pm. At present sunset is about 4:30, which should provide decent light at least till 5. But as we slide toward winter solstice sunset gets earlier until December 7 when it sets at 4:14pm, and continues to set at 4:14 for another week before starting to creep later until summer solstice in June. Chances are bread pickup hours might move a bit earlier in December…stay tuned!

Until the national surge in Covid cases abates, we are backing off from allowing visitors inside for wine shopping. Instead we are going back to email/phone ordering only. Click on the Order Wine link in the header above for currently available wines with tasting notes and prices. We are making good progress on setting up enough of an actual online store to allow our members to order and pay online for pickup on Fridays or by arrangement. For the time being, when you have made your selections you can call us with your order or email us using the Contact Us link above to send us your order. We will contact you to make arrangements for pickup/delivery.


Wine of the Week: Chateau Auzias Cabardès ’18

The tiny wine region of Cabardès is a small group of villages directly north of the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, which sits on the western edge of the Languedoc wine region. It consists of only some 500 hectares of vineyards. To the west are the rolling farmlands of the Sud-Ouest, stretching toward the Bordeaux region on the Atlantic Coast.

Because of the mixed influence of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, vignerons of Cabardès are allowed to use both Bordeaux (cab, cab franc. merlot) and Rhone varietals (syrah, grenache) in their wine blends. It is the only wine region in France permitted to make such blends.

The region has been growing grapes and making wine since the Roman days, but only since the 70’s has the region been allowed to explore the  possibilities its unique micro-climate provides. The resulting blends have their own unique charm, and again illustrate how soil and climate shape the wines of every particular place.

Chateau Auzias Cabardes   ’18        France     $11
60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache. Enticing aromas of  black raspberry and mulberry that showcase the Cabardes appellation where both Rhone and Bordeaux varietals may be grown. Fine-grained tannins and lacy, billowing acidity carry that raspberry/mulberry fruit all the way to a fresh, graceful finish.






Mar a Lago Update: Lies, Damn Lies, and Simon de Montfort

There is an old phrase of dubious origin that has plagued statisticians for over a century, that there are  “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.” An interesting exploration of the origin of the phrase ties it to a series of comments about false statements found in influential newspapers circa 1891, making a case that it went something like this:

-Thomas Henry Huxley, 1885: Talked politics, scandal, and the three classes of witnesses—liars, d—d liars, and experts.
-Sir Charles Dilke, October 21, 1891: false statements might be arranged according to their degree under three heads: fibs, lies, and statistics.
-Benjamin Disraeli (1895): I think Lord Beaconsfield said that there were three degrees of veracity—viz., lies, d—d lies, and statistics.

Everyone lies from time to time, whether by half-truth, omission, evasive statement, or protection from embarrassment. To that extent, Truth is a somewhat fluid concept, with little consequence one way or another. In that sense, everyday lies are just part of the ongoing lubrication of the Facts that helps us all oil the wheels or our progress.

That is a very different thing from compulsively lying, as with narcissistic personality disorder. A person with NPD may lie without reason, or to distort reality to fit the emotions that they are feeling. Some evidence suggests that they invent facts that will make them feel or look better, that they may be unaware when they are lying, and that they may not be able distinguish between truth and lies.

We are mentioning all this because while reading background on wine of the week (above) we were reminded of the Albigensian Crusade, a twenty-year long persecution of the Cathars in southwest France. Pope Innocent III considered them heretics, and offered lands stolen from the Cathars to those who imprisoned or killed them. Foremost among them was sometimes crusader Simon de Montfort. In 1210 he burned 140 Cathars in the village of Minerve who refused to recant. In another village, he had the eyes of a large number of prisoners gouged out, their ears, noses and lips cut off, and led back to their village by a prisoner who had been left with a single good eye. He is also sometimes credited (charged?) with having ordered the slaughter of over ten thousand men, women, and children at Beziers in 1209, and when asked how the soldiers could distinguish Cathars from Catholics, said “Kill them all; let God sort them out.”

All of this old history is timely because it illustrates so cruelly and vividly how extremely human norms can be tossed aside in the passion of religion or politics under the leadership of a narcissistic psychopath. Normal rules of civilized society are thrown away in the passions of hatred in the name of politics and religion. As the old saying goes, attributed to Sinclair Lewis, “When Fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the Flag and carrying a Cross.” 

The election is long over but the battle continues, amid irrational anger, unabated national tension, and the flagrant complicity of Republican office holders.

It’s gonna be a Long Winter.



Wine Tasting

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