lummi island wine tasting april 6 ’18

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Honey, Wheat, Lemon & Poppy seeds – Made with a poolish that ferments some of the flour, yeast and water, but none of the salt, overnight. This results in a very active pre-ferment which is mixed the next day with the final ingredients which includes a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Some honey, poppy seeds and freshly grated lemon peel round out the flavors in this loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf.

Sonnenblumenbrot – aka Sunflower Seed Bread Made with a pre-ferment before mixing the final dough of bread flour and freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. This is a typical german seed bread- $5/loaf

And for pastry this week… If you want pastry this week you have to show up at the Grange on Saturday morning to help out with the Annual Island Cleanup! There will be a great selection of muffins, scones, brioche and bostock (you’ll have to look that one up!). Show up early, have a cup of coffee and pastry, meet your neighbors then go out and give our island home a spring spruce up!

Sunday Concert April 22!

It’s become an annual Event: our Spring Concert with singer-songwriter-minstrel Robert Sarazin Blake! This year’s concert will be from 4-6 pm on Sunday, April 22 in the wine shop!

As Robert’s many local followers know, he is a modern-day troubadour who travels widely (mostly here in the Pacific Northwest and in Ireland) to share his craft, very often in pub atmospheres like our dear wine shop. Robert has visited the shop several times in the last few years, and we have grown fond of his engaging style. For those of you who have not attended any of our concerts, know that our little shop is a great venue for acoustic music, and Robert’s performances are always engaging and energizing.

Suggested performance donation is a modest $15 per person, and a selection of wines will be available by the glass. And since space is very limited, please confirm reservations asap!
Learn more about Robert’s music here.



Amarone is a delicious Italian wine made primarily from Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara, the same grapes as Valpolicella, the dominant red wine of the Veneto region. The thick-skinned corvina varietal is central to the apassamiento process by which amarone is made, beginning with 100 days of drying the best grapes before pressing them. After pressing, the dried grape skins remain in contact with the juice through fermentation. However, because the sugars are so concentrated in the raisined grapes, the skins are removed from contact with the wine while they still contain plenty of sugar. The amarone-to-be is then left to age in barrels for several years before bottling.

Meanwhile, the rest of the harvest goes through fermentation without drying the grapes, to make the wine known as valpolicella. It is inexpensive, tasty, and table-oriented. However, because there is still a lot of flavor, sugar, and character in the must from making the amarone, selected valpolicella from the harvest is allowed to sit on the lees left from making amarone and allowed to go through a second fermentation. This ripasso process results in a red wine that is somewhere between valpolicella and amarone in its weight, complexity, and nuance. Under the rules of the region, wineries may only make up to twice as much ripasso as they do amarone in a given harvest.

This week we are pouring a distinctive ripasso from the portfolio of our friends as Small Vineyards. See notes below.

Lummi Island Spring Cleanup

Here it is again, folks, the annual Spring Cleanup. Sure, it’s a Tradition, when we all turn out to patrol a section of roadway and pick up a year’s worth of accumulated debris. Though the roads all look pretty good if we don’t look too closely, it is always surprising how many scraps of paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, and who-knows-what get loaded into bags and then into volunteer pickup trucks for collection and disposal.

As noted above, there is NO PASTRY this week for Bread Friday, because instead Janice is baking a great selection of muffins, scones, brioche and bostock (you’ll have to look that one up!) to lift the spirits of our Stalwart Volunteers as we head out into the Elements to do out Community Duty for an hour or so. Then, as if that were not enough, we all go back to the Grange for a Hearty Lunch. YUM!

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Mar a Lago Update: Honor, Truth, and Virtue

We are all familiar with the legendary story of young George Washington’s Honor in admitting to his father that he had damaged the mythical Cherry Tree with his new hatchet. This famous myth was invented by itinerant minister and bookseller named Mason Locke Weems, who wrote and published a biography of Washington in 1800, shortly after Washington’s death. Weems saw an opportunity not only to capitalize on the public’s interest in Washington, but also to iconify Washington as a a Role Model for Virtue worthy of our Admiration. Given the persistence of the Legend, he was incredibly successful. But these days the ideas of Truth, Honor, and Virtue have become Quaint, Outdated Luxuries which are readily compromised for political gain.

The respected economist Joan Robinson wrote (with, imho, great insight), “any economic system requires a set of rules, an ideology to justify them, and a conscience in the individual…to carry them out.” Of course she wasn’t just talking about economic systems, but rather of the whole complex of economic, political, cultural, and social systems that define each society. And it makes perfect sense…how could a society Survive without such a Structure?

The Really Scary thing is that Today’s world, or maybe just Today’s America, doesn’t seem to have ANY of these essential elements. There is certainly no Unifying Ideology, no Common Vision shared by the Right and Left Mainstreams, who increasingly see each other as Enemies. Indeed, it has gotten So Extreme that The Utopia each side Yearns to Realize is the Dystopia the other side Most Despises, and that doesn’t make any sense at all unless we are operating on at least two completely different sets of Facts.

Primates in general, and humans in particular, have many characteristics of both herd animals and predators. Some people favor one set over the other. Some humans are more concerned with herd survival and well-being than with status, control, and power, and some are exactly the opposite. Both traits have been useful, in different ways for our survival as a species. The world we see around us today suggests that the ego-urgency of the Dominant Male may be becoming more of a Liability than an Asset in our long-term survival as a species.


This week’s wine tasting

For a Song Chardonnay ’15      Washington      $10
Apple blossom and citrus aromas; broad, flavorful palate of quince, lemon custard, lime, and honey-tinged mineral notes; bracing acidity.

La Mijane Arpege ’13    France    $14
Grenache/merlot blend; nose of blueberries and chocolate, flavors of black fruits and toast, full on the palate with lingering finish.

Ramirana Cab Reserva ’15    Chile    $12
Expressive notes of red and black berries, with notes of black pepper, chocolate, and tobacco. Nicely balanced body, acidity, and tannins, with a pleasing finish.

Antonio Sanguineti Nessun Dorma Toscana ’15    Italy    $15
Super-Tuscan blend of sangiovese, cab, and merlot, with notes of black currant and cherry, and spicy chocolate. Rich and spicy on the palate, the red fruit comes on strong in the middle, with chocolate rounding out the finish.

Lonardi Valpolicello Ripasso Classico Superiore  ’14    Italy    $19
Valpolicella becomes Ripasso when pressed through the raisined skins used for Amarone, adding complex aromatics and flavors to the wine, in this case lush cranberry notes with chocolate.




Wine Tasting

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