lummi island wine tasting december 1 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Sonnenblumenbrot – aka Sunflower Seed Bread- made with a pre-ferment that is a complete dough itself. It takes a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast that ferments overnight before mixing the final dough. The final dough is made with bread flour and freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. – $5/loaf

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

For pastry this week…

Croissants! – Pastry dough made with flour, milk, butter and sugar and then laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants.  2/$5


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

Bold and lush, Touriga Nacional appeals to all of us who like big fruit-forward red wines. It is often balanced and showing fine, gravelly tannins. When aged in oak, it often delivers aromas of toasted marshmallow, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon spice. and red-fruit flavors. Bottom line: it has a certain Bigness that will appeal to some (you know who you are!)


Dark Lord 

As we go to press tonight, little Mitchie McConnell is once again the Dark Lord of the Hour. For the last decade he has Proven his Commitment to One-Party Government, through his year-long refusal to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the consistent use of obscure Senate Rules to allow his party to make momentous National Decisions with a bare majority (when the rules call for a Two-Thirds majority), and his ongoing series of attempts to transfer more and more Wealth from the masses to the .1%.

As 2017 comes to an end, our Editorial Review Board has faced a Quandary: who is More Evil: Count Mar a Lago or Darth McConnell? To be sure we have had many Heated Discussions on the subject. In the final analysis, however, we have come to consider that Evil, like all skills and practices, has several levels of Mastery: Unconscious Incompetence –> Conscious Incompetence –> Conscious Competence –> Unconscious Competence (aka “Mastery”).

All of the Evidence available to us so far suggests that the Trumpster consistently fails to show evidence of any progress whatsoever beyond the Child-Level “unconscious incompetence;” i.e. he has No Idea what he is doing, and he has No Idea he has No Idea. McConnell, on the other hand, has consistently shown that he is completely Aware, Committed, and Dedicated to the Complete Destruction of Representative Government and its Replacement with Private Corporate Control on a Global Scale. Therefore he has earned the unanimous vote of our Editorial Board as Dark Lord of the Year 2017. If you agree, please donate $3 or more to our Lobbying Effort to capture and return him to his Home Swampy Frog Planet. We can only hope that Somehow he is Stopped before he, you know, Spawns and Multiplies…(gulp!)


Mar a Lago Update: One No-Trump

Also as we go to press tonight we offer an uncertain Magnanimous Shrug about our so-called President. Our recent Insights about the Current State of the Nation regard him as a Symptom, not a Cause. Clearly he is not a Politician, but rather a Leading Contestant on some Ultimate Reality TV series. This is His Real Gift: Manipulating Media to stay in the Headlines, to be the Center of Attention, and to convert that Attention into Money and Adulation. In his world, Notoriety is the Essence of Success. Add to that the Comfort of a Four Year Contract as Leading Man-Star…well, we can imagine him humming “Heaven…I’m in Heaven…” as he takes a shower, savors his Chocolate Cake, or Tweets his latest Ad for his Brand.

No, the Real Danger continues to lie with the Corporatists, whose greatest achievement in the past thirty years has been the complete elimination of the Progressive Income Tax. For those of you too young to remember, the concept behind the Progressive Income Tax was Equality of Burden. If your income is low, each additional dollar you earn is essential to meet Basic Necessities. But if you are Wealthy, each additional dollar buys goods and services that most consider “luxuries.” The importance of the idea of Progressive Taxation is that it was largely based on an Ethical Premise: that the highest dollar earned is more important to someone who is poor than it is to someone who is rich. And therefore, the concept of “Equal Burden” of taxation requires that people should pay progressively Higher Tax Rates on progressively higher incomes.

Essentially that reasoning all went away during the Reagan years, replaced by the notion that the Nation could not afford to Pamper the Poor. If Progressive Taxation had been a kind of Economic Lifeboat launched as part of the New Deal, Reaganomics basically said, “if you can’t afford a ticket, get out and swim.” For Mitch McConnell and his Merry Band, nothing has changed since then. As one top-hatted Gentleman in Industrial Revolution London said to a Colleague as he pointed out the Squalor all around them, “There’s a Great Deal of Money to be made here!”


This week’s wine tasting

Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux Blanc  ’16   France     $15
Bright and engaging, with fresh grapefruit and Meyer lemon pulp notes backed by a flash of straw on the open-knit finish. Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

Chateau Buisson-Redon Bordeaux ’14      France    $11
Red fruit and cherry notes on the nose, with elegant soft tannins, and good backbone from the
Cab Franc; pleasant cinnamon and nutmeg aromas; medium-bodied and structured with round, warm fruit and a velvety finish.

Bocelli Sangiovese ’14   Italy      $14
Bright,, lush, and appealing; deliciously ripe and smoky, with notes of marasca cherry, granite, and rhubarb compote. Finish is long and dry, with admirable acidity that makes the palate taut and pleasing.

Airfield Estate Merlot ’14 Washington $14
Slightly muted nose with dill, red cherry and raspberry, and flavors of red cherry, pomegranate, dill and milk chocolate. Easy, silky texture with good balance.

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

Wine Tasting

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