Lummi Island Wine Tasting Feb 21 ’14

Marx was Right…or was it Left?

marx The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them. — Karl Marx

Marx has been badmouthed by capitalists for about 150 years, but he had great insight about how capitalism would influence political economy— back in those days “politics” and “economics” were inseparable aspects of social structure. And not only was he right about a lot of things– as in the quote above, he also had a sense of humor! And for many decades now, there has been an official branch of American economics devoted to the study of Marxist ideas, the Union for Radical Political Economics. Their thinking is particularly useful for examining the distributional issues of economic policy, particularly in urban settings.

A brief look at recent history shows that in the last thirty years in general and the last 15 years in particular, productivity gains in the economy have gone almost entirely to increase corporate profits, while wages have stagnated. That means that as the Pie has gotten much bigger, the shares going to capital have gotten bigger and bigger, while the shares going to labor have gotten smaller and smaller. Recently,  workers at VW-Chattanooga were pressured into voting against unionization by anti-union Republican politicians. It turns out, however, that VW considers Republican interference with the union vote contrary to its long-standing commitment to the principle of co-determination between management and labor, and is now (I love this!) less likely to expand its operations in the US South. Gee…by golly, kinda makes me proud to be a VW owner…!


The Art of Wine Continues!

ryan new year'sMany of you have experienced it already. If you have, you KNOW you want to do it AGAIN! If you haven’t, you KNOW you MUST have the experience! Well, now you CAN!!! Ryan’s incredibly enlightening, enjoyable, informative, and FUN workshops on the Art of Wine are Back! This time you get to cover the Entire Planet of Wine in a mere Four Weeks! Is this even POSSIBLE?! The answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

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Heron Fare

heron fareThe standout feature of today’s walk was a Great Blue Heron flying away from us along the beach at Legoe Bay with a foot-long, vaguely reptilian shape in its beak. We caught up with it a few minutes later, standing at the shoreline, and for lack of a better term “managing” its catch. We could not get close enough to see what it was, but as it changed in shape from time to time, it seemed to be alive and giving its best shot at staying that way. The ensuing existential choreography involved long periods of no movement, interspersed with long minutes when the heron appeared to be trying either to kill the catch once and for all and/or to get it into position to swallow. At some point, this long, quiet battle ended with, as you might expect, the catch being swallowed head-first (I think) down, down into the heron’s gullet. And I think: this goes on all the time, moment to moment, creature to creature, predator and prey. And then I think….hmmm….if one has a choice, better to be a predator. And then I think…hmmm….maybe not…! As if, you know, we had a choice…!!

This Week’s Tasting

La Cana Albarino  ‘ 12   Spain     91pts      $14
From vines perched on blustery and wet Atlantic coast of Spain, just north of Portugal. High-pitched aromas of lime zest, lemongrass, and jasmine; energetic citrus and orchard fruit, finishing with lime and pear skin notes.  read more

Jordanov Merlot ’11      Macedonia   $10
Macedonia is possibly the birthplace of the cultivated vine in Europe 4000 years ago. The fruit for this wine comes from Tikves, an area with limestone and sandy soils, ideal for growing wine grapes. N
otes of blueberry and densely concentrated fruit with a dusty, rich, long finish of cherry and cherry pit minerality.   read more

Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon ’10     Chile     90pts     $10
Colchagua Valley, at 34°S, is closer to the Equator than any European vineyard, but cooled by the Humboldt Current; the region is characterized by steep slopes of well-drained granitic soil, irrigated by the Tinguiririca River flowing from the Andes. This rich red leads with distinct earthiness to dark cassis, plum reduction and kirsch notes, gaining traction with layers of woodsy spices, maduro tobacco and licorice on the long finish.

Andrew Murray Elleven Cabernet     California      $16
From south-facing hillside vines on the mineral-rich, clay-loam soils with interspersed cobbles of the new Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara, this wine shows concentrated and complex notes of graphite, forest floor, flowers, and bright cherry.

Vignavecchia Chianti Classico ’10           Italy            89pts $18
Fermented in 100HL cement tanks for two weeks, then 30% aged in wood (90% sangio, 10% merlot) Old-world aromas of redcurrant, cherry pit, violet, tobacco, and horse blanket lead to intense flavors of redcurrant, bitter cherry, spices, and merlot-derived nuances of cocoa and coffee.


Wine Tasting

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