lummi island wine tasting june 13 ’15

Friday Breads (sign up for preorder list! )


Honey RyeRye sourdough culture, 1/3  fresh milled rye flour,  coarse ground rye and a bit of honey for sweetness. Try with cheese or smoked salmon – $5/loaf

Sonnenblumenbrot (Sunflower Seed Bread). Bread flour + cracked rye and toasted sunflower seeds. – $5/loaf.

Traditional Bagels! Shaped, boiled, topped with seeds, and baked– plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, or mixed sesame and poppy. Limited, so order early! – 4 for $5.


dscn1199 (Modified)Recently the subject of “punts” came up in conversation– you know, the indentation of various sizes on the bottom of some wine bottles. So I agreed to do a little research into the subject. As one might expect, most of the theories are speculative. Some suggest that in the Old Days, there was something in the manufacturing process that made them necessary; but if so, why continue now?

Another suggestion is that for sparkling wines, deep punts have structural value because they add strength against the gas pressure that builds up in the bottles. That makes a certain amount of sense; my one outing sabering a bottle of bubbly (breaking the top off with a sword) only works because the gas pressure in the bottle “helps” the top to pop off after the whack of the sabre has induced a crack in the neck of the bottle. But still, why do other wines have them? (see video)

On the marketing side, we note that most wine bottles are standardized to contain 750 ml, yet they are all different sizes, shapes, thicknesses, and weights. We have noticed some tendency to put expensive wines in heavier, thicker, and sometimes taller bottles with very deep punts, apparently to make a visual and sensory impression of Size and Value. To some degree, if you make the bottle bigger, some volume has to be removed in order to keep the 750ml contents constant, and really the only place to take away volume is in the punt. So that makes a little sense.

It also turns out that while some white wine bottles have punts, very many do not, but almost all red wine bottles have them. That suggests at least one historical and ongoing reality about wine, and that is that even today many red wines can precipitate sediment as they age. It is generally agreed that the ring around the inside of the punt is quite effective at collecting the sediment in the bottom of the bottle (that’s why we always stand up our decades-old cellar selections a day or two before we open them…ah, mais oui!). Though we have found no Official Rationale for the punt, the sediment collection function is the one that rings most true to us– that’s our Story and we’re Sticking With It!


TPP Update

Bambi meets Godzilla is a little video that was big in the mid-seventies, you know, when we were all coming down off the Sixties High, and were getting, like, you know, a little Cynical about our Corporate and Institutional Values. Fast forward: a couple of months ago we alerted our dear readers to the Incoming Threat of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a secret trade deal that Global Corporations have been writing for the past five years. Its terms have been kept strictly secret from the public and even from Congress (unfortunately, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!)

Regrettably, so-called Liberal (I don’t think so!) President Obama and many other government leaders are already Lobbying for “fast-tracking” it through Congress– that is, putting it up for a an Up or Down vote with no discussion and no amendments, after making it difficult or impossible for Representatives or Senators to even see it or read its many volumes.

As Bernie Sanders puts it: “Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights;dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system. If TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.”    (read more)

(see Bernie on video, get Outraged, and Call Congress Now!)



Late this afternoon our old friend and wine rep Laurent stopped by, a little confused that today was Thursday (and he is Way Younger than some of us!), and not Friday, when he often drops by to pour samples of a few wines and schmooze about things like the French-barge-wine tour he is leading in a few weeks, and the one he just set up for next Fall (2016 in the Camargue, that we would particularly like to go on!). A few weeks ago he brought in samples of several wines, two of which we liked a lot and are pouring this weekend.

The white is the Whidbey Island Siegerrebe, made nearby from a fast-growing, German white grape that can reach full maturity here on the cool, wet side of the Cascades. In recent years we have also carried the Mt. Baker Vineyards (our oldest “neighborhood” winery) version of this wine. Like many  German whites, it is bright and crisp, with tingly citrus notes leaning toward grapefruit, but in a softer, less focused way than sauvignon blanc, which,  t precise and finely cut, is the perfect “raw oyster” wine. In contrast, siegerrebe is more broadly adaptable, pairing well with fresh fruit, light salads, and simple pasta dishes.

Our high-end Red this weekend is from Abeja, a long-time top producer of Washington wines. Not only do they have a quiet reputation for Quality Winemaking; they also are an original member of “The Winegrowers’ Sustainable Trust,” which supports farming practices that “encourage responsible stewardship of soil health, fertility, and stability; support and build plant, animal, and soil diversity; utilize preventive plant protection; and minimize toxic inputs to decrease negative impacts on the land and the community for the health of future generations.” All you need to know is that their wines are consistently Above Average, evoking Unconscious musings of “mmmm, ahhhhh, and yum”


This week’s tasting

Whidbey Island Siegerrebe ’13    Washington   $16
 Explodes with aromas of spicy pear and exotic blossoms, followed by flavors of lichee nut, grapefruit, honey and pear. Finishes off-dry, delightful with spicy dishes and shellfish!

Del Rio Rose ’14    Oregon    $10
Vibrant nose displays intense aromas of lychee, pineapple, and grapefruit that continue on the sauvignon blanc-like palate of richness and crisp acidity.

Antonio Sanguineti Chianti  ’13      Italy       $12
From Small Vineyards co-founder Antonio Sanguineti; friendly, approachable style that is rich and powerful, yet a great everyday wine that enhances many dishes.

Septima Malbec ’13     Argentina   $8
Musky, ripe aromas of currants, leather, chocolate and espresso. Supple and generous flavors of  sweet currant and tobacco flavors with a note of pepper, soft tannins and good length.

Abeja Merlot  ’12    Washington    $36
Expressive nose leads to pleasing density in the mouth, with rich notes of blueberry and blackberry that meld effortlessly with the espresso and wood spice aromatics.






Wine Tasting

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