lummi island wine tasting june 16 ’17

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Sorry, No Bread this week

Sorry, Janice our Baker is away this week, attending a Breads of the World workshop in San Francisco. No doubt she will return with a stack of new techniques and recipes…the writeup says something about “discover the unique flavors and textures of breads baked around the world. Create exotic breads, including Germany’s Heigebrot Bread, Indian Parathas, and Mexican Bolillos.”

Which all sound kinda yummy…!




Two Montepulcianos

Montepulciano No. 1 is a hilltop town in southeast Tuscany. It is particularly famous for its Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, made primarily from the grape sangiovese, the dominant red grape of Tuscany, and known in Montepulciano as Prugnolo gentile. Among the many “Nobles” who have enjoyed this wine over many hundreds of years was Thomas Jefferson, who called it “a very favorite wine…most superlatively good.” Today’s Vino Nobiles show flavors of dark ripe berries, with notes of plum and hints of earthiness, and generally age very well.

It is easy to confuse the distinguished Vino Nobile de Montepulciano with Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, a red wine grape grown in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy, stretching between the Apennine mountains of Italy’s spine and the Adriatic coast. The wines made from this grape are often highly aromatic with earthy black berry notes and an inky-purple color with a thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel. They will maintain their freshness for ten years or more, but do not evolve complexity in the bottle over time like Vino Nobile. Nevertheless, as this week’s La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva demonstrates, it’s pretty good stuff!


Utopian Desperation


The recent shooting episode targeting the Republican Congressional baseball team is deeply Disturbing on many levels. While Right-wing Nut Jobs regularly engage in mass shootings,  wimpy left-wingers typically choose less dramatic forms of protest. Which begs the Question: has Something Changed?

I think a lot of us Old Liberals can relate to the Desperation and Depression that may have driven Mr. Hodgkinson. Sanders supporters in particular fought hard to create a little Window of Possibility that our Nation would move toward a Thomas More-ian Utopia, where “Kindness and good nature unite men more effectually…than the bond and obligation of words.” But instead, we find ourselves in that world’s Dystopian Opposite, and that is an Ongoing source of Grief and Loss to many of us. If Utopias represent our Dreams of an Ideal Possible Future, available and beckoning if only We Take the Right Road, Dystopias are the Nightmare Societies waiting for us down All the Wrong Roads.

Over half our population are now living a Worst Possible Dystopian Nightmare as  Giddy Republicans Take Aim to Roll Back the Twentieth Century with regard to economic justice, environmental protections, public education— Everything we hold Dear.  Maybe this Near Miss can shift the Rhetoric toward bringing some much needed “kindness and good nature” back to our National Dialogue. Seems unlikely, but one way or another, we need an overall Realization that Partisanship has become the Enemy of the Common Good.


Mar a Lago Update

IMG_20160719_143417564_HDROne of my Zen teachers often used the phrase “Not Enough Water to Float a Boat,” generally a commentary on someone’s Level of Development. So now every time the Tweetster in Chief falls out of his Nest at Three in the Morning and starts Tweeting in Distress, the phrase comes back. Maybe that’s why I so like this little picture of the Duck Doll with Shades that I took a few years ago at a little pool next to the Friday Harbor Marina. I immediately recognized Who it Was. Which serves to demonstrate that a Plastic Duck can Float in a lot less water than a Creature with Actual Substance. Swim even, after a Fashion.

I also mentioned a month or two ago the Story of the Three Envelopes. Tonight as we go to press, with the Baseball Shooting, the Expansion of the Special Investigation to include The Tweetster Himself, the VP’s hiring of Legal Counsel, the Congressional Mandate against All Things Russian, and the latest series of Pwesidential Tweets about the Unfairness of it All, we are Comfortable Saying that it is Time for The Tweetster to Open the Second Envelope, which as you might recall, advises “Blame Congress!” Stay tuned!

Wild Roses

IMG_20170614_123946116Our daily dog walk generally goes by the wetland across Legoe Bay Road from the old Aquaculture School. Every day though the scene is the same, the Light is different, the Content is slightly different, the Weather and Wildlife are different, and the Feeling is Different. In general that means that the same scene always has a New Feature to Delight the Eye.

Today the Wild Roses were showing magnificently, despite the overcast sky and intermittent rain. And although this photo doesn’t do the scene Justice (clicking on it will help!), suffice it to say that these are probably my favorite flowers, and at the moment they are Shining Brightly with Color and Fragrance all over our little Island, and we are all Lucky Ducks to have them to Share the Day with!


This week’s  wine tasting

Aravo albarino ’13 Spain  $14
A one-of-a-kind, lush, medium-bodied Albariño that fills the mouth with apples, lime, peaches, flowers and grass, with bracing acidity and cleansing minerality.

Chapoutier Belleruche Rosé ’16   France    $13
The Grenache in this food-friendly Provencal-style  rosé  adds bright red stone fruit flavors; the Cinsault brings its delicate strawberry aroma; and the Syrah adds body, making for a great pairing even with the intense flavors of seafood.

Borsao Garnacha ’15 Spain $11
From 100-yr-old vines; heady, perfumed bouquet of ripe red and dark berries, incense and candied flowers; intense raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola flavors blending power, depth and finesse beyond its modest price point.

La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva ’12   Italy      $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Syncline Subduction Red ’15   Washington    $18
Syrah dominant Rhone blend; perfumed aromas of fresh blue and purple fruit, spice, and herbs lead to rich fruit flavors and a plush texture that persists effortlessly through the finish. Delightful!

Wine Tasting

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