Lummi Island Wine Tasting June 29 ’13


lb_tent About four years ago our world changed significantly with the appearance in our wine shop of a young couple (Leigh and Brian) who had recently moved to the island after having spent two years living on the road in an old Airstream trailer. They both worked online, so could work from anywhere, and the Anywhere they preferred was, as Willie Nelson sings, “On the Road.” It was at their insistence that this blog came into existence sometime in 2009, and they have been coaching us at various times ever since, for which we are continually grateful.

Before any of that happened, though, they bought some acreage in the hills southeast of Tonasket, Washington, over in Okanogan County, and this week we finally got a chance to go visit them on their land, where they are currently parked for a month in their trailer.

 (as always, click on photos for larger version)


Vistas large and small


This is a shot looking west from their land. The little green spot is our trailer; theirs is tucked in next to the hillside, not visible. The land is quiet and spacious, a place that invites taking time to be quiet and contemplative; the far views speak of distance and dramatic terrain, while the near views this time of year are resplendent with tiny wildflowers. It’s a spot to claim some space around yourself, very appealing and soothing in many ways.

There are also lots of birds, because the air is full of little cheeps and songs, but the birds are mostly invisible! I spent a fair amount of time wandering around the steep hillsides trying to get a glimpse of even one of these little songsters, but whenever I got close the sound would stop. So I have NO idea what birds these are, but I am curious. So while I was trying to be still, hoping to catch a glimpse of a mysterious singer, I had a lot of time to look closely at the boundless array of tiny blossoms, and found much to admire.


lb_butterflyThus it was that I found this small, pale butterfly on one of my walks through the maze of blooming wildflowers; it was tiny and delicate, its wings subtle shades of pale purple-gray and soft orange. It appears to be a Common Ringlet, Coenonympha tullia, found throughout the world, but the first one I have noticed. All of which is to say, I know next to nothing about birds, flowers, or butterflies, and rarely take time for them. And there is something about Leigh and Brian’s land looking out over the Okanogan that invites and rewards a bit of contemplation.

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Fourth of July, aught-13

ruinsOne of the things I really enjoy about writing this blog is that the creative process is very, very similar to what I (used to) experience throwing pots, to follow the elusive Muse of the moment, a repeating sequence of feeling-acting-waiting, until it is done, whatever that means. Just now I was attracted to this photo of old church, somewhere in Italy, roof long gone, and dating back many hundreds of years. It was probably long in ruins already in 1776 when this country was born. It is sobering, this inexorable, indifferent March of Time, which gradually grinds even our grandest icons to dust.

So this year, for no particular reason, I find myself curious about the longer perspective on our good old USA, our good old Civilization, and our Good Old 98%-Chimp genes. Has human history always just been the unfolding story of the latest Guys in Suits’ intrigues for power, their garb always the best animal skins, silk, linen, or, you know, the  armor? Are we doomed, like lemmings, to follow the whims of these idiots over cliff after cliff after cliff, drinking yet another cup of True Believer Kool-Aid, cheering yet another patriotic Slogan, demonizing yet another Godless Enemy?

All I’m saying is that the older I get, the more everyday news reports sound as if written by Rod Serling or Kurt Vonnegut: absurd and surreal. All of which is to say, we will not be open on the Fourth for any regular hours, but as always, feel free to call for “Wine Emergencies.” And of course we are open regular hours this Friday (4-7) and Saturday (2-6).

This week’s wines:

Blanco Nievo sauvignon blanc ’10         Spain        $15
An intriguing style of sauvignon blanc from Spain. Softer and fuller bodied than most, and showing fruits outside the usual grapefruit/kiwi/lime envelope.

Ryan Patrick Rose  ’11        Washington    $10
Made from syrah; greets the senses with aromas of rose petals and subtle spice; palate is a bright medley of violet and a hint of cloves.

Comoloco Monastrell ’11       Spain     $9
Alluring black and blue fruit aromas and flavors; fleshy and smooth in texture, with good finishing punch and a touch of bitter chocolate.

Eguren Codice ’09      Spain     90pts     $11
Vivid purple. Aromas of cassis, cherry, licorice and mocha. Dense, alluringly sweet and juicy, with excellent concentration to its chewy dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors. Silky, fine-grained tannins and lingering spiciness.

Meiomi Pinot Noir ’12      California     92pts  $23
Dark and rich, showing toasty mocha oak flavors, with a beam of wild berry, raspberry, cola, vanilla, and spice, with lingering finish.



Wine Tasting

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