Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 10, ’12

The Art of Wine in Spain workshop last Sunday was packed to the rafters, with a good time had by all. Ryan has really stuck a chord with his unique ability to link the concept of terroir with not only the signature soil and climate that produce the grapes of a region, but also the cultural elements of food, art, and literature from the same region. I loved his reading of the scene from Don Quixote where, asleep and dreaming, DQ is slashing wineskins with his sword, splashing wine Everywhere, immersed in the illusion that he is prevailing against an evil foe–to the chagrin of the innkeeper and his faithful Sancho!

THE NEXT “ART OF WINE”  Workshop is NEXT SUNDAY, March 18!
 The Art of Wine in Italy  
Ah, si, signoras et signori, tune in to the dark fruit and spicy aromas of a fleshy Valpolicella as the lively Baroque strings of
Vivaldi fill the room…ponder the celestial tableaux of Michaelangelo while savoring a bold “Super-Tuscan” blend of the native
sangiovese with the interloping cabernet…revel in the absurdist genius of Fellini’s mise-en-scène paired with a glass of the golden-colored Frascati that has been the drink of Rome for almost 2000 years…!

See flyer for details about each workshop, and call Ryan soon to reserve your place (758-2020), as many have already signed up for the whole series.

Willows     Willows    Willows     

Last Saturday we enjoyed a nice turnout, some regulars and lots of new faces. The Willows is open again after a two-month remodel and reorganization, and our dear friend Lisa, who mans (womans?) the front desk there (bless her heart) channels many of the Willows guests our way on Saturday afternoons (not that there is much else to do here, as most of you know…!). As often happens, many guests came and went before I remembered to get the camera. This handsome couple are both lawyers; one practices law, and the other sells airplanes for Boeing. Can you guess which is which…?!!

In the midst of the many dislocations and disruptions facing many Islanders because of the (excuse me, rant coming on) idiotic, moronic, self-serving, unimaginative, misinformed, and misanthropic policies of our illustrious County Council over the past six years, which have made life on Lummi Island unsustainable for those with young families, those who commute to the mainland for work, and those who have always had to scramble to meet  various economic challenges to continue to live here, the present success enjoyed by the Willows has given some 40 people work and income, and that is a wonderful thing for which we are all grateful.

“Cuters and Cuters”    “Cuters and Cuters”   “Cuters and Cuters” 

We have known for some time now (years!) that our little space has amazing acoustics. This becomes clear to everyone present when the ninth or tenth person enters the space and attempts to engage in conversation. Somewhere around that number (we have commented on this before) the noise level jumps discontinuously some quantum level. It is really quite puzzling, much like the phenomenon of traffic jams, in which you crawl along for miles at a snail’s pace until, for no apparent reason, you emerge into a clear zone and the traffic resumes normal speed. HUH? WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT? So we have actually been exploring various anti-acoustic panels we might install on the ceiling to muffle the sound.

Given all that about sound, a fairly major and eye opening ( more like “ear-opening) Major (perhaps “minor…?) event of the day was the delightful discovery that there is an Upside to the acoustic sensitivity of our little space. This came about because a charming young couple from the mainland spent much of the afternoon with us before the conversation turned to the fact that they played music, and had their instruments with them, and would we be interested in having them play at the shop sometime? Well,sure, good idea, how about Right Now??!! So they did! They are Kelly and Timothy, aka “Cuters and Cuters” (their current stage name); she plays mandolin, he guitar, and sometimes there is a cellist, and they sing.  Their rhythms remind me of Fado, but they didn’t know about it. All you need to know is that they sat by the stairs to play, and they sounded GREAT! They have promised to return, and we heartily look forward to it!




In the meantime, we would like to open up the idea to our regulars and visitors that we welcome visits from acoustic musicians on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. We can’t pay you, but you can have a free tasting, pass a hat, hawk CD’s, and schmooze with the faithful. How about it? Play for 30 minutes, get a free wine tasting. (Best to call in advance: 758.2959)

Political Rant      Political Rant       Political Rant
Finally, I am afraid I cannot let this week pass without acknowledging the surreal political scene unfolding around us daily, mostly from the lunatics vying for the Republican Presidential nomination, but more importantly, from the fact that these Bozos have any traction at all in a supposedly sane world. (In these troubling times of course it is only natural to turn to Wine for the solace and comfort we all long for…!)

Anyway, this week, in which many events competed for our “R U Kidding Me” award, one event stood out which is, I must say, unprecedented in my lifetime (and I am an Old Guy) as a departure from collective norms. That is the astonishingly hateful and slanderous attack by right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh on a young (read “powerless”) female law student because she testified before Congress in favor of coverage for birth control in national health insurance plans. The thing that takes my breath away is that Limbaugh’s comments are so slanderous and hateful, yet somehow under today’s rules he can say these things without fear of legal action. And while it is somewhat reassuring that some 45 companies that have sponsored Limbaugh for years have pulled their ads, it is clear that both their decisions to sponsor him and their decisions to drop him were purely financial. If, as Mitt Romney claims, “Corporations are People, my friend,” we can be sure that they are not fettered by the inconvenience of mere conscience…and that is not very comforting….

Okay, moving on…

This week’s wines: I didn’t realize it when I picked these, but they are all about Big Flavor, an antidote for the SNOW and freezing temperatures this week!

Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino 2010   Italy    WA89pts    $13
It’s back! A gorgeous white wine, with hints of papaya, passion fruit, flowers and light honey woven together in a fabric of notable elegance, followed by clean mineral notes that frame the finish beautifully– a totally convincing, harmonious white to supplement nearly any dish.

Emilio Moro Resalso ’07 Spain $13
nice density to the berry, floral and vanilla notes in this lively red. Medium-bodied, with light tannins and enough acidity to balance the sweet oak.

Piatelli Malbec  ’09   Argentina      $15
Complex nose of exotic spices, floral notes, and assorted black fruits; impeccable balance; a generous and inviting malbec, well made and a solid value.

Ojai Santa Barbara Syrah 05 California $24
Juicy, up-front style; delicious cassis and cherry fruit interwoven with licorice, camphor, and pepper

Wine Tasting

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