lummi island wine tasting march 11, ’16

(note: some photos may enlarge when clicked)

Sunday Concert Series March 20!

From time to time over the years conversation reveals that a wine shop visitor is a musician, who happens to have instruments in the car, and who can be persuaded to play for whoever is present. Through this process we have learned that the shop has very nice acoustic qualities. Indeed, as many of you know, the acoustic qualities are so good that once there are more than a dozen people in the shop talking at once the noise level makes conversation difficult. And we have a standing offer to musicians: play a twenty-minute set, and your wine tasting is on us!

A year or two ago in this fashion we met singer-songwriter Robert Sarazin Blake, who not only played some of his songs for us; he also was persuaded to restring my old guitar, which I still haven’t played in many years, even with new strings calling softly, “come on, no commitments, just hold me for a little while…!”

Robert has visited several times since then, and recently offered to do a little concert in the wine shop. He has just returned from several gigs in Europe, and will be performing at the wine shop on Sunday, March 20 from 5-7 pm. Suggested donation is $15 per person plus regular wine tasting fee. Since as you know space is very limited, reservations are required…call or email if you would like to attend.  While it may be premature to call this a “Series,” we are excited about the idea and look forward to more concerts in the future.

Listen to some of Robert’s songs here.


Friday Breads  (email us to get on the preorder mailing list! )

dscn1364 (Modified)Flax seed & Currant Ciabatta This rustic bread is made with bread flour and a mix of freshly milled whole wheat and whole rye. Part of the flour is fermented overnight in a poolish before making the dough the next day. Then a healthy amount of flax seeds and currants are added which make for some great flavor. This type of bread is known as high hydration as there is a lot of water in it which makes for a very slack dough that cannot really be shaped, so it is simply cut into pieces. Each piece is about the same size – $5/piece.

Poolish Ale Bread- Ferments a portion of the flour overnight using ale in the pre-ferment before mixing with bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat. It makes a great all around bread – $5/loaf.

And, for a bit of sweetness…

Bear Claws!  These delightful pastries made their debut in January to rave reviews. They are made with a modified danish pastry dough that is full of butter, eggs, and cream, then rolled out and filled with almond paste and topped with a delicious honey glaze- because what else would bears want on their claws! 2/$5.


Showdown at the Neoliberal Corral

The first thing you need to know about “neo-liberal” is that it is the philosophy of Adam Smith, Ronald Reagan, and most politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. It is the supposed Rationale behind the idea that laissez-faire economic policy will, like an Invisible Hand, optimally guide the allocation of resources and the distribution of benefits and costs. “Optimally” here means, technically speaking, “better than any alternative allocation of resources which has been distorted by interfering public policy.”

Sounds impressive, huh? As it turns out, this idea has been the subject of two centuries of economic and philosophical discussion. The upshot of that discussion is that, yes, under a very restrictive set of assumptions about perfect information, perfect markets, perfect initial conditions, and so on, a price system acts as a signalling device about allocation of resources to their highest valued goods and services, and as a rationing device to put those goods and services in the hands of those who most value them.

Unfortunately, there is a Very Long List of reasons (28 at last count) why real markets aren’t anything like theoretical markets, why real people aren’t anything like theoretical consumers or producers, and why government, which makes all the rules, is at root a set of political institutions that is used by the Powerful to influence economic outcomes in their favor.

Fast forward to the current Presidential Campaign Season, and we see that All the Republican candidates espouse this Neoliberal philosophy, arguing endlessly over who is more like Ronald Reagan. But the Truth is that, although we didn’t realize it at the time, Bill Clinton was also a Neoliberal, who led us down the path of Welfare Reform, Nafta, WTO, repeal of Glass-Steagall, and so on. The “W” administration doubled down on Neoliberalism with Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, and the Obama administration has doubled down on Neoliberalism with a long list of pro-Wall Street policies.

I think what is evoking this Rant at the moment is that the Great Field of Not-so-Presidential Candidates are (almost) All drinking the Kool-Aid of Neoliberalism, despite the fact that it is destroying the American Middle Class, American Democracy, the European Union, the Middle East, the Global Climate, and possibly even All Life on Earth..!?


This week’s wine tasting

Treana White ’13    Washington     $16
Assertive aromas of poached pear, peach, honey, chamomile and vanilla. Fleshy and broad with deep orchard and pit fruit flavors braced by zesty acidity and a gingery nuance.

Alta Vins Tinto Joven ‘13   Spain  $11
60% Garnacha, 30% Syrah, 10% Carinena; Brilliant garnet color; bright and fresh with notes of red currant, balsamic, and rose water.

Bocelli Sangiovese Italy $14
Bright,, lush, and appealing; deliciously ripe and smoky, with notes of marasca cherry, granite, and rhubarb compote. Finish is long and dry, with admirable acidity that makes the palate taut and pleasing

Les Pious Cotes de Rhone Grenache ’11    France    $14
Smooth and rich, with notes of plum and caraway; grown biodynamically and aged in cement tanks…nice!

Lost River Massif ’12    Washington    $27
80% Malbec, 20% Cab Sauv; a big, dark red wine with dense but supple tannins, a deep mid-palate of blackberry flavors, and a long, satisfying finish.


Wine Tasting

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