Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 2 ’14

Harbingers of Spring

snow_daffodils2Around here we all know that Spring “begins to begin” on Groundhog Day (Feb 2), which heralds a parade of early Spring signs, including pussy willows, Indian plum, and daffodils. The pussy willows were right on schedule a few weeks ago; the Indian plum tendrils are a good inch long, and the relentless daffodils are already 6-8″ tall. It is deeply reassuring that these Spring harbingers have maintained their relentless harbinging right through a foot of snow (our first this year!) from a vagabond snowstorm that dropped in for a couple of days last week.

 clicking on some photos will yield more detailed images

A touch of Winter

dscn0449First, it snowed. Then it snowed some more. At our place it came to about 9 inches, not bad for the only snow this winter. The wind was so light the snow just piled up wherever it fell– roofs, railings, and of course trees. While we were taking the “road” picture below, it was still snowing, and every ten minutes or so there was a loud “CRAAAACK” as tree branches, limbs, or even whole trees gave in the the weight of the snow. As we would say in Maine, Yessuh, by Gawd, gonna be lotsa fiahwood foh next yeeah. 

dscn0447 snow family








After the snow, glorious sun shining on snow, overwhelming our squinty Northwest mole-eyes. All in all, a bit of an adventure, lightened to casual nuisance by its occurrence amidst the unmistakable signs of Spring all around. After all, the pussy willows, the Indian plum, and the daffodils know what’s going on, and they’re certain that “Spring comes, the grass grows by itself.” Or at least it used to…will it always…?


Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, the Betting is now Closed…

There is a great deal more to Climate Change than ‘Global Warming.” The Deniers look at a Cold Day and Guffaw and Spit through their teeth and exclaim, “You Greenhorn! Why, you thick-skulled, hare-brained, half-witted, Greenhorn! (click for clip, sometimes it works) So it is important to note that “Climate Change” is the more inclusive term, the global-climate-equivalent of “I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more, Toto…” The Big Deal is not that the Planet is getting warmer. The Big Deal is that we are pushing the Planet out of Our equilibrium. But from the Planet’s perspective, it is Always in Equilibrium, and it is not concerned in the slightest with whether this or that species survives. On the contrary, it is up to each species to take its Best Shot, and just because it is our turn at the Plate doesn’t mean we have a Future.

Anyway, musing on our recent unseasonable snowstorm, along with the bizarre weather around the world this winter, I confess to an uneasy feeling that we may have abused our Mother Planet a bit too much. And planets are complicated Beings that take a Very Long View. “Oh yes,” She says, “those humans were SO promising at the beginning, especially that Darwin fellow, he was such a Dear…but yes, they have been quite a  big Disappointment after all…”

About ten years ago there was a brief news clip about a Pentagon study that had looked at some unlikely but possible climatic change scenarios involving the Strategic Implcations of….wait for it...a Sudden Ice Age! So our “out of the envelope global weather this year” seems an appropriate cue for digging into the Archives to revisit that analysis. In the words of inspiring eco-spokesman David Suzuki when asked by a Bellingham audience member whether we should be concerned about Global Warming (please think “Climate Change”), said, “You should be shi%$ng your pants!” Although this article is somewhat heavy going (“scholarly”), it raises some interesting questions that are very much worth revisiting. Every day it becomes more and more clear that our political leaders are are unwilling or unable to deal with problems of this magnitude. In short either we have to change how we select our political leaders, or our species will likely perish, and probably sooner rather than later.   link


This Week’s Tasting

Leonildo Pieropan Soave ’12 Italy  $15
Well-balanced, lively, and tangy, with distinct minerality and appealing flavors of cantaloupe, pear, blood orange and ginger.

Atalaya Laya  ’12        Spain           $10
70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell; superb bouquet of dark cherries, blackberry and incense, with layered palate of succulent black fruit ; supremely well-crafted for this price range.

Rio Madre Rioja ’11 Spain 90pts $10
Inky ruby. Spice-accented notes of black currant and cherry cola, dark chocolate and licorice. Concentrated and powerful on the palate, with a spicy note building with air.

Maryhill Zinfandel ’09    Washington     
Full-bodied, with smokey aromas of dark ripe plum and candied citrus, with a hefty palate of black currant and leathery dried plum.

Palama Metiusco ’12 Italy $23
50% Negroamaro, 25% Malvasia and Primitivo; fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the essence of southern Italy’s terroir— medium-bodied, earthy and complex, with a velvety finish of black cherries, raisins and plums.


Wine Tasting

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