lummi island wine tasting march 7 ’15

No Bread Friday this week

no bread todayThat’s right, folks, your Friday bread baker (Janice) is also in her tenth year or so as Chef of the Annual Lummi Island Heritage Trust Annual Fundraising Dinner this Saturday night. The good news is that the dinners get better every year…the bad news is that she will not have time to make bread this week, so sorry, NO BREAD FOR SALE THIS FRIDAY at the wine shop– but she WILL bring a loaf of fresh Rye Bread for all to share at the Friday wine tasting!

Regular Bread Friday will return in two weeks, on March 21.


Heritage Trust Annual Dinner…and Dueling Desserts!

dscn1111 (Modified)For the last few years the LIHT dinner has featured a display of fabulous desserts contributed by Island bakers and confectioners. Before dinner everyone gets a chance to gawk at these mouth-watering tempations. Then as the the dinner nears a close, each table gets to bid for its choice of dessert. Highest bidding table gets first choice, and so on. It’s great fun, and for a good cause. This year Pat has made her Signature Truffles as one of the desserts. Flavors include Caramel Fleur du Sel (dark chocolate ganache), and Gentle Ginger (milk chocolote ganache), both of course enrobed in gorgeous Valrhona Dark Chocolate. There’s a big platter for the winning table to savor on the spot, and a box for each guest at the table to take home.

No doubt there will be lots of other lovely desserts to choose from; but if you are a chocolate lover, Pat’s Famous Artisan Wine Gallery Truffles should definitely be on your Short List!


Signs of Spring

dscn1107 (Modified)Not too many years ago, daffodils used to bloom sometime in late March. This photo was taken out front over a week ago, in late February. Cherry blossoms and forsythia are also in bloom. It’s not just an early Spring; it’s not even clear that Winter actually happened. Mt. Baker reports the lowest February snowfall ever at 16″ for the month, with a total snowpack (an estimate of how much water is stored in the snow and available as potential runoff) about 20% of normal through much of the Cascades.

So yes, there are long-term worries about climate change, but this past week of brisk, sunny mornings that spread out into bright afternoons with warm sun on the shoulder has been quite delightful.

Oh, and by the way, rumor has it that this weekend we set our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time…now THAT is a Sign of Spring!



All Betz are off! 

Any business-oriented observers who paid any attention to our wine shop operations over the last ten years (certainly not us!) would have found much to scratch their heads about. Fairly early in the game most people would have figured out what sells and what doesn’t, and stopped carrying the things that don’t sell. However, over the years we have consistently failed to accept that very sound and conventional reasoning. Among our most flagrant examples of this perversity is our long-term attachment to buying wines from Betz Family Vineyards in Woodinville.

As we have mentioned in this blog before, Bob Betz consistently makes wines of great concentration and character. Each year he releases five wines for the retail trade, each modelled after a French regional wine style:

The wines are all terrific, and regularly earn high ratings from critics. However, they are typically priced in the $35- $65 market, out of the comfort range for most of our members and visitors. As a result, we have accumulated a LOT of these wines over the years, and it’s time to begin a concerted effort to find new homes for all these beauties. Over the next few weeks we will be pouring at least one of these library wines at each tasting, and offering compelling incentives for you to take some home. As always, of course, the more you spend, the more you will be able to save!

We will also be posting more details here on the blog in the next few days about how you can capitalize on our flagrant overstocking of these wines. Stay tuned!

This week’s tasting

Schoenheitz Vin D’Alsace Riesling ’13    France-Alsace   $15
Bright straw yellow with green reflections. Expressive nose bloomed nicely with lemon and a hint of minerality. A pretty generous fruit supported by fine acidity and elegant with a fresh and invigorating lemony finish.

Comoloco Monastrell ’11       Spain     $9
Powerful aromas of blackberry, blueberry, licorice and pungent herbs. Juicy, firm and focused, with a faintly herbaceous touch to its bitter cherry, dark berry and anise flavors. Finishes with gentle tannic grip and good length, leaving a note of cracked pepper behind.

Napa Cellars Merlot ’11   California   $14
Aromas of toasty baking spices, vanilla, malt and fresh, ripe plums alongside alluring flavors of warm berry compote, juicy blueberry, blackberry, cherry, and a hint of dark chocolate and toffee.

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico ’08 Italy $14
Spicy redcurrant, strawberry and herbs on the nose, with tobacco and smoke nuances emerging with air. Pliant red berry and succulent herb flavors show an appealing sweetness, buffered by fresh minerality.

Betz Clos de Betz ’09    Washington   92pts   $48**
65% merlot, 29% cab sauv, 6% petit verdot. Good bright red-ruby. Aromas of cassis, licorice, and aromatic oak. Broad, sweet and tactile on entry, with a plump, expressive midpalate that spreads generously across the tongue, offering notes of cherry, cassis, licorice and pepper. Finishes with very suave, fine-grained tannins structured for cellaring.

Wine Tasting

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