Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 8/9, ’13

A Brick for Every Friend!

We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the ever-creative Island Library fundraising effort was exploring the possibility of selling engraved bricks for a “donor wall” in the new reading garden behind the fiction room. Well, folks, that plan is now a Reality!! Sometime in the next few days the FOIL website will have an online order form which you can use to place your orders, including  your preference for up to three lines (up to 20 characters each line) for each brick. Alternatively, for those who just can’t wait, Pat has printed out order forms that are available immediately at the Library and here at the Wine Shop. The present goal is to sell 150 bricks ($50 apiece) for the construction fund. After that, there will be a continuing opportunity to purchase additional bricks in the future; they are a great way to help the Library, while at the same time immortalizing yourself, a family member, a pet, your business, or a poetic phrase…! (Let’s see…how about something like “I’D RATHER BE SMASHING IMPERIALISM”..!)


Just Dessert: Giovanna Madonia Chimera ’03

We poured this wine for you a couple of weeks ago. It was so delicious we sold out very quickly, but I was fortunate enough to find another case! It is 100% Albana harvested in extremely small batches, allowing the “botrytis” or “noble rot” to optimally develop on the berries. After a soft press it is fermented and matured in new French barriques for a period for 12 to 24 months, depending on the vintage. Following a micro-filtration, it is bottled, and rests for at least 1 year before release. This wine originally sold for over $30, and we have it now for $16!

Golden with copper hues; slightly viscous; intense aromatic qualities of honey, baking spice, raisins, apricot preserve and wild flowers. On the palate it offers balanced sweetness with good acidity and a dense yet extremely elegant mouth-feel, with endless aromatic qualities that keep coming back.  Read more about the winery  click on ‘about this winery’ in box at bottom of page

(And is this a great label, or what??!!)


Online Store Update
Okay, okay, progress is SLOW! However, I am delighted to report that there is in fact some progress to report! Last week I said I was exploring Zen Cart, which I had spent a fair amount of time exploring as far back as 2007. This week has had its share of frustrating slogging, but some hard-won progress has been made, to the point that the decision has been made to commit to the Zen Cart platform (yay, we hope!) and abandon WordPress E-Commerce (i.e., the “plugin” store to this blog) and seek our fortune in the strange world of Open Source software.

geeksFor those of you who don’t know, there is an entire world of alternatives to Microsoft and Apple and Google out there. One of our home computers runs on Ubuntu, a free Linux-bases operating system, and runs free open-source Office applications from that are in one sense like older versions of Word or Excel, except that in many ways they are better, simpler, and more reliable. One downside is that such a small percentage of home computers use Linux that big outfits like Netflix don’t bother to accommodate it. One upside is that a LOT of those users are Serious Geeks, who collaborate over time to keep improving the programs, and in the long run the quality of their products is quite likely to exceed the commercially oriented, planned obsolescence of the mainstream.

I say all this as a kind of mantra…oh, please, let it be so!...but honestly, at the moment I am still way over my head with all of this. When trapped in heavy surf, of course I get a little excited whenever I hit enough of a trough that my feet actually touch bottom for a moment, and I can take a nice big breath! (uh-oh, here comes another wave!!)  So okay, there are still lots of problems to solve. But in this exploration I have gotten more clear that our primary goal is to make our site work better primarily for our “regulars,” to whom we will now be referring as “Members!”  So we’re thinking about adding sections for my recommendations, Ryan’s recommendations, member recommendations….stay tuned!   click:  Our store at the moment…

Wine Club Launched, No Turning Back!

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Last weekend was very much a milestone for us (and you), in that it was the debut of the $10 tasting. I confess it felt very strange, not sure why. But visitors who didn’t know that we had only been charging $5 for the last eight years just took it completely in stride, which makes us think “why did we wait so long?” One problem may be that we have been confused for a long time about whether this is a business, a club, or just entertaining friends. Of those, the “club” idea rings most true. It will take a few more weeks to iron out the many wrinkles (especially record-keeping!), but we are happy with the new club structure (see previous several posts), and hope you are, too.

Your Perk for this week: the above-mentioned Giovanna Madonia Chimera is reserved For Members Only!


This Week’s Tasting

We have some old and new favorites this weekend. We have a few bottles of the very popular Casterot Blanc from last summer, and the new vintage of the Hahn California pinot noir is possibly the best (and biggest!) ever. We had a bottle at Ciao Thyme recently and ordered a case for the shop the next day! The Buglioni valpolicella is a new wine for us, very smooth, very Italian, very food-worthy. We tend to like just about all the carmeneres we have tasted, and this one from Concha y Toro is a consistent classic, a lot of wine for the price. Finally, the Convento Las Claras is probably my current favorite of our many terrific Spanish offerings. My first impulse on tasting it was to hide it away because it was really good and quite limited in supply. We did manage to get several more cases in the last few weeks, however (we poured it a month or so ago), so are offering it again. This is a Really nice wine that is way underpriced at $18!

Casterot Gascogne Blanc ’10 France $10
Colombard and Ugni Blanc; Light, bright, crisp, and minerally, just the thing for Spring!

Hahn Pinot Noir ’11 California $12
Lovely aroma of ripe dark berries, lavender, baking spice and a little smoke. Smooth on the palate of black cherry and dark berries over a layer of spice and a little black pepper.

Buglioni Valpolicella Classico ’10 Italy $12
Refined, feminine personality. Sweet red berries, flowers and spices linger on the high-toned, refreshing finish.

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenère ’11   Chile    WS88pts     $11
Aromas of spice box, plum, blueberry, and lavender followed by a palate of chocolate, coffee, and spice.

Bodegas Convento Las Claras ’11 Spain 93 pts $18
100% tempranillo from vineyards dating back to 1900; dense ruby/purple color accompanied by abundant notes of pencil shavings, white chocolate, espresso roast and creme de cassis. This modern-styled Spanish, super-rich, intense red takes ripeness to the limit without sacrificing Old World nuances. Absolutely delicious!

Wine Tasting

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