Lummi Island Wine Tasting May 7 ’10

LOTS of announcements today!

#1. Okay we finally had dinner at the Willows last night, our first experience with Maestro Blaine, and we sat in the “library,” which used to be the office, and which is separated from the kitchen by a pair of French doors. So you can see what’s going on in the kitchen, and it is a lot of nonstop action. There are about six guys running around in there kinda like old silent Keystone Cops movies where everyone is moving too fast. Blaine is putting finishing touches on plates, someone is warming plates at the threshold of the flaming oven, and several others are running around at high speed, perhaps just for choreographic expression. There is a LOT going on!

All YOU need to know is that, yes, each morsel is a work of art, the flavors a revelation. And of course we took a couple of bottles with us that worked very well indeed; the Turley White Coat blend of Marsanne, Viognier, and Rousanne carried loads of intense tropical fruit/honeysuckle aromas, golden delicious apples, and a hint of nuts, with a full-bodied and viscous texture, and paired  beautifully with the buttery aioli (“to die for!) on wild veggies and flowers served on heartbreakingly fragile and delicious bits of something bready-toasty, and with little bits of slightly smoked salmon (still smoking in a little cedar box!), prawns, razor clams, AND oysters–all separately presented, of course, like the distinct works of art they were.

Somewhere in the parade we slid into the beautiful Winderlea pinot noir we brought back from Oregon last week, and it was so delicious I might have imagined how well it went with the halibut dish or the amazing horseradish ice shavings, even the dessert. Bottom line?…the meal was a work of art from start to finish, and I was very pleased with the wines we brought. It is of course ideal when the wine you take to a meal is perfect; but with a complex, multi-course pageant such as Blaine presents, no one wine is going to cover all the bases, and it is a lucky thing if you can catch at least some of the pairings well. And I think we did! Make your reservations now, folks, cuz the prices are still really low for what you get, and that can’t last!

#2. The next thing you need to know is that beginning May 22, we will be collaborating with our new Best Friend (see recent posts) Ryan Wildstar, who will present a series of four wine-tasting classes every other week beginning Sunday afternoon, May 22, from 2-4. The first workshop will be:

Introduction to Wine: The Five S’s of Wine Tasting
Sunday, May 22nd, 2-4pm $20

We will discuss the principles of wine history and culture with a focus on the basic principles of wine tasting and analysis. An introduction to wine terminology, wine-pairing, and how to buy great inexpensive wine based on reading the label and knowing the region. Enjoyed with: 1 Sparkling Wine, 2 White Wines, 3 Red Wines. Paired with Artisan Cheeses and Charcuterie.

#3. Finally, we have a new show for your viewing pleasure until Memorial Day weekend. Our friend and neighbor Mary Beth Watkins has traveled to France numerous times in the last several years, visiting lots of towns and villages and tasting lots of regional cuisine and wines. She has also taken a lot of really interesting photos. Her show includes photos of many of the magnificent doors one sees in French (and Italian) villages. These are not just portals in and out of your house or apartment; they are aesthetic statements of their own, each one unique. Don’t miss it!

oo-ooga  oo-ooga, clear the bridge, all hands brace for Dive…

Well, that was close but we made it!

Yep, a great glass of wine is the perfect accompaniment to a Narrow Escape…whew!

This week’s wines:

Lost River Pinot Gris ’09 Washington $13
Another charmer from our friends in Winthrop…Enticing aromas of citrus, pear and tropical fruits with a bit of residual sugar balanced by crisp acidity.

Four Graces WV pinot noir ’08    Oregon     $22
Reminiscent of blackberries, luscious damson, warm red roses, and wild mushrooms, the 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is vibrant and delicious in its youth yet has the soft, focused tannins to suggest ageing with grace.

Tarima monastrell 09    Spain       $10
100% Monastrell sourced from 25-35 year old vines and raised in stainless steel with lees stirring. Medium crimson-colored, the nose reveals fragrant blueberries and underbrush. Firm on the palate with plenty of savory fruit.

Pend d’Oreille Bistro Rouge 07 Washington $13
Very aromatic blackberries and a chocolate note on the nose. Blackberry, blackcurrant, and blueberry flavors fill the palate and continue through a longish dry finish that includes modest oak and a cinnamon highlight.

Wine Tasting

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