lummi island wine tasting may 8 ’20

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Bread Friday, Covid Rules

Although Social Distancing remains in place to limit the spread of Covid-19, those on the Friday Bread mailing list will continue to receive a Sunday email from Janice with details about the week’s bread menu. And to maintain Social Distancing protocols, for the time being Friday bread pickups will be between 4-5-ish pm at the North exit of the ferry overflow parking lot across from the ferry dock.

It has become something of an impromptu Covid Tailgate party, with people setting up lawn chairs and wine glasses to hang out for awhile. So…depending on your Social Distancing parameters, you might want to just drive in, pick up, and drive out, or make camp, set up, and Party. At a safe distance, or course…!

Btw, this photo was taken a few years ago about this time of year at a friend’s 80th birthday party held at Curry Preserve. We brought raw materials and were instructed on how to make a punch bowl of May wine, a blend of bubbly and riesling steeped with newly picked sweet woodruff  Today here on Lummi Island has felt very much like that particular day — cool air, warming sun, deep blue Spring sky, and colors to make an Impressionist Weep. Absolutely lovely!


Redefining Our Mission

When we started this venture back in Oh-Five we had No Intention of being shopkeepers in a Wine Store. From the beginning our curiosity was in having a tasting room where we could explore the world of wine. Yes, there had to be wine sales to keep it all going, but the Tasting was the Thing, and it  has been deeply engaging for us and the many people who have hung out with us for a few hours schmoozing with friends over a little vino.

The present Global Pandemic has put that model on a back burner for as long as it takes to make it safe for all of us to be crowded into a small space again. Could be many months. So for the time being our “business” will have to be wine sales only, hopefully with at least a few minutes of appropriately distanced conversation and maybe a taste of a new wine.

From time to time over the years we have explored adding an online store to the operation, even had a couple of versions up and running briefly. A lot of those files are still in the website somewhere so we have begun the process of re-exploring it all to find the easiest way to take orders online and arrange with you for pickup. Our first steps will be to develop the Order Wine and Contact Us links at the top of this page to provide you with information on wines in stock and some options for pick-up. We will keep you posted on our progress!

Until we get that sorted out, we have been doing just fine with ordinary Wine Emergency emails or phone calls. Even now you can click on the ORDER WINE link at the top of this page for a partial list of current offerings with tasting notes.  And while there is not yet an online order form, you can; 1) send us an email using the CONTACT US link atop this page (coming soon!) ; or phone us (number next to logo above right); or (we are working on this) use the online order form when it becomes available.


Wine Notes

Periodically our friend and wine distributor Judy drops by the shop with her sample bag (it holds a whole case, has wheels, maybe even its own cooling system, who knows?) which we taste through and discuss. Often she has a Special Deal on buying X cases from a selection of wines being promoted for a particular mega-producer. We should say at this point that over the last decade or two hundreds of established family wineries in California have been bought from aging owner-winemakers by corporate conglomerates, who then own the land, the vineyards, and the Names of the established wineries and wines. That’s a whole topic in itself which we will leave aside for another time.

The point for today is that we just bought (from Judy) a bunch of wine from a conglomerate that evolved from a long-established Napa winery, Caymus, famous for its cabernet sauvignon almost from its first vintage in 1972. The founder, Charles Wagner, died in 2002, and the winery passed on to sons. Properties and labels were bought and sold, and an array of new wines were created. As we like to point out, a key difference between Old World and New World wines is that in Europe there is no distinction between a wine and the particular piece of land it comes from. There are Rules established so that Place is Sacred; every wine tells the story of a particular varietal from a particular vineyard in a particular year. The story changes from year to year, but there is a consistent underlying theme and identity. So when you taste an Old World wine, you are tasting a particular footprint of the land and fingerprint of the winemaker.

Not so in the New World. This group of wines we just brought in from Judy are very much New World style. Modern winemaking technology allows juice from any place to be engineered and blended with juice from other places to taste like juice from somewhere altogether different or even imaginary. Or, what is the same thing in the New World, grapes are raw materials that can be engineered in countless directions. The Takeaway is technology is to some degree a substitute for terroir; or, to put it another way, unless designated vineyard-specific, a New World wine aims for predictable outcomes every season, while Old World wines aim for the best outcome available within the constraint of a particular piece of geography in a particular season. They have different things to offer, and they can both knock your socks off. While some of us admit a bit of snobbery about terroir-driven wines, we all like it when a wine knocks our socks off.

Well that got longer than I intended! Anyway, here are some of these wines from the Wagner conglomerate that we have in stock. They are reasonably priced for their quality, engineered for enjoyment, and definitely Not Plonk!

Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay ’17       California     $25
All the things you hate that you love about rich Chardonnays: Fresh, bright notes of white peach with vibrant acidity balanced by lush flavors and texture of ripe apple.

Conundrum Red ’17     California      $22
Petite Sirah, Zin, and Cab; rich, complex and seductive, with round notes of cherries and baking chocolate, fine tannins, and a silky smoothness.

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon ’17    California      $22
Aromas of blueberries and blackberries ride on silky-smooth tannins; mouthwatering, lengthy finish trails off with hints of unsweetened chocolate and cassis.


Mar a Lago Update: Tweetster’s Last Stand

The Chaos we are all feeling at such a deep emotional level seems only made Bearable by the Magic of the Spring unfolding around us (see above!). Nevertheless anyone paying attention should be deeply worried that the breathtaking hubris and incompetence of the Fake President and his Unconfirmed Cabinet of Incompetents who have, like the Famous Chickens, Come Home to Roost. Tens of thousands of our fellow citizens have died needlessly from this  sheer Incompetence, and thousands more are certain to die before he can be voted out of the Office he is so gravely unfit to occupy.

None of this is a Surprise. The past three and a half years have been a steep downhill slide for our country’s position on the World stage. There is no international or domestic problem that he has not made Worse, no alliance he has not frayed, no balance of power that he has not tipped to our disfavor.

What we see before us in this Crossroads Election Year is a formidable power structure poised to take complete control of our country under rigid authoritarian rules. As we have suggested many times before, the Default political organization for human beings is Feudalism, where a small group of dominant males enslave or subjugate every source of resistance to their authoritarian power. They control all production and distribution, make all the laws, and wield Authority over every aspect of their subjects’ lives. Nowadays we call it “Populism.” On the one hand it sounds like “popular,” as if everyone really wants it.

But in reality Populism, by abandoning the cautions of History, becomes the codependent sidekick of Tyranny by failing to question its rise, by failing to stop its dismantling of checks and balances, and by failing to support and strengthen the Institutions which provide checks and balances against tyranny. In his recent short but powerfully focused book On Tyranny, historian Timothy Snyder has built a compelling case that our country and much of the World are experiencing a resurgence of Authoritarianism. Using examples from Nazi Germany and other historical regimes, he makes a strong case that our Acting President and the Republican Party at all levels across the country are moving toward one-party control of Congress, the White House, and the Courts, aimed at the creation of a Corporate State that serves an emerging, highly concentrated Feudal Capitalism that is above any level of government.

There’s a lot on the Political Plate right now.








Wine Tasting

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