lummi island wine tasting nov 17 ’17

 (note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Something a bit different this week to help everyone get ready for Thanksgiving—a selection of dinner rolls, 6 rolls per order, 2 each of three different kinds. Pick them up on Friday, throw in the freezer, straight into the oven frozen just before dinner and have delicious fresh rolls for Thanksgiving without the work!!!

Septieme Rolls – Made with mostly bread flour and a bit of fresh milled whole wheat, mixed and fermented overnight in the refrigerator results in crusty roll on the outside with a soft, fragrant crumb on the inside.

Petite Polenta Boules – Made with bread flour, polenta, milk and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness, then loaded up with pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch.

Cranberry Walnut Rolls – Made with bread flour, milk, brown sugar and eggs. Then loaded up with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

Two rolls of each flavor per order for $5; all orders come with 2 each of the three flavors.


Thanksgiving Week Schedule

History has shown that Islanders have Plans for Thanksgiving Week that do not involve coming to their neighborhood wine shop. And we are among them, off to Oregon for a family dinner, while Janice our dutiful Baker will be cooking dinner at home for a Crowd. Therefore, please note that the wine shop will closed both Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving weekend. We will reopen the following weekend, December 1-2 (OMD! December?…already??!) for our regular hours. We wish all of you a safe, warm, and congenial Holiday, and look forward to seeing you in two weeks!




Madeira wine has been around for a long time. It was poured at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, was so widely available that it often perfumed ladies’ handkerchiefs, and was known as the “Milk of the Old” for its restorative properties. It comes from the island of the same name in the mid-Atlantic, a shipping crossroads in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since ocean voyages of the day were often very long, it was not uncommon for wines to spoil from heating and oxidation. Madeira, it turns out, thrived on changes in temperature, developing appealing nuances of flavor when heated and showed no change in flavor with oxidation.

Thus Madeira became the only wine that is deliberately heated in the making, to simulate the effects of the long sailing voyages to the East. After fermentation the wines are fortified to 17-20% alcohol content, stored in “estufas” heated to 45 degrees C for at least 3 months, then cooled slowly to rest for several years. Bottom line: it travels well, stores well, and can stay fresh for years even after opening!

Madeira is made from various combinations of six local grape varietals, chiefly Tinta Negra Mole, a cross of pinot noir and grenache. Depending on the grapes used, it is classified into four levels of sweetness: Dry (Seco), Medium Dry (Meio Seco), Medium Sweet (Meio Doce) and Sweet (Doce). These terms refer to both the levels of residual sugar (which varies according to varietal), and also to other nuances of flavor, acidity, and balance. As a result, the sweetness designation does not necessarily predict one’s experience of “sweetness” of any particular bottle. Sweet or dry, it is a comfort on long, dark evenings. This weekend we are pouring a 5-year Reserva Madeira, a nice finish for your Holiday dinner.


Mar a Lago Update: Lost in Translation

The First Thing to go was Civility. That became clear very soon after the ’92 election, when Rush Limbaugh began his daily mean-spirited rantings about “dope-smoking” President-elect Bill Clinton and wife “Queen Hillary.” It was hateful and slanderous, and it broke all the Rules about Civil Dialogue. That was twenty-five years ago, and it has only gotten Worse.  Now we live in a deeply polarized Society with a Congress that is Unwilling or Unable to negotiate across party lines on Anything. And to a large degree ordinary citizens have also become barricaded in the Prisons of our own Beliefs, and most “News” has been replaced by Commentary and Interpretation.

The Surprising Polarities that emerged right here on Lummi Island over the past several months regarding a pretty inconsequential proposal to establish a bit of local Autonomy by forming a Parks & Recreation District demonstrate the challenges of community dialogue anywhere these days. The standing joke defines our Island as an Argument Surrounded by Water.” And that’s just in our one tiny community with (as far as we know) No Russian Social Media Intervention. The Takeaway seems to be that every community may have developed its very own Blend of Distrust and Fear that Someone wants to Take our Stuff, Invade our Privacy, or in any number of ways Thumb their Noses at the Values we hold Dear.

We have all developed the habit of Translating What Someone Says into What We Think We Heard Them Say. There is an ongoing process of Translation in any conversation which is deeply affected by our Fears and Expectations, making many conversations into adjoining monologues rather than Dialogue. As Richard Nixon once said, “I know you think you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is exactly what I meant.” To this day No One has Any Idea what that meant. Like more and more of our Political Discussions, Much is irretrievably Lost in Translation.


This week’s wine tasting

Kiona Red Mountain Riesling ’16
From 40-yr old vines on Red Mountain, off-dry style with well-developed bright fruit, pronounced minerality, and crisp acidity.

Sanguineti Cannonau de Sardegna    ’15     Italy      $12
This cannonau– a Sardinian varietal known elsewhere as grenache– offers dry and dusty aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate and plum that leave lingering, crisp, earthy and briny flavors that beg for food.

Jordanov Red ’15      Macedonia   $11
Cab, merlot, and vranec from limestone and sandy soils; shows n
otes of blueberry and densely concentrated fruit with a dusty, rich, long minerally finish of cherry and cherry pit.  read more

Tres Picos Garnacha ’14  Spain  92pts    $15
Heady, exotically perfumed bouquet of ripe berries and incense, with a smoky minerality and spice. Vibrant flavors of raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola show power, depth and finesse with velvety tannins.

Henriques Full Rich 5 yr Madeira
Dark gold with strong aromas and flavors of ripe fruit, with caramel, floral and spice flavors that turn toward tobacco and walnut on the finish. Mellow and very rich on the palate; ideal as an after dinner drink.


Wine Tasting

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