lummi island wine tasting nov 20 ’21


Thursday’s blog did not go out via email, so trying again today (Saturday) . Feedburner, the service we have used to send you the blog for many years, has been taken over by Google, which is, as everyone knows, indifferent and impenetrable to ordinary humans. So trying this once again…

Current Covid Protocols

As you all know, this is the last weekend before Thanksgiving, so a great chance to “wine up, evewybody” so you have the range of wine choices you will certainly need for Turkey-day (think about it: tURkey–> ThURsday–> ThanksgURving…cURving knife.. coURncidence?!

We had a great turnout last weekend for our tasting with sommelier Steven Brown, and many of you loaded up on several of the selections, particularly the bubbly. (We expect to have more of it this weekend!)

Realistically speaking, since T-day involves such a smorgasbord of appetizers, breads, salads, soups, veggies, potatoes plain and sweet, pickles, pies, puddings, and ice cream, the obvious pairing strategy is a different wine for each course. Or, practically speaking, just go with a versatile red and a versatile white. (see below)

Tastings this weekend will be both Friday and Saturday from 4-6 pm, with attendance subject to our ongoing Covid requests:

— You must have completed a full Covid vaccination sequence to participate;

— We ask all guests to maintain mindful social distance from people outside your regular “neighborhood pods.”


Winter Schedule Notes

Each Holiday Season brings lots of travel plans, challenging weather, and a certain bustle of distractions. After some consideration of our own family travel commitments, we have decided we will be Closed Thanksgiving weekend (11/25-26), Christmas weekend (Dec 24-25), and New Year’s weekend (Dec 31-Jan 1).

However, we will be OPEN as usual for Friday Bread Pickup and Fri-Sat wine tasting the first three weekends of December. And for the moment, our January schedule remains uncertain; please stay tuned!


Friday Bread This Week

Each Sunday bread offerings for the coming Friday are emailed to the mailing list by Island Bakery. Orders returned by the 5 pm Tuesday deadline are baked and available for pickup each Friday at the wine shop from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. To get on the bread order mailing list, click on the Contact Us link at the top of the page and fill out the form.

Over the years the bakery has established a rotating list of several dozen breads and pastries from which two different artisan breads and a pastry are selected each week.

This week’s deliveries:

Whole Wheat Ciabatta- Using an Italian biga pre-ferment as well as a levain/sourdough, which are made a day in advance. And, once mixed the dough is fermented overnight in the refrigerator. A long, slow ferment adds a lot of flavor to the final bread. Made with regular bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. A little olive oil for more flavor and a lot of water. With so much water this bread can’t really be shaped, just cut into pieces and baked. A great rustic bread – $5/piece

Dried Cranberry Walnut – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled buckwheat and whole wheat flours. Orange juice and olive oil are a unique combination in this bread that add flavor and keep a soft crumb, then loaded up with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Makes great toast– $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Chocolate Croissants! – Janice’s acclaimed take on the traditional laminated french pastry, made with a bit of sourdough flavor and another pre-ferment to create the traditional honeycomb interior. Rolled out and shaped with delicious dark chocolate in the center. Quantities are limited so get your order in early so you don’t miss out! 2/$5


Wine of the Week: Thurston Wolfe Old Vine Chenin Blanc ’20 Washington $18

Chenin blanc first appeared in the Loire region of France about a thousand years ago, around the time of the Norman invasion of Britain. A few hundred years later it started finding its way across oceans to new plantings around the world. Because it is a hardy vine, it became a staple in a number of climates as a white wine and as a base for making brandy.

This weekend we are pouring a Washington chenin blanc from well-established Washington winery Thurston-Wolfe. The varietal has been in production in the State since the earliest days of the Washington wine industry, some one hundred years. These days it has become somewhat rare since vineyard planting and wine making has become a major industry in the State, and now only a few old blocks remain. The vines for this wine were planted in 1981 in the McKinley Springs Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, forty years ago.

This wine was cool-fermented in stainless steel barrels for 40 days until dry (Alcohol 13% by volume and only 0.1% residual sugar) and bottled in March 2020 without fining and only light filtration. Only 140 cases were produced and release was this past May, 2021. We tasted this wine a few weeks ago and enjoyed its broad range of flavor nuances.


The Economics of the Heart: Climate Change as a Market Failure

Meredith blowing smokeAccording to popular (and Wrong) “Conservative” views, the price system (aka ‘the free market”) always works just as as Adam Smith’s famous Invisible Hand said it could some two hundred years ago in The Wealth of Nations: by magically allocating resources to their most valued uses through the interaction of large numbers of buyers and sellers.

The modern version of this theory was extensively extolled by Friedrich von Hayek in the 30’s, his students and colleagues at LSE in London in the forties, and at the University of Chicago in the mid-twentieth Century. These included Milton Friedman, who to some degree took up Hayek’s mantle as the popular spokesman for government non-intervention in the market. John Maynard Keynes, Hayek’s famous contemporary, had developed a very different theory, and said of Hayek’s work on monetary and fiscal policy, “It is an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake, a remorseless logician can end in Bedlam.”

Meanwhile, in Sweden over the same years, economist Gunnar Myrdal was developing a different view of economic systems. Although he was an early proponent of quantitative economic models, he also had concerns about the distributional effects of various economic paradigms. He was a member of the Swedish Parliament as a Social Democrat, and became known as the architect of the Scandinavian system loosely called “welfare economics” (no, not “welfare” as in alms for the poor, but “social welfare” as in some kind of national Happiness Quotient.)

In any case, most civilized nations have some degree of “democratic socialism,” by which various portions of collective tax revenues are redistributed to provide a broad social safety net and dignified standard of living for every citizen, regardless of their economic handicaps. Further, Myrdal’s book An American Dilemma:The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy” was cited as part of its rationale in the landmark 1954 U. S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.

Given the philosophical differences between these two economists, it is fascinating to note that in 1974 the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to both von Hayek and Myrdal, contemporaries with very different views about how economic policy fits into political economy. To a large degree, the Reagan Revolution of 1980 was largely based on Reagan’s complete ignorance of the thirty or so reasons (“Market Failures”) why every real-world market differs in important ways from the theoretical requirements for a “competitive market economy.” And any one of those many failures is enough to reject it from the “optimal” list.

Recently we watched a brief video clip of a chunky-grumpy Southern Republican Man complaining about prices at the gas pump. The First thing to notice is that the price he is complaining about is WAY lower than Our Ordinary prices at the pump. The second thing to notice is that politicians across the board, right and left, Dems and Reps, are all saying they will take some unknown action to lower those prices so, you know, people won’t have to suffer. And that should set off All your” OMG, what about Climate Change” buttons!

Right now all of us, whether we drive a gas-guzzling pickup truck or a miserly hybrid, have to start taking responsibility for Our share of the Carbon we are putting into the atmosphere. The particular Market Failure at work here is called an Externality. It occurs whenever an economic transaction imposes benefits or costs on individuals or groups whose interests were not included in the transaction. Every carbon emission from every combustion goes into our shared atmosphere. Every fire, every furnace, every combustion engine, every exhalation, every fossil fuel-powered electric appliance continually runs up a global tab on humanity that is now coming due every minute.

The bottom line here is that economic efficiency is about a lot more than money. It’s about effectively evaluating the economic impacts of our decisions. Sure, everyone wants bargain prices. But for hundreds of years humans have been keeping warm by externalizing costs of our actions onto our own future. The bills are coming in right now, right here on Lummi Island as we are marooned by flooded roads on the mainland because of the Weird Storm that Our World created because it has too much heat, and that’s what it does with too much heat.

And this is just the Beginning. Just because costs are externalized doesn’t mean they don’t ever have to be paid.


This week’s $5 tasting:

Thurston Wolfe Old Vine Chenin Blanc ’20 Washington $18
From vines planted in 1981 in Horse Heaven Hills; delivers aromas of ripe kiwi fruit and rich sensations of honey and pear on the palate.

Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo ’13 Italy $12
Amarone-like, raisiny opulence to the ripe, soft red cherry, sweet spice, and herb aromas and flavors. Velvety, well balanced and smooth, with long, lush, smooth tannins. Terrific buy!

Toso Reserve Malbec ’17 Argentina $21
Elegant and balanced with food concentration and ripeness; focused, clean notes of blackberry, plum, and ripe,
dark cherries; a plush, elegant mouthfeel, easy tannins, and lingering notes of leather and Spring soil.


Wine Tasting

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