lummi island wine tasting oct 18 ’19

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Friday Breads

Pain au Levain – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat and rye. After building the sourdough and mixing the final dough it gets a long cool overnight ferment in the refrigerator. This really allows the flavor to develop in this bread. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Sweet Corn & Dried Cranberry – Made with polenta and bread flour, then enriched with milk, butter and honey for a soft and tender crumb. Then loaded up with dried cranberries. Has great corn flavor but is not a traditional quick cornbread. A delicious bread that makes great toast – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche Almond Buns – Made with a delicious brioche dough full of eggs, butter and sugar. Rolled out and spread with an almond cream filling. The almond cream is not made from pre-made almond paste, but rather is a delicious creamy filling made with lots more butter, sugar and eggs as well as almond flour. Yum, yum – 2/$5

( breads must be pre-ordered by Wednesday for pickup here at the wine shop at our Friday wine tasting, 4-6pm. Planning a visit to the Island? Email us to get on the mailing list!)


Fior D’Arancio

This week we bring back an unusual sparkling dessert wine from Colli Euganei, a series of ancient volcanic hills north of Venice, where 50-million year old mineral deposits add depth and character to local wines.

This week our tasting includes a clone of muscat from this region, which either through its own genetic identity or from some kind of symbiosis from nearby orange orchards, has strong scents and flavors of orange. This wine is unusual, surprising, and pleasing in many ways, with its lovely orange blossom bouquet, fine perlage, and fluffy mousse. It makes a great afternoon treat on the deck, or a fine accompaniment with fruit tarts, pies, puddings, or cakes.

We poured this wine a year or two ago, and it sold out quickly as people tasted it. As the season gets colder, it’s a great wine to have on hand for cozying up to a fire!


Wine and Climate Change

People have been growing grapes and making wine over much of the world for thousands of years, despite challenges from famine, flood, drought, social unrest, and war. Through it all, meticulous grape farmers have, like seafarers, “kept an eye to weather,” (Arrrrrr!) continually expanding their ability to adapt their vinicultural experience to seasonal weather variations. For the last thirty years, vignerons around the world have have had to work hard to address changing temperatures and rainfall as the Earth warms.

In the short term, some of these changes have actually benefited certain regions, where warmer growing seasons have made it far easier to produce consistently exceptional wines, while overall the pace of climate change has been pressuring wine growers to find the best ways to respond to the shifts. Since the 90’s grape growers have been edging north in the Northern Hemisphere and south in the Southern Hemisphere in search of cooler growing conditions. As the climate has warmed, regions that were once considered too cold are now demonstrating that they, too, can produce fine wine, as long as the other elements are in order.

In addition, many growers are planting vines at higher altitudes. Although peak temperatures are not necessarily much cooler, daily heat lasts for shorter periods, and nighttime temperatures are colder than at lower altitudes, helping grapes to ripen more evenly– the same phenomenon as occurs along marine coasts.

In regions which have been more typically hot, the key problem for winemakers has increasingly become over-ripening. This has caused many growers to explore different  regional varietals in their familiar vineyards, and to seek new vineyards further north...(like, you know, Washington State.) At the same time, changes in rainfall and temperature patterns have been increasing forest fires in Washington and Oregon, offering yet another challenge for growers. Bottom line: because wine grapes are extraordinarily sensitive to soil and sunlight, the industry as a whole is a canary in the mine for food crops of all kinds.


Mar a Lago Update: A Bridge Too Far

The dominant news item this week has been (see last week’s post) the Tweetster’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Syria by giving the Green Light for Turkey to invade the region, which the Kurds won from ISIS with great effort and sacrifice. This Betrayal has been deeply and widely disturbing across America and across NATO. Every rational American feels shamed by this bizarre betrayal of our national honor; thousands of Kurds fought and died in Our cause and now our so-called President  has abandoned them.

Today’s New York Times featured an op-ed by retired ADM William McRaven, who oversaw the mission that captured Osama Bin Laden in 2011, and who at the time of his retirement in 2014 was then the longest-serving active member of the Navy Seals…and who still believes and fights for the idea that “We are the Good  Guys.”

In his current op-ed, he asks, “If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us?”

His words reinforce our feeling that the Sheer Shock of the Tweetster’s public betrayal of our values will continue to take an increasing toll. Even Post-Morality Republicans may be growing increasingly uncomfortable with his ongoing Word Salad and be longing for an alternative. Meanwhile, the Impeachment Fires are lit while we search for our collective values as a national community.

A lot going on right now, huh…?

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 12,000 as of 6/10/19


This weekend’s wine tasting

Weingut  Gruner Veltliner      Austria    $16
Notes of ripe Bosch pears surround the palate on this fruit-driven, slurpingly good Gruner.

Marchetti Rosso Conero ’17   Italy    $11
Rich and inviting aromas of flowers, plums, brown spices, and hillside brush. On the palate, round notes of cherries, blackberries, cocoa and spice. Culminates in a satisfying, lengthy finish.

La Quercia Aglianico  ‘17    Italy   $13
The new vintage of one of our favorite italian reds; full bodied with notes of ripe plum and white pepper on smooth, fine-grained tannins. A lovely match with a wide range of savory dishes.

Edi Simcic Duet     Slovenia       $30
Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc; bold and compelling, with notes of chocolate, cherries, cheesecake, and coffee on silky tannins and a lush, ripe, fruit-full body that goes on and on.

Lovo Fior d’Arancio Sparkling Moscato ’18           Italy          $15
A very rare clone of Moscato with an unmistakable citrus scent from nearby orange groves for a sparkling wine with refined bubbles and beautiful, pearlescent color, a perfect aperitif with or without dessert!


Wine Tasting

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