lummi island wine tasting october 23 ’15

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Friday Breads (email us to get on the preorder mailing list! )

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Poolish Ale Bread- A “poolish” is a process that pre-ferments some of the flour, enhancing flavor and jump starting enzyme activity, in this case using ale with fresh milled whole wheat -$5/loaf.

Buckwheat Rye About half bread flour and half a mix of whole buckwheat and fresh milled rye flour.   The buckwheat lends a great earthy flavor to this artisan bread with a little honey added for sweetness. This is a bread that would be great with cheese – $5/loaf.

Irish Soda Bread Rolls. In honor of our Baker’s recent trip to Ireland, these take great liberties with the traditional soda bread recipe, adding a little rye flour, butter, buttermilk, eggs, orange zest and currants. So maybe not traditional but very delicious – 2/$5.

Picpoul de Pinet

This photo is from a lunch a few years ago in the outrageously picturesque town of Sète on the Mediterranean coast of France. The dish on the bottom of the photo (my side of the table) is moules frites, or mussels and (what else?) French fries! I confess I don’t quite get the connection between the mussels and the fries– I prefer dipping chunks of bread into the broth– but in this recipe there, well, isn’t any broth! And, with nothing in which to dunk the mussels or the bread, having the right wine comes in especially handy. The local choice here is Picpoul de Pinet, an ancient white grape with an upbeat freshness, crisp lemony notes, and mouth-watering acidity. Literally translated as “lip stinger,” Picpoul Blanc has bright acidity and a clean lemony flavor. Think of it as the Southern France answer to northern French Muscadet…oh, and it’s usually very inexpensive!

As we near Halloween, the “cross-quarter day” halfway between fall Equinox and Winter Solstice, with its rich mix of rain identifiers (rain, showers, drizzle, rain at times, slight chance of showers, occasional sun breaks, and all the other Northwest Moisture Euphemisms), there are probably just a few remaining afternoons when you can sit out on the deck munching fresh seafood in the afternoon sun, enhanced by a chilled glass of the perfect white wine for the occasion…Picpoul de Pinet! With its greenish highlights, delicate nose, subtle aromas of acacia and hawthorn blossom, and delicate freshness, not only does it neutralize the salt and iodine in shellfish. It also is surprisingly good with rich cheese and charcuterie!


 More Lost River

This weekend we continue working our way through the new batch of Lost River wines that we picked up at the winery in Winthrop during Drydock.This weekend we will feature their “Cedarosa,” a blend of Cab franc and Merlot.

Cab franc has a traditional “supporting” role in red wine blends: in France it is usually blended with cabernet sauvignon and merlot to add dark notes of coffee, chocolate, and truffle that sit behind the more forward notes of the other varietals.

Similarly, most (not all) Washington Cab Franc is also used in blends. And although Washington Cab Franc can be fairly robust, its softer tannins make it a good choice for rounding out the big tannins often found in Washington merlot and cabernet sauvignon.  Depending on where it is grown, Washington cab franc can also add notes of wild herbs, black pepper, and dark fruits. In this case, the cab franc dominates, softening the tannic edges of the merlot, and allowing its own distinct nuances to come to the foreground.


Dances with Light

dscn1352 (Modified) We have posted a fair number of photos of herons, generally seen in a little wetland we pass most days on our midday dog walk. Sometimes the light invites taking a few photos. Some of those times the camera is along, though mostly not. Either way, we are all continually nourished by the natural scenes we encounter here every day.

Combine that with midday doses of Indian Summer and the  deepening blue of the autumn sky, and pretty much everything natural comes into bright relief on sunny October afternoons. In this case, the Great Blue was startled into flight by our intrusion, taking off and flying in a low arc toward the sun. Took several photos in a few seconds, not even looking, just hoping for the best, and were rewarded by this majestic sequence.


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This week’s wine tasting notes

Ormarine picpoul de penet ’14 France. $8
Yellow-green color; fruity nose with sharp citrus and tropical fruits; firm palate of pear, apple, lime peel, lemon, and an very long, refreshing, minerally finish.

La Rocaliere Lirac Blanc ’13 France $15 
Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Subtle, elegant floral aromas of jasmine, honeysuckle, and verbena. Rich and round on the palate, with wonderful notes of fresh citrus.

Casa Contini Biferno Riserva ’09 Italy $12
80% montepulciano, 20% aglianico; wonderfully smooth and balanced, with smoky blackberry, chestnut, and peppery aromas.

Finca el Tesso Tempranillo     Spain     $10
100% tempranillo from clay and limestone soil in western Spain at 600 meters above sea level, providing cool nights and long growing season where the wines develop a rich, alluring complexity.

Lost River Cedarosa ’12  $25
55% Cab Franc, 45% Merlot;  rich and pruny with notes of blackberry, currant, cassis and licorice.

Wine Tasting

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