lummi island wine tasting october 6 ’17

 (note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread this week

Levain w/ Dried Cherries and Pecans – A levain is made the night before using a sourdough starter; the final dough combines the levain, bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. A nice rustic loaf that goes well with meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Poolish Ale Bread – Starts with a poolish preferment from bread flour, yeast and a nice ale and and fermented overnight. Mixed the next day with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. This makes a great all around bread with a nice crisp crust – $5/loaf

And for pastry this week – Palmiers!!

Palmiers aka Elephant Ears – Puff pastry that is rolled out, spread with sugar, folded over and sliced. Makes a delightful, crisp, crunchy, buttery, sugary pastry. – 4/$5



Wines of La Mancha

La Mancha is the largest wine appellation in Europe, with more  than 500,000 acres (202,350ha) of vineyards spread over 182 municipalities and four provinces (Albacete, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Toledo).  While summer daytime temperatures can often exceed 104 degrees F., winters are often cold, with frequent sub-zero temperatures, and it is extremely dry; the Moors called it al-mansha, meaning “parched earth.” As one winemaker has described it, “Nine months of Winter and Three months of Hell!” The heat is somewhat mitigated by slight elevation ( 2000 feet in many places), and limestone-chalk soils which retain moisture.

A number of varietals do well in these challenging conditions, including tempranillo (called Cencibel locally), the primary grape of this and many other Spanish wine regions, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, as well as a number of other French and Spanish varietals. Today’s tasting menu includes the Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva, a blend of cencibel and cabernet sauvignon. Like many wines from this region, it has mouth-filling flavors and a bargain price, a great combination. We previously poured this wine on Labor Day Weekend, when it proved Very Popular!


Cloudlift Zephyr

We have spoken often in these pages of our fondness for the wines from Cloudlift Cellars in Seattle. This week we have another Cloudlift release for your tasting pleasure, the 2013 Zephyr (in case you hadn’t noticed, all of the wines are named after atmospheric conditions). This is the first time we have carried this wine, which is winemaker Tom’s Washington wine-take on the traditional Southern Rhone blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvedre. I am tasting it for the first time as I write, finding that unlike many of Tom’s wines, this one has been taking a particularly long time to open up.

After over an hour, the nose is still quite shy, but the palate is deepening into dark cherry and dried plums with hints of coffee and a persisting acidity that begs for Grilled Meat dripping with Crispy Fat. And garnished with, oh, how about mushy Baked Apple? Hmm…yes, that should work Pretty Well….!


Mar a Lago Update

A new poll suggests that only 11% of Americans approve the Republican Direction for Health Care. Yet Congressional Republicans Persist in their Obsession with Repealinobamacayeh (yes it is now All One Word). On the one hand They Know they should probably Deliver Something to their Base before the 2018 election, but on the other hand their Basic Philosophy seems Always to Have Been to Train their Constituency to Bark and Bare their Teeth on Cue rather than to Deliver any Real Nourishment to them. Makes you suspect that indeed many voters will Settle for a Scapegoat rather than actually Get What They Want…Sad!

On the one hand it is Difficult to find a time in Recent History (last 30 years or so) when Republican voters have shown any signs of Rebellion, any misgivings about the Failures of their Chosen Leaders to Deliver on Promises. Could it really be As Simple as the Cumulative Brainwashing effect of 25 years of Right Wing Talk Radio and Fox News?? Or must we Dig Deeper for Understanding? Certainly we are All Suckers for Ego-Strokes, and it feels Really Good to Have Your Feelings Acknowledged. But at the End of the Day Acknowledgement, while it Feels Really Good, is not Enough to Float your Boat.

So a lot of People are Angry, and not Only Republicans. It is hard to look at Today’s Political Landscape and see Anyone whose Interests are served by American Elected Officials other than the Uber-Wealthy. But it is Easy to look at Today’s Political Landscape and see that Everyone But the Uber-Wealthy are Being Manipulated into Division Against Each Other, when it would make a Lot More Sense to be United against our Common Manipulation. Years ago I saw an Old Cartoon (New Yorker…?), in which Someone is sitting on a Park Bench feeding Bread Crumbs to a Big Pigeon. But on closer Inspection, the Pigeon is Obviously a Person in a Not-Very-Convincing Bird Suit. A Second Person is saying: “Excuse me, but That Person is Making a Fool of You.” 

There is a Great Deal of Money and Power Invested in Maintaining the Polarities which Paralyze our Democracy. “Excuse me, but These People are Making Fools of All of Us…!”


This week’s wine tasting

Marchetti Tenuta de Cavaliere Verdicchio ’15     Italy    $16
Full-bodied, with lush pear, melon, and a touch of honey; a little off-dry, with an extra month on the vine to develop greater body, structure, and fruit essence; deftly made, with beautiful acidity. Lovely!

La Rocaliere Tavel  Rose ’16      France       $14
Scents of dark berries, cherry, and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva ’15    Spain   $10
Tempranillo/ cab sauv blend; Warm aromas of spices and ripe fruit; wide and round palate, easy drinking, great buy!

Domaine Turenne Cuvee Bastien ’15  France   $15
Mourvedre-syrah-carignan blend; semi-carbonic maceration and
fermentation with indigenous yeasts; aromas of black berries, spice, pepper, and juniper, with flavors of roasting cocoa/ coffee beans and game.

Cloudlift Zephyr ’13     Washington   $32
Syrah-Grenache-Mourvedre; aromas of black cherry, dark strawberry and light toast. Rich dark purple fruit flavors of blackberry jam and blueberry make for a voluptuous structure and lovely finish.



Wine Tasting

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