lummi island wine tasting sept 13 ’19

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Friday Breads

Note: This week will be the last Bread Friday until (gulp!) October 11th! Our baker will be away in the northern Baltics exploring bakeries and farms in search of new breads and pastries.

This week’s breads:

Flax seed currant Ciabatta – Made with a poolish that ferments some of the flour and water overnight before being mixed with the final ingredients which includes a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye flours. Loaded up with flax seeds and dried currants for a delicious bread. This bread is mixed with a lot of water that makes for a very slack dough so it can’t be weighed out and shaped like other bread, it is just cut into pieces. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/piece

Black Pepper Walnut- made with a nice mix of bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and rye. A fair amount of black pepper and toasted walnuts give this bread great flavor with just a bit of peppery bite to it. Would go well with all sorts of meats and cheese – $5/loaf

Kouign Aman- Made with the same traditional laminated french pastry used for croissants. Has both a little levain for the sourdough flavor as well as some pre-fermented dough to help build strength. When rolling out however, instead of using flour to prevent sticking, sugar is used. The dough is cut into squares and baked in cupcake tins where all that sugar and butter caramelizes and makes for delicious, crunchy, delightful pastry. 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!)


Château de Caraguilhes 

Château de Caraguilhes is an organic winery in the Corbières wine region, where winemaking dates back some 2000 years when Greek traders introduced wine grapes to the region. The tradition continued for centuries in the Middle Ages under the stewardship of Cistercian monks at several abbeys in the region, including Abbaye de Fontfroide a few miles to the east. Caraguiles was one of their original estates.

In 1958, Algerian vintner and organic pioneer Lionel Faivre took over the vineyards. Over the next twenty years he became the first owner in the region to farm fully organically. In 2005, Pierre Gabison acquired the estate and continued to make the effort to produce uncompromising organic wines. The vineyard is plowed eight times annually, with manual weeding between vines. Located in the dry scrubland of northern Corbieres (reminiscent of eastern Washington), the vines are part of an arid ecosystem of grapevines where winds are a constant some 300 days a year.

Soil is largely of clay-limestone on rocky hillsides.  Grape varietals include grenache, syrah, and carignan. Carignan from this region tends to be from old vines that bring deep color and aromas and flavors of garrigue with its beguiling notes of the sage, thyme, and oregano that grow amid the vines. This wine makes a great pairing with roast pork with prunes, grilled Toulouse sausage, cold meats, roast beef, grilled lamb… or maybe even just on its own!


We’re All Dinosaurs Now

We watched a NOVA piece the other night ( Day the Dinosaurs Died) about the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and 70% of species in existence in one spectacular event some 66 million years ago. If the event had not happened, WE would probably not have happened. The episode is called Day the Dinosaurs Died, and it chronicles a recent study based on core samples from the point in Yucatan where the asteroid crashed into the Earth.

The first thing you need to imagine is this asteroid not as a little chunk of rock, but as a Mountain-sized chunk some eight miles in diameter. The size of, say, Mt. Rainier. And imagine it striking the Yucatan coast at about a 30-degree angle at a speed of about 40,000 miles an hour. Calculations suggest it would have struck with the intensity of 100 million nuclear warheads.

The second thing is to take a moment to think about the Unlikeliness (we hope) of such an event. The same asteroid could have struck only a few places on Earth with such catastrophic results. Yes, it would have been Bad, Very Bad anyplace, but Life could have continued for many species that did not make it.

The third thing to ponder is what one movie some years ago called the Unbearable Lightness of Being: the remarkable fact that without this One Unlikely Event many species including us would never have existed. Not you, not me, none of it.

Now of course the World faces an equally Terrifying Crisis with the Climate Disruption We ourselves have set into motion. There is Much to Ponder…and much to be done.


Mar a Lago Update: Down to Business

Sometime in the 80’s I wrote a letter to the local newspaper editor about the Danger of Business Schools. As I recall, I observed that there was a new type of “school” that was becoming very popular. All the young people wanted to go to one. It was a place where uniforms were Required: a coat and tie. The tie in particular was Very Important.

First, it put a Noose around your neck to remind you Never to tell the Truth. Second, it covered your Heart, so you were free to ignore your True Feelings. And Third, it covered your Belly Button, so you could completely forget that you are an actual Human Being. The letter did get published, and I did get a little Flak for it. But these days I believe it more than ever. Over the past fifty years Business Schools have Preached the Mantra of Appropriation, i.e., the Profit in appropriating things that had always been free and making them Proprietary.

For example, twenty years ago or so, you could turn on your TV and pick up signals (I am not making this up!) for Free. You could watch News, Sports, any network programming at all just by turning on your TV and dialing the channel.  That all changed when TV went digital in the aughts, and the big media companies appropriated what had previously been your right to the Free Broadcast of publicly licensed television; now they own that right and we have to pay them for it. WTF?

Our household does pay for internet cable but not TV.  Because of that, until tonight we have never been able to watch any of the Presidential Candidates’ Debates in the last few election cycles. Think about that: a “public debate” that excludes everyone who hasn’t paid a commercial enterprise for the privilege. In today’s world the Providers separate TV cable from Internet cable; the Cable Providers have appropriated your right to watch TV on public airways, and the Internet Providers have appropriated the right to go online at all. On the plus side, we did find a way to stream tonight’s Debate online, which only seems, you know, Appropriate for Public Business.

Similarly, here it is Football Season again, and we find ourselves searching for ways to stream the Seahawks online without a Cable Subscription. Talk about knocking your head against a Corporate Wall! While there are various services available, they all have loopholes. You can pay the NFL $100 to be allowed to watch games but only after they are over; you can pay several other providers to be able to watch some of the games but not all; or you can pay the NFL the big bucks for Live streaming of all the games. Or, you know, when you are worn down, you can just give up and subscribe to the cable.

Yup, it all started with the Fookin Business Schools, ‘n’ it’s been goin’ Downhill ever since. Bloody Shame. Let’s go taste some wine!

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


This weekend’s wine tasting

Henry Natter Sancerre ’17    France   $28
Mineral, slightly acidic, aromas of pineapple, lime and eucalyptus, a perfect match for the oyster bar; great depth of fruit and plenty of classic flinty character

Bieler Rosé ’17      France     $17
Grenache-Syrah blend; soft and bright, with plenty of red-berry and currant flavors. Its fruitiness and balanced acidity make for an immediately attractive, easy wine.

Chateau de Caraguilhes Corbieres Rouge  ’15     France     $14
45% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 25% Carignan;concentrated aromas of black fruits and tapenade, with undertones of mint and pepper;  silky on the palate with notes of pepper, blackberry and black olive; fresh and zesty, a lively, elegant wine.

Anciano 5-Yr Tempranillo Riserva ’12     Spain       $11
Aromas of damp earth, mocha, tobacco, and black cherry. On the palate it is sweetly fruited, easy-going, and nicely balanced leading to a seamless, fruity finish.

Seghesio Zinfandel Angela’s Garden ’17    California     $19
Aromas of wild blueberry, briary raspberry patch and baking spice give way to a palate of juicy, ripe blackberry and black plum. Soft tannins, a rich mouthfeel and focused acidity lead to a long finish.


Wine Tasting

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