lummi island wine tasting september 10-11 ’21

Current Covid Protocols

The highly contagious Covid Delta variant continues to infect thousands of Americans, including vaccinated people, who may have no symptoms and no awareness if they/we are carriers. This creates a quandary about how to manage our social interactions.

For our part, because we put high values on both safety and being with “our people,” we have come up with this risk-benefit compromise for wine tasting this weekend:

  1. 1. Wine tasting this weekend will be Friday and Saturday from 4-6pm, outside on the deck;
  2. 2. You must have completed a full Covid vaccination protocol to participate;
  3. 3. Please maintain appropriate social distancing from people outside your regular “neighborhood pod.”


Friday Bread

Each Friday Island Bakery delivers fresh bread ordered by customer email earlier in the week. Each Sunday offerings for the coming Friday are emailed to entire list. Orders must be returned by 5 pm on Tuesday for pickup at the wine shop the following Friday from 4-5:30.

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

If you would like to be on the bread order mailing list, click on the Contact Us link at the top of the page and fill out the form.

This week’s pickup:

Sonnenblumenbrot –
aka Sunflower Seed Bread; made with an overnight pre-ferment before mixing the final dough made with bread flour and freshly milled rye, then loaded up with toasted sunflower seeds and some barley malt syrup for sweetness. This is a typical German seed bread- $5/loaf

Pain Meunier –aka Miller’s Bread to honor the person who mills the wheat. Made with pre-fermented dough it contains all portions of the wheat berry: flour, fresh milled whole wheat, cracked wheat and wheat germ. Always a favorite and a great all around bread. It makes the best toast! – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Pain aux Raisin – made with the same laminated dough as croissants. The dough is rolled out, spread with pastry cream and sprinkled with a mix of golden raisins and dried cranberries that have been soaked in sugar syrup. Rolled up and sliced before baking. These are my favorites! As always, quantities are limited, be sure to get your order in early – 2/$5


Wine of the Week: Greywacke Pinot Noir  ’16   New Zealand   $32

Most simply, Greywacke is a type of sandstone that has a lot of rock grain and fragments in it, kind of a lumpy batter that set up before it was completely stirred. It is often associated with continental shelves, and is believed to have formed by mudslides along the shelf.  Greywacke is made up of dull-colored sandy rocks that are mostly grey, brown, yellow, or black which can occur in thick or thin beds, and which bear some similarity to formations of “Chuckanut sandstone” that we see on our own shores here on Lummi Island and around the San Juan Islands.

Last year we learned that many of the formations at the Aiston Preserve (recently acquired for restoration and preservation by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust)  and much of the southern half of Lummi Island contain significant deposits of greywacke. These formations are about 150 million years old, and overlay basalt and chert from an even older ancient sea floor.

Greywacke is also a major part of the geological structure of New Zealand, and just a couple of years ago we learned there is a NZ winery of the same name. We have been stocking their sauvignon blanc and pinot noir for a couple of years now, and so far it has been universally satisfying. The rocky soil gives the wines a complex minerality with aromas and flavors of dark fruit and nuances of cedar, earth, and smoke.

Winemaker Kevin Judd was the longtime winemaker at the consistently highly regarded Cloudy Bay winery  before starting his own winery at Greywacke in 2008. It’s good!             (read more)


The Economics of the Heart: Remembering 9/11

This weekend is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York. Like very few dates in our collective national history– including the 1918 Armistice ending WWI (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that marked our entry into WWII, and JFK’s assassination in November 1963, we all remember where we were when we first heard the news.

Pat and I were just waking up on our sailboat, tied to a mooring at Clark Island, about three miles west of and in sight of our house on Lummi Island. While we were making tea and fixing breakfast we turned on the radio. It took a several minutes of puzzled listening before the news began to sink in, and I heard myself exclaiming “OMG, we’re at War!” But it would never become clear with whom we were at war, or why, or what to do about it, if anything.

About noon we sailed a few miles north to anchor at Sucia Island, a very popular boating destination in the San Juans. In mid-afternoon a small skiff motored around the many boats at anchor to announce a gathering on the island for a memorial to the day’s events. There were maybe fifty people there, gathered in a large circle. There were several American flags, which seemed strange. Several people spoke. We remember a pervasive mix of shock and sadness…but already strangely contaminated with angry vengeance. What began as a gesture of solidarity felt dissonant and insensitive.

Over the next few days there were, eerily, no sounds of airplanes in the sky. All flights had been grounded to their nearest airports, many in Canada, where generous householders took stranded passengers into their homes for the better part of a week. From around the globe came an outpouring of heartfelt compassion from our fellow humans. For a few days it felt as if our entire country was being cradled and embraced by the whole world. It was beautiful and deeply moving.

At the same time, Dubya, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the Neocons fully embraced the flag-waving vengefulness we had first felt out at Sucia Island the afternoon of 9/11. It was a call to anger and to arms. How DARE they! Whoever they were, we should “Bomb them back to the Stone Age.” And indeed, full of Hubris and Outrage, we invaded Afghanistan on a stated quest to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the likely mastermind of the hijackings, and then Iraq, ostensibly because of nonexistent WMD’s.

In those days there was a particularly moving piece in the NY Times by writer Kim Stafford which has stuck with me all these years. “When I turned from the TV images the morning of September 11, 2001, to call my mother, she told me, ‘I’m watching the news. Everyone is saying this is just like Pearl Harbor, but I feel it’s really our Hiroshima. Now we’re part of the suffering of the world.’    (read more)

As we all know, our national political response to 9/11 was to use it as an excuse to invade two countries and expend trillions of dollars and twenty years chasing phantom enemies in remote and impoverished lands in yet another futile proxy war of counterinsurgency. We disgraced our values with the cruelties of Guantanamo, Abu Graib, Extreme Rendition, enhanced interrogations, the excesses of Blackwater, hundreds of thousands killed, and millions of fleeing refugees.

“When will we ever learn?….when will we Ever Learn?”

So on this painful anniversary many will look for something honorable in our national values and intentions over the last twenty years. Tonight’s sad and futile feeling about all of that is best summed up in an ironic old Maine story that goes something like this:

A young man is driving his sporty car (spohty cah) too fast on a country road to avoid hitting a cow. Feeling sheepish, he walks back to look over the cow as the farmer (fahmah) walks up to assess the damage. “Well,”  says the kid, hopefully, “looks like she’s all right!” To which the farmer spits on the ground and says, “Well, sonny, I’ll tell ya…if y’ think y’ done ‘er any good, I’ll be glad to pay y’ for it.”


This week’s $5 tasting:

Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes ’19   Argentina    $11
Highly perfumed aromas of lemon drop, grapefruit, white flowers, peppermint and white pepper. Supple, pliant and easygoing, with citrus, herbal and floral flavors joined by a hint of licorice.

Corvidae Lenore Syrah 2018    Washington     $12
Displays rich notes of blueberry, boysenberry, red currant, and plum, mouthwatering acidity, balanced tannin structure and layers of bright bramble fruit, finishing with hints of chocolate and raspberry.

Greywacke Pinot Noir ’16     New Zealand    $32
Delicious aromas of juicy blackberries, blueberries and strawberry jam, with suggestions of black olives, cedar and a hint of lavender. Finely structured palate shows red and black fruit with earthy, smoky nuances.



Wine Tasting

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