Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting sept 24-25 ’21

lummi island wine tasting sept 24-25 ’21

Current Covid Protocols

Attendance has been sparse the past two weekends due to annual ferry drydock as well as Covid. Lots of folks leave the island, others hole up, and last Friday’s freak windstorm kept people hunkered down at home. So it has been quiet and low-key around the wine shop, which is just fine during Covid.

This weekend’s forecast is for nice weather, so we will have outside tasting as an option both Friday and Saturday. We will be open for wine tasting and sales Friday and Saturday from 4-6pm, with the following guidelines:

 

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 the mailing 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:

Multi Grain Levain – Made with a sourdough culture and a flavorful mix of bread flour with fresh milled whole wheat and rye flours as well. A nice mixture of flax, sesame sunflower and pumpkin seeds and rolled oats add great flavor and crunch. And just a little honey for some sweetness. A great all around bread that is full of flavor – $5/loaf

Polenta Levain –Also made from a levain of bread flour with polenta added in the final dough mix for a nice rustic loaf with great corn flavor. – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche Tarts au Sucre – otherwise known as brioche sugar tarts. A rich brioche dough full of eggs and butter is rolled into a round tart and topped with more eggs, cream, butter and sugar. – 2/$5

 

Wine of the Week: The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier ’19     South Africa    $11

Boekenhoutskloof farm was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek Wine Valley of South Africa, about 50 km east of the Cape of Good Hope.

The farm’s name means “ravine of the Boekenhout” (pronounced Book-n-Howed), which is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making. In 1993 the farm and homestead were bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier.

When the farm was founded, the Franschhoek valley was far wilder than it is today. Though the mountains are still alive with indigenous animals, including the majestic leopard, the only evidence that wolves once roamed here is an ancient wolf trap found long ago. This wine was named in homage to the mysteries and legends of days gone by.

Most of the Syrah in The Wolftrap comes from the Swartland region (photo, left), where it develops its robust character and elegant aromas of violets and ripe plums, accentuating its spicy, peppery profile while retaining the juicy, fruity character which is its hallmark. The Mourvèdre, also from the Swartland, lends a red fruit character and smoky body while the dash of Viognier brings perfume and vibrancy to the blend and makes for a rustic Rhône-style blend that seriously over-delivers for its $11 price point.

 

The Economics of the Heart: The Plot Thickens

Politicians have always done a dance with the truth. To some degree the art of tactical deception is part of being human, the product of millions of years of primate evolution. As social animals, everything we do has consequences for our relative position in a tribal hierarchy, well-being, and survival.

Experiments have shown that we humans begin learning to lie as toddlers, and get better at it as we age. In one experiment, children were asked to guess the identity of a hidden toy. When left unsupervised for a few minutes, 30% of two-year-olds cheated by finding the toy and lying about it, increasing to 80% for eight-year olds. And not only was deception more common among older kids– they had also gotten more skilled and subtle at it. Whether we call it Charm or a con game, we all try to highlight our skills and divert  attention from our weaknesses, to cozy up to power and oil the wheels of our own progress.

To some degree, politics and wealth are the Major Leagues of social hierarchy…yup, Money and Position. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t always been Rules. As economic philosopher Joan Robinson reminded us, every economic system requires a set of values, a set of rules, and a will in the people to carry them out. By implication, of course, we are in Real Trouble when we find ourselves in a society that does not agree on either a set of values or on a set of rules. What then?

In the 1930’s, shaken to its economic foundations by the Great Depression, the United States, under the leadership of FDR, instituted a new set of economic rules. The New Deal was a major reorganization of the nation’s economic structure. It established the first economic safety nets in the form of Social Security, a progressive income tax , and government-funded public works projects. The goal was to get more people housed, fed, and employed. Under the new Keynesian economic theory, the injection of more spending would create demand for products and services, creating more demand, and so on through a Multiplier effect.

As we all know, this Keynesian set of policies, together with the increased economic demands of WWII, fired up the US economy and kept it going until the election of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency in 1980. Beginning with their idiotic notion of “supply side” economics, Reagan Republicans committed themselves to dismantling the apparatus of the New Deal by lowering tax rates on the wealthy and corporations, gutting low income safety nets and industrial regulation…you know, the Whole Catastrophe.

Even so, there was a measure of formality and collegiality in Congress and State Legislatures until the ascension of Newt Gingrich to House Speaker in the mid-nineties, and everything changed, perhaps best summed up by a local state legislator of the era who, speaking on the topic of allowing some grade school classes to be taught in Spanish, referred to the Bible and said “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!”

Fast forward to Today and the stunning revelations from the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on the details of Tweetster and company’s attempted coup against the United States after losing the election last November. All the evidence has pointed to this since the Muller investigation began. Woodward and Costa have gathered together a stunning documentation of a complex conspiracy of Congressional Republicans and other Trump loyalists to overturn the election results.

This time, we think, the facts will win the day. But we also remember that the facts have not counted for much since 2016. They didn’t count in the Muller hearings, or the Kavanaugh hearings, or the First impeachment, or the Second Impeachment.

Let’s not mince words: we are talking about Treason here: a deliberate conspiracy to overthrow the results of the 2020 Presidential election and install the Loser. Most of the Republicans in Congress and the Senate are co-conspirators.

So, no, we do NOT agree on a set of values or a set of rules. And we are still in a pandemic. And Global Warming is huffing and puffing at the front door AND the back door. Where’s that corkscrew…?

 

This week’s $5 tasting:

Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico ’19         Italy       $14
Verdicchio/ Malvasia blend using only free-run juice; pale straw color with green overtones; intense bouquet of citrus, lemon zest, and floral notes,with complex fruity character, and crisp, well-balanced palate.

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier ’18      South Africa    $11
Aromas of ripe plums, red currants, violets, Italian herbs and exotic spices lead to vibrant flavors of darker berries and spicy plum with hints of orange peel that linger on a juicy finish.

Jordanov Vranec ’15    Macedonia   $12
Aromas of ripe berries with notes of clove, nutmeg and cardamom. In the mouth it is full bodied with ripe dark fruit and hints of herbs with a noticeable dark chocolate edge on the well-structured finish. Enjoy with cheese, beef or lamb dishes or grilled sausages

 

 

 

Wine Tasting
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting sept 17-18 ’21

lummi island wine tasting sept 17-18 ’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. Here in Whatcom County, over 90% of residents over 65 (most of our regulars!) have been completely vaccinated so far. Nevertheless, right now Covid cases and hospitalizations in our area are higher than during the previous peak last February.

Because our car ferry will be in drydock for the next three weekends, we will be open for wine tasting and sales Friday and Saturday from 4-6pm. And, because heavy rain is expected, we will return to our indoor tasting format:

 

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 the mailing 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:

Sesame Semolina – Uses a sponge pre-ferment before mixing the final dough, made with semolina and bread flour as well as a soaker of cornmeal, millet and sesame seeds, with a little olive oil to round out the flavor and tenderize the crumb. The finished dough is rolled in more sesame seeds before baking, resulting in a bread with a lot of great flavors – $5/loaf

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 a distinct peppery bite. Excellent paired with all sorts of meats and cheese…and wine, of course! – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Cruffins – A cross between a muffin and croissant developed by the Bakehouse in San Francisco. This version is made with puff pastry instead of croissant dough, for a different kind of Delicious! The pastry is rolled out, spread with sugar, cinnamon and a bit of cardamom before rolling up, sliced, and baked in muffin tins. Makes a delightful, crisp, crunchy, buttery, sugary pastry. – 2/$5

 

Wine of the Week: Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon      California      $21

Bonanza is an excellent example of a primary difference between Old World and New World wine sensibility. Across Europe, where wine production goes back to Roman times in many places, the history of wine is completely intertwined with regional geography, geology, climate, food, music, and art. They are inseparable elements of regional identity.

In the New World, (North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa to various degrees), the  subcultures of invading Europeans quickly displaced the thousand year old cultural traditions of indigenous Native Americans. In the American melting pot, these cultural fragments have overlapped each other for mere hundreds of years, not the thousands of the Old World.

We can taste the foods of scores of cultures in “American” restaurants. In the five-century old melting pot of the New World, many immigrant traditions coexist in a broad and highly varied cultural landscape in which the economic development interests of profit- oriented capitalism have replaced the long-term resource allocation time horizon of traditional, interdependent cultures with short-term, exploitive profit motivation.

This distinction is exemplified by this week’s Wine of the Week, because it does not come from any particular place. Rather, it is an artifact of widespread transfer of ownership of prime vineyards from family-owned and operated “artisan” wineries to corporate conglomerates which bought these prime vineyard sites and their trademark names from families who have no heir to take on the commitment of running the family winery. You don’t find many fourth and fifth generation winemakers in the New World.

Bonanza is a brand established by Chuck Wagner, whose parents pioneered the elevation of Napa Valley as The Place to grow the best cabernet grapes in the world with their development of the Caymus winery in the early seventies. For many years it has been regarded as perhaps the first “collectible” Napa cab, and its price and value soared. Many, many other families followed suit. Those that started early got by on a lot of hard work, but in recent decades prime vineyards and wineries were bought by conglomerate corporations. While Mr. Wagner grew up in a very successful family estate winery (grew its own grapes), his firm (and others like it) now control enough vineyards across California (and many brand names) that they can blend wines from many different vineyards and different vintages into a consistent wine product from year to year.

On the one hand, Bonanza is a very tasty wine that most of you will enjoy, and it makes a certain economic sense for an entrepreneur to find ways to minimize risk.

Mr. Wagner says on the bottle: “Casting aside the boundaries of individual appellations or vintages, we have greater freedom to make good wine.”  Drop by and see what you think!

 

The Economics of the Heart: Why Trickle-Down Has Never Worked

Here we are eight months into the Biden Administration. The good news is that President Joe Biden is an honest, decent, hard-working, dedicated, and politically experienced man who earns our respect every time he opens his mouth. Over and over he chooses being Real over being Political. He is as politically experienced as it is possible to be, and he has maintained wide respect. He has suffered enormous personal losses and made them resources for empathy when others suffer.

Our nation and the world stand not at a crossroads, but an an Abyss of human making. After a hundred years of unbridled industrial resource consumption powered by fossil fuels and the externalization of the corporate costs of environmental destruction onto the long-term ability of Our Planet to maintain life, we find ourselves within a very few years of crossing a Line of No Return with climate change.

In the entire world, the only human beings who refuse to accept that this is happening are Republicans. They have no interest in resource allocation for the common good, no awareness that their failure to take action will trigger massive Extinction of all life on Earth, not just for a while, but Forever. WTF is Wrong with these people?

Thermodynamics, population, and economics form an interactive System. Everything that happens in one realm has consequences for the other two. Most simply,

— By the way, at some point in the melting of permafrost as the polar regions warm, HUGE amounts of methane will be released from the decaying of the ancient plants and animals frozen in the tundra. The last time this happened (about 50 million years ago) there was only a fraction of the greenhouse gases we already have in our atmosphere.

Now, back to Trickle-down. Republicans have been claiming for the past sixty years that the answer to every problem is cutting taxes so people will have more money to spend as they choose, not as The Government chooses. Republicans have Never meant All people would get the same amount or same percentage. For every Republican President in the last fifty years, the first order of business has been a massive tax cut for the wealthy. The idea is that giving more money to the Investor class will increase investment in infrastructure, innovation, technology…hell, Everyone will be better off!

Sadly, that has Never happened. Rather, because Republicans typically lower federal taxes and at the same time increase federal spending they incur a double deficit. That’s why Bush I lost re-election– he had promised “no new taxes” but in fact raised them (the responsible thing to do, actually) and lost a bunch of his John Birch Society supporters to Ross Perot. And it’s why the end of Bush II’s administration caused a profound recession (no, it really qualified as a Depression) that left millions without homes or jobs. (We aren’t even going to talk about “the former guy,” which was more of the same.

Now we have Republicans in the Senate playing the same card they played against Obama when he had to get the country out of  the Depression they left him.

Charlie Brown expressed our feeling best when he leaned his forehead against a tree, muttering, ” I can’t stand it!”

 

This week’s $5 tasting:

Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino ’18      Italy     $14
Pale golden-tinged straw color; botanical herbs and white stone fruit on the nose and palate, with good length and freshness, finishing clean and medium-long, pairing well with everything from salad to pasta to fish and savory meat dishes.

Perazzeta Sara Rosso ’15     Italy   $12
90% Sangiovese, 10% Ciliegiolo from the Tuscan south; bright and full-bodied with cherry, crisp acidity, and tantalizing earth tones make this pretty wine a winner with savory dishes.

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon    California      $21
Opens with scents of currants, dried roses, grape pomace and fresh tilled soil; nose shows notes of smoked meat, along with blueberries and blackberries, vanilla and toast. Silky tannins and striking smoothness.

 

 

Wine Tasting
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting september 10-11 ’21

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
Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting sept 3-4 ’21

lummi island wine tasting sept 3-4 ’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:

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

Barley, Whole Wheat, & Rye Levain – A levain bread where the sourdough culture is built over several days and allowed to ferment before the final dough is mixed. Made with bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat, barley and rye flours. A hearty whole grain bread that is a great all around bread – $5/loaf

Chocolate Muffins – Rich and delicious, everything you have always wanted in a chocolate muffin. Great chocolate flavor and an incredibly moist muffin. Chocolate muffins can often be dry, particularly the next day, these aren’t those muffins! Made with all the things that muffins good: flour, brown sugar, sour cream and eggs; with plenty of chocolate chips stirred in and sprinkled on top – 4/$5

 

Wine of the Week:   Gamache Boulder Red ’17

In 1982 Roger and Bob Gamache brought a family farming heritage to Washington and planted the Gamache vineyard near the White Bluffs in Columbia Valley under the guidance of Washington wine pioneer Walter Clore.  Twenty years later they began making wine under their own label. From their years as vintners they had established symbiotic working relationships with other top vintners in the area that gave them access to the highly sought-after fruit from the iconic Ciel du Cheval vineyard on Red Mountain and Champoux vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills.

All vineyards are not created equal, and great fruit is the necessary ingredient for great wine. Therefore it is not surprising that Gamache wines are highly regarded, including our “wine of the week” Boulder Red.

Sadly, Gamache brothers Bob and Roger sold their 180-acre Basin City vineyard to Sagemoor vineyards in 2016, and have just sold the winery as well, making this their close-out vintage.  Read more

      

 

 

The Economics of the Heart: Democracy vs. Corporate Feudalism

The basic idea of medieval Feudalism begins with the concentration of wealth (the ownership of income-producing assets) into the hands of a small number of established families. In exchange for a loyalty oath, the owner-lord grants his sub-lords ownership rights over specific fiefdoms and their inhabitants, with the implicit understanding that they will do whatever is necessary to generate the ongoing income stream necessary to maintain the lord’s standing army. This interdependent relationship between lord and vassal lies at the heart of feudalism. The lord has all the power, and the vassals live at the mercy, whim, and pleasure of the lord. Like overseers in the Confederate feudalism of the Old South, they have their own lines to toe.

Feudalism runs on a hierarchy of power, with the most valuable lands and positions given to the most valued vassals, who have their own sub-vassals, and so on. Each fiefdom depends on system of mutual benefit and obligation among the powerful, living in relative privilege over a larger underclass of subsistence workers. 

The feudal model has many parallels to today’s rapidly emerging global economic system, which we could aptly name Corporate Feudalism. A handful of individual billionaires and global corporation CEO’s sit at the heads of global financial empires. Their personal and corporate wealth continues to grow exponentially even as vast areas of the planet become increasingly uninhabitable. Consumption of their products is burying our Planet in single use plastic bottles and toxic chemicals. Authoritarian politicians across the globe (including nearly all of the American Republican Party), like the feudal lords they imagine themselves to be, vie to exploit their lands and their people for a piece of the action.

This dystopian vision was  captured powerfully in the classic 1975 film Rollerball, set in a world where sovereign nations had become secondary to a handful of Global Corporations. Jonathan is the star athlete who has grown too powerful and corporate bigwig Bartholomew wants him to retire. The most memorable scene has this dialogue, where Bartholomew is played by John Houseman with his precise and deliberate British accent.

Bartholomew : Jonathan, let’s think this through together. You know how the game serves us. It’s a definite social purpose. Nations are bankrupt. Gone. None of that tribal warfare anymore. Even the Corporate Wars are a thing of the past.

Jonathan E. : I know that, I just…

Bartholomew : Now, we have the Majors and their executives. Transport. Food. Communication. Housing. Luxury. Energy. A few of us making decisions on a global basis for a common good.

Jonathan E. : The (Rollerball) team is a unit that plays with certain rhythms…

Bartholomew : So does an executive team, Jonathan. Now, everyone has all the comforts. You know that. No poverty. No sickness. No needs and many luxuries – which you enjoy – just as if you were in the Executive Class. Corporate society takes care of Everything. And all it asks of anyone…all it’s Ever asked of anyone… is NOT TO INTERFERE with management decisions.  (!)

Since the 2021 election we have watched the constantly deteriorating rationality in both the leadership and the followers of the Republican Party. They have become obsessed with their sense of Entitlement to Power, and have drunk Way too much of their own Victimhood Kool-aid over the last six months.

 

This week’s $5 tasting:

Adorada “eau de California” Rosé   ’16         California       $14
Brilliant coral color with aromas of strawberries, red grapefruit, rose petal, and jasmine; palate of strawberry, orange zest and a touch of white pepper spice with bright acidity to balance the fruity creaminess. And all presented in a Very Fashionable Package!

Montinore Borealis White   Oregon   $15
Aromas of orange blossom, honeydew, guava and kiwi; sumptuous flavors of stone fruit, Meyer lemon and juicy pear drizzled with caramel.

Gamache Boulder Red ’17     Washington    $16
Malbec 42%, Syrah 23%, Merlot 23%, Cabernet Franc 8%, Cabernet Sauvignon 4%. “Smooth and luscious with heady aromas of dark fruit, loamy earth, vanilla and cedar, and compelling flavors of black cherry, plum and dark berries mingled with graham, vanilla and spice. Refined tannins add depth to the full-bodied finish.”

 

 

Wine Tasting