Comments Off on lummi island wine tasting july 2 ’21

lummi island wine tasting july 2 ’21

Current Hours: Friday & Saturday from 4-6pm

We are currently still operating under reduced hours as an extra precaution against Covid. All are welcome, and while vaccinations are required for admission upstairs in the tasting room, unvaccinated guests are welcome to enjoy wine tasting outside on our entry deck.

The weather looks clear for the weekend, with moderate summer temperatures predicted.  It is also very dry, so we hope all  of you will be very restrained with any fireworks.

 

 

Bread This Week

Breton – Incorporates the flavors and style of Brittany; bead flour, buckwheat, and rye make for interesting flavors, and sel gris -the grey salt from the region- adds a nice mineral edge. – $5/loaf

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a sourdough starter built up over several days before final mixing of the dough, which is then fermented overnight. This long slow process nurtures the fermentation process and gluten development, giving it a ‘toothy’ crumb, great texture and flavor, and a nice crisp crust. – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche Tart au Sucre – aka 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; a great substitute for shortcake with the fresh berries oin season right now. – 2/$5

 

Region of the Week: Pic St. Loup

This week we are featuring two wines from the same appellation in France. The “Pic” in the small French wine region of Pic St. Loup is a long, craggy ridge some 2,000 feet high that dominates the French landscape for many miles in every direction. It looms over a collection of very special, well-drained, limestone-rich vineyards. About an hour north of Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast to the south, it features hot days, but is also far enough north to have Atlantic-influenced cool nights that induce slow, full ripening.

We maintain a certain fascination with this unique little wine region a short drive north from Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast. Visible in the film, the “Pic” is a 640-meter “Tooth” of granite that dominates the view for miles in every direction– powerful, beautiful, vaguely remote, and iconic. 

The wines from Pic St. Loup must be predominantly syrah, grenache, and mourvedre (as in nearby Southern Rhone) and fairly consistently have a certain gravitas. The vines must be at least six years old (not the usual three) before considered mature enough for making red wines, but are perfect for making excellent rosé!. Vineyards are scattered among rugged terrain that slopes up from the Mediterranean. Atlantic influences make the local climate cooler and wetter than elsewhere in Languedoc. Wines from this little region typically show an earthy complexity accented by spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of the  wild aromatic herbs that flourish in the area, commonly known as “garrigue.”

Typically, Pic St. Loup reds show deep color and satisfying depth of flavor, with bold, spicy, and earthy complexity. They also tend to display more elegance and refinement than wines from the hotter Languedoc plains to the south. This week we are pouring two wines from the region, both old favorites: the Lancyre Rosé and the Chateau la Roque Rouge, both blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

 

Economics of the Heart: The Futility of False Economies

A couple of days ago Lummi Island writer Charlie Warzel had a brief piece in the Washington Post about our recent heat wave. The title nicely captured what we all experienced: existential dread. 

Climate science has been warning us about the coming Climate Crunch  for nearly fifty years. In 1980 I spent a summer as a research fellow at Battelle Labs working on a project funded by the Department of Energy on the potential economic impacts of carbon dioxide-induced climate change. A number of complex simulation models were already available, and were predicting a potential increase in average temperature of 1.5 degrees by year 2000. Such models view climate as a heat engine, which is any system that uses heat energy to do work, and view CO2 concentration as a variable that decreases the ability of the atmosphere to cool.

In the case of climate systems, the Sun is the power source and the atmosphere, land masses, oceans, and waterways are sinks. As the Earth turns on its axis, at every moment a different point on its surface sees the Sun directly overhead. That moving geographic point traces the line of maximum solar radiation that day. Each year the line crosses the Equator twice and briefly touches the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn once each.

At any given point on the planet the solar energy waxes and wanes through the day. Hot air rises, moves toward the poles, cools, and sinks, powering atmospheric circulation and winds. Similarly cold water sinks and warmer water rises. Where wind and water meet, the friction causes waves. Where cold and warm water meet, they cause vertical circulation. Where sun, water, and air meet, heat causes evaporation and cold causes condensation and rain. As the atmosphere warms it evaporates more water, dumps more rain, and releases more kinetic energy as wind. We all know these things.

A useful metaphor for our existential dread is not these natural cycles, but the recent tragedy of the condo collapse in Florida. It is becoming clear that the Owners’ Association had been informed several years earlier that the building had severe and rapidly worsening structural damage, and it was going to cost each owner a LOT of $$ to fix it. After two years of being unable to get residents to agree to fund the work, many of the volunteer Board members resigned as a group.

Those condos are a metaphor for our Climate, and this past weekend, right here where we live, we saw the cracks open up. We can feel in our bones that if we don’t all put our shoulders to this wheel and make the sacrifices and efforts required to stop and reverse global warming in the next couple of decades–  i.e. Right Now– we could miss our only chance and our Earth could become the next Venus– a lifeless furnace of a planet. And that totally qualifies as existential dread.

 

 

 

This week’s $5 tasting:

Lancyre Pic St. Loup Rosé ’20      France       $15
Raspberry and pear aromas on the nose, with distinctive spicy, minty garrigue notes. Big, bold and firm on the palate, ending with a long, clean finish; pairs perfectly with hearty salads, grilled vegetables, kebabs, stuffed tomatoes or charcuterie.

Oregon Solidarity Chardonnay ’18     Oregon     $18
Bursts with fresh apple, pear and peach aromas. Barrel fermentation has smoothed any rough edges and polished the flavors to a bright sheen.

Chateau la Roque Rouge ’17   France   $19
65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. A lithe and expressive red, with fine balance and well-structured flavors of dried cherry, plum, and boysenberry, featuring hints of tarragon and cream on the finish.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting june 25-26 ’21

Re-Open Hours: Fridays & Saturdays 4-6pm

NOTE: Covid vaccinations are required for admission upstairs, but unvaccinated guests are welcome to enjoy tastings on the deck.

Bread This Week

Spelt Levain – Spelt is an ancient grain that is a wheat. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and has gluten but it isn’t as strong as the gluten in modern wheat. This bread is made with a culture that is used to create a levain before the final dough is mixed with traditional bread flour, spelt flour, fresh milled whole spelt and fresh milled whole rye. It is a great all around bread – $5/loaf

Semolina w/ Fennel & Raisins – Also a levain bread made with bread flour, semolina and some fresh milled whole wheat. A little butter for a tender crumb and fennel seeds and golden raisins round out the flavors. Judy A. says this is her favorite! These flavors go really well with meats and cheese, but it also makes pretty darn good toast – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Chocolate Babka Rolls – A sweet pastry dough full of eggs, butter and sugar, rolled and spread with a chocolate filling, rolled up and cut into individual rolls that are placed in baking forms for baking and then brushed with sugar syrup after baking. I’ve heard some people say they hide these to keep them all to theirselves. Be sure and get your order in early as quantities are limited – 2/$5

Wine of the Week: Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc  ’20         New Zealand      $14

This is an interesting wine our island wine rep Judy brought by a few weeks ago. We both liked it immediately. Though unmistakably a NZ sauv blanc, it also has more subtlety, complexity,and flavor nuances than is typical for the region. With unusually hot weather forecast for this weekend, this wine is certain to be a refreshing thirst-quencher.

The interesting name of this NZ sauv blanc derives from the voyage of Captain James Cook in command of the HMS Endeavor from 1768-1771 on an expedition with two major objectives. The first was a Royal Society scientific project to study the predicted transit of Venus across the Sun in 1769. The second was more a geopolitical matter of of growing Empire: to search for and explore Terra Australis Incognita, the rumored “undiscovered land” in the South Pacific. And indeed, Cook became the first European to locate and explore New Zealand and Australia, with huge and lasting consequences.

Tasting notes: Bright, crisp, lively and refreshing, with tantalizing aromas of tropical fruit, lychee, and pineapple lead to big flavors of grapefruit, mango, papaya, gooseberry and lime.

Economics of the Heart: The Edges of the Future

Believe it or not, we are about to mark the middle of the first year of the Biden Presidency. The past year has been a chaotic sequence of unlikely events that continue to shroud even the relatively short-term future in discomforting uncertainty. In the space of a year our country has endured an astonishing sequence of emotional roller coaster rides.

A brief list of emotionally charged events of the past year include things like two Impeachment Convictions of the Former Guy, the Global Covid Pandemic, the death of liberal Justice Ginsburg and immediate hypocritical assignment of her seat by Darth McConnell to yet another Catholic Absolutist; the Big Lie about the 2020 election; the unlikely wins of two Democrats as Senators in Georgia; Republican collusion in the Capitol Riot; Republican assertion that Climate Change is not a problem — the list goes on and on.

We find ourselves at a tense crossroads where anything can happen; where the stakes are infinitely high, and the continuing existence of Life on Earth is in peril from human activity. Life itself feels delicately and inappropriately at stake, mainly because Republicans are more concerned about preserving personal and corporate wealth than about the long-term viability of Life on Earth. Maybe they are All In with the belief that short-term profit is more important than long-term survival and viability. Maybe it’s not just an act. 

The point we are trying to locate and take aim at is this: the very existence of Life on Earth is in peril from the unwillingness of Republicans to realize or care about Science. This is not our grandparents’ politics. This is, in every conceivable way, an existential battle for a sustainable future. Every indicator suggests that Republicans long ago brainwashed each other and a third of the national electorate into believing that global warming is a myth, that fossil fuels have a long and bright future, and that Critical Race Theory is the only thing keeping them from having the lives they want.

This week’s $5  tasting:

The forecast is for a major Heat Wave this weekend. We think these wines will offer particular refreshment for these conditions.  Oh, and did we mention we have…wait for it…Air Conditioning…!

Bargemone Provence Rose ’20  France    $14
Beautiful pale pink, with bright, mineral-dusted aromas of pink grapefruit and dried red berries. Light and racy on the palate, with tangy citrus and redcurrant flavors. Finishes brisk and dry, with good lingering spiciness and length.

Chasing Venus Sauv Blanc  ’20         New Zealand      $14
Bright, crisp, lively and refreshing, with tantalizing aromas of tropical fruit, lychee, and pineapple lead to big flavors of grapefruit, mango, papaya, gooseberry and lime.

Gamache Boulder Red ’17     Washington    $16
Smooth and approachable red blend layered with depth and complexity. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry and blueberry. Pairs well with everyday fare from pizza to barbecued hamburgers.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting june 18 ’21

No Bread This Week!  🙁

As those of you on the Bread Mailing List already know, our baker has taken this week off. Look for an email Sunday for next week’s choices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine of the Week: Domaine de l’Amauve La Daurèle Séguret ’18     

Domaine de l’Amauve, in the picturesque Southern Rhone region of Séguret, is a modest family winery of 10 ha that has been owned by the same family for generations.

The current owner-winemaker is Christian Vœux who isfollowing a very long family tradition, took over the vineyards and winery from his parents in 2006 after many years’ experience as winemaker for Château Mont-Redon in Chateauneuf du Pape.

The name of the property comes from the flower of mauve (Malva sylvestris), sometimes known as common mallow, which is prolific in the vineyard through the spring and provides both visual and sensory beauty. 

La Daurèle is a carefully crafted  blend of Grenache blanc (brings white fruit notes), Clairette (floral notes), Viognier (pear and texture), and Ugni blanc (crisp freshness), adding up to a round, well-balanced wine with appealing notes of hazelnut and heather.

 

 

Economics of the Heart: Irreconcilable Values

About a month ago an article in the Washington Post discussed findings from a CBS News poll showing that two thirds of Republican voters considered  maintaining loyalty to Donald Trump the main priority of the party and believed that the 2020 election had been “stolen” by Democrats. Nearly half preferred deliberate efforts to make it harder for Democrats to vote than to support policies to attract their support. These findings are consistent with the fact that in 2020, for the first time in its 160-year history, the RNC adopted no party platform–just Trump’s “America First” agenda. This level of mass hysteria is the direct and intended result of the five year, 24/7 Fake News campaign of Fox News and Right-Wing radio.

In her 1962 book Economic Philosophy, Joan Robinson looked deeply into the relationships among economics, values, and ideologies. We have often quoted her observation that “any economic system requires a set of values, a set of rules, and a will in the population to carry them out.”

She also said that “a society cannot exist unless its members have common feelings about the proper way of conducting its affairs; i.e., a common ideology. As the events of the past four years in general, and the past year in particular have shown, a large proportion of Americans no longer believe in the values adopted in our Constitution and which have held fast for 250 years.

Since the New Deal almost a hundred years ago, Republicans have been searching for a way to justify the entitlement of the rich to accumulate wealth without regard to the environment or the welfare of our own huddled masses. Under Reagan the Eighties became the Decade of the Bottom Line, the Nineties the Decade of Vapid Pragmatism, the Aughts the Decade of Republican Secession, and the Teens the Decade of Autocratic Consolidation.

They feel Entitled to have way more than any logical fair share. Like feudal Lords they really believe, as Dick Cheney put it, “It’s our Due.” (for being in power).

It is much broader than the 1/6 assault on the Capitol. There has been an ongoing war on Truth itself for forty years, and now they have succeeded in making nearly half the country unable to tell truth from lies.

 

This week’s $5 wine tasting

Villa Viva Cotes de Thau Rose ’20         France        $12

100% ruby color, notes of fresh strawberries and raspberries, a grapefruity tang and subtle undercurrent of mineral intrigue; clean soft, and balanced, with a lingering finish.

Domaine de l’Amauve La Daurèle, CdR Villages Séguret ’18      France       $18

Grenache blanc, clairette, viognier, & ugni blanc; expressive nose of white fruits, mirabel plum, and acacia honey; soft on the palate with lively citrus flavors…very Food Versatile!

St. Francis Merlot ’17       California  $15

A classic, rich, and soft merlot with aromas of cassis, plum, and dried currant that merge into layered flavors of dark berries, espresso bean, and bittersweet chocolate and a long, vibrant finish with a note of spice.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting june 11 ’21

Bread This Week

 

Island Bakery has developed a lengthy rotation cycle of several dozen breads and pastries. Each Sunday Janice emails the week’s bread offering to her mailing list. Orders received before Wednesday will be available for pickup at the wine shop each Friday from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Go to Contact us to get on the bread email list.

Seeded Multi Grain Levain – Made with a sourdough culture and using a flavorful mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye. A nice mixture of flax, sesame sunflower and pumpkin seeds and some oatmeal adds 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 with a levain in which the sourdough starter is fed and built up over several days, then mixed with bread flour and polenta in the final dough mix. This is not the sweet corn cranberry bread that I have done in the past that is enriched with milk and butter, this bread is a nice rustic loaf with great corn flavor. – 5/loaf…

and pastry this week…

Brioche Suisse- A rich brioche dough made with plenty of butter, eggs and sugar, rolled out and spread with pastry cream before sprinkling with dark chocolate. The dough is folded over all that delicious filling and cut into individual pieces. 2/$5

 

Wine of the Week: Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir ’18

 

Aromas of raspberry, blackberry, currant, earth, dried herbs and roses, with full-bodied palate of cherry, bramble fruit, cedar, anise and minerality; silky mouthfeel and flavors, with exceptional balance of velvety tannins, lifting acidity, and a lingering finish. 

Objectively speaking, during our tasting Judy (our island wine professional) didn’t care for it particularly (usually we agree). But there is an elusive quality– part of it is a background nose of fresh roses– that is hard to define, but it does have a certain draw. See what you think!

 

 

RAF Mildenhall

Yesterday President Biden gave his first address to our European Allies at the RAF Mildenhall air base, located about 80 miles northeast of London.  The base first became an airfield in the 1920’s, very early days in the game of aviation.

It then became a key base for bombers during WWII, and after the war it became primarily a base for in-flight refueling tankers and transport aircraft in collaboration with the US Air Force. For some years during the Cold War it also was a primary base for the long-range, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft (“spy planes”) the U-2 and the SR-71 during the Cold War.

As it turns out, I spent several days at Mildenhall back in 1967, just after graduation from the Naval Academy as a new Ensign. I had been corresponding with a girl I had met in Copenhagen during a training cruise in 1964 (see photo, left). By 1967 she was working in London as an au pair, so before reporting to my first duty station, I caught a hop to England from Dover AFB in Delaware for a visit. By day I was a tourist on my own in London, and in the evenings we would meet up with an eclectic group of her international friends for food, conversation, and entertainment.

After most of a week in London, I took the train back across the countryside to Mildenhall to wait for a flight back home (about three days). In those days Mildenhall was much as it must have been during the War…small, tidy, friendly, easy-going. The accommodations and food were entirely pleasant, and there were trees and lawns, and I had enough time on my hands to read most of Dr. Zhivago. All of which is to say that Mildenhall represents a pretty comfortable set of memories and associations, and to my knowledge I have not seen or heard the name mentioned for a very long time. Have you ever heard of it before?

 

 

Economics of the Heart: Renewing Alliances for the Future

In 1939 at the very beginning of WWII, the movie The Lion Has Wings was released by the Brits to stir national support for the coming war effort. Back then, the Nazis had built a formidable war machine and gave every sign of intending to deploy it against the rest of Europe. Fascist dictators had taken over Germany, Italy, and Spain, and Stalin had not been an ally. Whatever hopes anyone had that Hitler would not use his arsenal against other European countries was dashed to pieces when he invaded Poland and put it firmly under the Nazi heel.

The history of American alliances with nations in Europe is largely a history of providing a common defense against the Hitlers of the world. President Biden is on a mission to repair and renew the apparatus of common defense as authoritarianism is on the rise around the world and even here in our own country as Red states rush to enact an orgy of voter suppression laws before the 2022 Congressional election.

At the same time, the common habits of humanity of irresponsible procreation, production, pollution, exploitation, acquisition, and hubris are relentlessly shredding the interwoven fabric that makes existence even possible on our tiny, isolated, and increasingly beleaguered planet.

We applaud Mr. Biden’s understanding of the gravity of this present moment in the history of life on Earth, and his efforts to unite us to save it from our collective hubris. 

Another way of looking at this is that some humans are like chimps, and some like bonobos. Chimps have a mean streak, and every once in while the dominant males cross into another tribe’s territory and stomp one of the Others to death. Bonobos don’t work like that, probably because they spend a lot more time making whoopee. Or, as Margaret Mead found in her research, the level of violence in a culture was most explained by the amount of physical contact with infants (more touching–> less violence), and the age of consent for sex (younger age –> less violent).

 

 

This week’s $5 wine tasting

K Vintners Art Den Hoed Viognier ’18    Washington    $22
Medium gold hue and beautiful notes of orange blossom, ripe peach, and a touch of quince; density and richness reminiscent of southern Rhone style; full-bodied with a solid center palate and a long, flavorful finish.

UDACA Eloquente Dao Tinto ’18      Portugal     $9
Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, and Alfrocheiro Pret; rich and intense, with clear ruby color, clean aromas of red and ripe fruits; soft, balanced flavor, and  a lingering finish.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir ’18     Oregon     $28
Aromas of raspberry, blackberry, currant, earth, dried herbs and roses, with full-bodied palate of cherry, bramble fruit, cedar, anise and minerality; silky mouthfeel and flavors, with exceptional baance of velvety tannins, lifting acidity, and a lingering finish. 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting