New Artist at Libation Station…

Libation Station

the oil pastels

Kathleen Faulkner

during the months of July and August

A jewelry artist for over 20 years, Kathleen has been working in oil pastel since 2005.  Although Kathleen is still very involved in jewelry work, she is finding that the oil pastels are her preferred medium.

'Heading East' 23x21" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner

Born and raised in Seattle, Kathleen’s home and studio are located in Anacortes where she has lived for many years.   Her love of the Pacific Northwest  is the inspiration for her work:

“I am interested in telling stories.. giving form to memories of times and places.  It is an attempt to glimpse the essence of this place in the world that is sometimes referred to as the Magic Skagit, where the mountains meet the sea, Salish Sea, that is.”

For more information about Kathleen visit:

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in events


Chicken any and every way… and Manseng…

I’m putting together orders for next week for a French wine packed tightly with a grape called Manseng and in this instance, it will be the white varietal. It is phenomenal with any and all things chicken, specifically one’s from Well Fed Farms due to the flavor intensities and fiber-esque firmness associated with fowl raised that proper, but that is our not so humble opinion. This wine also grabs the brininess out of shellfish and really adheres it to your senses with it’s own acidic-saline characteristics. That means you can slam oysters and douse them in a most happily slithering way.

I will only be bringing this in for next month’s Wine Club and whomever else wishes to preorder some and of course, for my own personal stash… because I’m an only child.

Orders must be in by Tuesday morning


(club member quantity discounts apply)

The 95pt Reyvaan Syrah is completely gone unless a bottle or two falls off the truck heading elsewhere and my sales rep happens to be around to catch it. Rumor has it, it is being designated by the winery as restaurant pour only so it still will be accessible though probably at $80-$150 per bottle.

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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in wine alert


Wine as Dada… or Dada as wine…

… or, drink it if you will, or pour it on your head, in your pockets, and gargle with it if you will. Or drink it with foods that make no sense and is a revolting match. This concept could also apply to beer and cocktails but I think as far as anti-art goes, wine seems a more apropos marketable item for desecration, specifically with a culture least likely to not take itself so seriously, identifying itself as art and with all things art and thus by default, setting its many-times pretentious self up for the application.

I’ve would have never thought of applying Dadaism to wine culture until recently. I, like many in this biz have been perfectly happy letting wine do its thing as long as its thing was allowed to go merrily about being done… and without being accosted. Enter label branding and Costco.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Costco. I love going there for a whole day and not buying anything. I love pretending to be an employee, restacking the messy jean pile with the inhuman sizes on top and helping folks get the right palette of printer cartridges. I love checkout line antics, entering and exiting the wrong doors while flashing my passport, and watching the widescreen TV’s on leather lounges with a Polish and pop in hand. Costco is love.

But the stress to market and sell the maximum amount of everything has gotten a little beyond ridiculous. And since ridiculous can beget ridiculous… enter Dada. Enter Wine Dada. Enter the Dada Apothecary and Wine Shoppe where anti-wine is poured for the disillusionment of the masses.

…or not.

Side note… there appears to be an actual Dada brand of wine. This latest blurb is by no means associated with that brand as far as its promotion or degradation. It somewhat confuses me. Anti-Dada anti-brand Dada?


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Posted by on June 11, 2011 in other observations


A Reading and Wine at Libation Station…

This Fri, May 6, 5pm – 6pm

A reading by author

Ana Maria Spagna
(author’s biography webpage)

from her new book

“Potluck: Community on the Edge of Wilderness”

sponsored by
North Cascades Institute

Join us!

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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in events


The Fine Art of Full-Contact Wine Tasting.

Industry wine tastings; the ones where sellers and buyers meet on hallowed cement floor ballrooms partitioned between palettes stacked high with cardboard encased receivables and shippables, where table to table waltzes take place… waltzes of sophistication and purpose by those and for those with educated and experienced palates and the authoritative ability to sign a check.


The entire mercantile psychology of gambit and counter offer, what one might spectrally expect in any realm of exchange and more, occurs here within this environment… the sheer essence of the piss and sniff, swirl and spit resides here. This is civilization as we know it at work.

Etiquette is the rule of the day, for ethics are for idealists and morals are for fools when it comes to the quest for what fermented manipulations deserve to be stacked around ceiling posts in the middle of an island between the bread and deli sections, or delicately coddled in mahogany and cherry rack systems far beneath in-climate venues of gastronomical delight. Courtesies extended ad nauseum with nods and handshakes until condensed sugars break down and transform into uninhibited pokes and jabs of remembrances both delightful and embarrassing… usually concerning a previous such event and its aftermath. Old friends are reunited. New acquaintances are embraced.

And then inevitably, something strange happens and always centric to the tasting tables because that is where the initiating offer is made and the handed-off acceptance is acknowledged. Here is where alpha and beta hierarchies collide. Seller and buyer whiplashing over nuance and intricacy morph from the most innocent differences of opinion into personal affronts to one and all’s being. Statures bend and sway, pushing and pulling as former business alignments are loathed and future ones are dreaded. Encroachments across tribal lines become blatant attempts to improve another’s position in the wine acknowledged pecking order of one-upmanship. “You have just got to taste this Cheverny Rouge before that cretin you came in with does!”

And yet, these are actually normalities. They are to be found in similar configuration at tattoo conventions and auto swaps. This is human nature. But specific to this industry, a worse thing occurs that is beyond reproach and worthy of extreme prejudicial intolerances. This is about tasting table hogs who plant themselves, elbows flared, anchored in front of the 20 bottles they fully expect to sample, beginning to end, regardless of the 80 other tasters trying to maneuver around them, daring anyone to attempt a disapproving stare, grunt, or end-around. This is where civil society fails at its most extreme.

There are no identifying characteristics that these people possess. They are the most normal seeming of waiters and buyers and managers, sommeliers: appointed, anointed, or self-proclaimed. They are geeks and ruffians, employees, employers, owners of their own domain. They are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. And they are unable to comprehend that the 1-once pour of Bandol, the one that’s more than 50% Mourvedre or the Cornas that wholesales for $77, dripping with the ludicrousness of that pricing, can all be sampled, dissected, spit or swallowed via a step back from the table. They are relentless in their power grab to dominate the Savennieres Cuvee, the Reuilly La Grande Piece Rose or the Leredde Sancerre Red until they are bloody well ready not to.

Alas, the trials and tribulations one must negotiate to be a wine industry professional. And yet, when all the ruffled feathers and unabated friable asbestos settles. When all 75 wines are given their respective due and all the due-diligence can be logged, cataloged, and ranked notably in the proper queue, taking solace in knowing your efforts are solely for the benefit of all…

Mission accomplished.

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in other observations, tasting notes


Not much time for just one wine…

I absolutely miss wine I can take time with. Logistics of a wine mercantile require a continual impatient overwhelming of the senses. I think of barrage. A strafing of the palate. But to sit with one wine for hours. Days. Like the chase within a long seduction leading to a longer foreplay. Something like that.

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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in other observations


What theme will I employ today? Daily themes are a necessity for successful boutique retail application. I think I still have many options available. I know I’ve yet to try the blue bottle ploy or the only French labels in English. I’ve already done the wines you can taste but are not allowed to buy. And of course, the totally naked elder wine shop owner, I’m saving until last.

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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in other observations


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