Wine Spectator 100 best wines of the year issue? Forget it. I did. I was going to grouse about it. And then, Bartholomew Broadbent stopped me. He was far more appreciative of the list than I was and to try to bring me over to his kinder, gentler side, he wrote, "There's a Portuguese wine near the top!" ---or something like that. His efforts were successful. So this year, they're off the hook. And I can hear Tom Matthews sigh in relief. Truly. (I mean there were at least 5 wines I wanted to drink on their list, not that bad.) Then tonight. I was feeling fatigued, not wanting to go out. I was looking at a pile of work and instead of digging in, I contemplated LAST year's AF wine of the year, the Clos Roche Blanche Pineau d'Aunis. The last time I cracked a bottle I found it a little cloying and I was doubting my unbridled enthusiams of a year ago. I knew the wine was going through transition, bottles started to push their corks. But this one, tonight, was all warm roses in the snow. Gosh, so pretty. It made me feel optimistic. In the Feiring household, optimism is rare, it is 24k crusted in rose cut diamonds. But, of late I've suffered from ennui. I've looked at the tub and thought, that needs to be scrubbed, poor thing. But I have not picked up the brush. Oh sure, I have polished a sentence here and there, but instead of elbow grease I've used Ajax. (cheap trick) And for that, I know, they'll make me wear the hair shirt. However, I was wondering until just this week what the AF wine of the 2008 would be. It would be far too easy to choose the 2006 Clos Roche Blanche Cot or the 2007 Gamay or a Breton and so I thought, nothing. Just nothing. I refuse to anoint something just because. But damn, what will I drink when the nights are cold and dark and bleak? Where is the wine that will make me happy every time I open it up. Oh not the wines I love, but the wines that can be the milk in my coffee? And then I went shopping. Yes, in this economy I went to Chambers Street in Tribeca and went shopping. And I found this: It was $11! The new Prat de Cest ! (read my book if you want to know what that means) The wine has been called rustic. Pfft. I say rustic is a rose. What means rustic. What a term. Rustic meaning---raw? Don't we love 'rustic food?" Why not rustic wine? And what means a rustic wine, a peasant wine? A wine with edge? Verve? A peasant that is a prince wine in wolf's clothing? A rustic gem in the raw wine? A beauty, a human who has been around the block, has the ironic edge but still has the innocence that will forever magnetize? This Bourgeuil I give you in its rustic innocence. The deal, I know little. Organic since 1965. No adjuncts other than sulfur. No new wood. There is a goregous cabernet franc-ness and underneath is a pure and simple plum. But wait, it's not THAT simple. In fact, it's the kind of wine you can quaff but will go back and back to taste and smell because it's a wine that has much to say. Take that and that those of you out there who deny terroir. Put your nose in the glass, maybe you won't say Bourgeuil, but I dare you not to say Loire, near Chinon. There is not much of it to go around. Chambers Street has it all and they direct import it. And if someone tries to poach it from them (importers, beware) I will come and throw oaky chardonnay all over their fine wool suits or Wolford body stockings. This is the wine that will nurse me through these hard times, affordable, fascinating. In these times where the tailors and shoemakers will once again have storefronts, even in my boutique riddled neighborhood. Along with the CRB's of the world, here is a wine for us. Happy New Year. It's going to be an interesting one. All we can do is hold on to the horns and go for a ride.