This is my first installment of utterly nonsensical blog posts that I neglected to write over this fraught year of 2012.
The first night in the Loire last year I had a scratch in my throat. It was a Friday night and I was in a foul mood. I was to start on the death vino-death march: Renaissance, Dive, Les Pénitentes, and the Bio and I'm sure there was another little one thrown in too. By the time the Breton's Saturday night bacchanal rolled around, twenty-four hours later, I was in full frontal painful cold. The girl gang, Pascaline, Linda and I booked a room in Bourgeuil. As it turns out it was the Bates Motel I had stayed at years back and I have to tell you, I was not feeling misty about it. But it was close to the destination. We got the key. Dropped our bags. Left. We headed to the resto/bar, which looked more Vermont than France, at least in the dim lights.
The Bretons, if you don't know are the couple in Bourgeuil who started the Dive in the very beginning, are famous for a bon vivant lifestyle and beautiful cabernet franc, as well as early embracers of Biodynamie. A favorite cuvée of theirs, is the own-rooted, Franc de Pied, which always has more depth. But if pressed I have to tell you that their no sulfur Nuits d'Ivresse is always pure joy. There is no other man in the world who likes to get his party on more than Pierre, and while his wife Catherine can hold her own I often wonder how she deals with what he threatened he'd do to me: toss me over his shoulder like a pink and dead pig headed to the butcher, so I hid behind my snotty handkerchief hoping to blend in and huddled mostly outside of the raucous where Camille was sharing some sort of intimate joke with Philippe Bornard.
Yes, it looks like he's fascainted by her left breast, but they were talking about his debut as one of the contenders of the dating reality French TV Show L’Amour est dans le Pré, where they try to find farmers true love or at least a roll in the hay. I am not sure how it worked out for him, but I undestand that single women were hanging on like fruit flies on a pre-ferments for a while, trying to catch a glimpse of the vigneron in Pupillin.
I was warming myself by the outdoor fire, being utterly miserable. Finally Pascaline asked me, can we leave? Thank God. But first there needed to be a goodbye to our host. He was holding court on top of the bar doing a Breton imigation of a male stipper but instead of a G-string there was a pipette filled with old Trinch.
When I was in London in May for the natural wine fairs, so was Pierre. We tried to catch a glass somewhere. It didn't work and I felt guilty about it.
The next day, having arrived in Paris on the Eurostar, I headed to Gare de L'est for the train to Burgundy but had some time and was starved. The food choices in the hood can humble a diner.
I walked to Daumesnil and found a dismal café with more than its share of 1980s decor and Mylar, though in the right light, I could see how it could clean up. The Viaduc café. I sat on the border of out and in. My salade was on its way. The mozzarella was better than it needed to be, and so was the bread. But would I get as lucky with the wine? For $20 euro was the 2009 Trinch!!
Feeling guilty about not connecting with Pierre the previous night I ordered it as if an apology. What a moonlit sip that was. I delighted in its cabfrancishness. It will sound terrible stupid but I was communing with it, visions of Pierre and his pipette. How is it I wondered, that each grape from each of their soils could be so profoundly different? I felt like throwing my arm around it, with its acidity and cloudy, mysterious density. Across the way my eye wandered to two men, eating huge crab, one with a shoe-brush-like mustache, bits of crab clinging to the polish around his lips as he sipped the same wine. They were absentminded. Well they should be because the match couldn't have been swell. I watched for movement on his brush. I saw him crack a leg and insert in mouth. Then he sipped. Stopped. Reversed course. Forgot the crab. Looked at the wine. He noticed.
I paid my bill and offered my left over bottle to the gentlemen. They were large and had room, and I did know they would have their way with it. I walked to the station for the train to Beaune, trailing behind me my suitcase. I rarely share wordless wine with strangers, not that I have a thing against comb-overs and fuller brush mustaches, but I rarely find myself drinking with them, even at a safe distance. That's the miracle of Trinch.