Drunken Nights: The Wine

Posted on: February 7th, 2015 by

Cabernet Franc suffers the fate of not being Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t have the reputation, familiarity, nor the sheer numbers of bottles available compared to the more famous Cabernet.

Wait, what? What is this staid romance about standing up for a grape?!?

Let’s get to the part where we all have lampshades on our heads!

Breton Nuits d’Ivresse

Drunken nights. Literally. Note: I drank the 2011.

Let me introduce you to a wine that is all about drunken nights. Oh, you don’t believe me? Says so right there on the label.

Well, I had to be told that’s what it said. When I drank this with a couple pals at Seattle’s Bar Ferdinand, a helpful employee informed me that’s what Nuits d’Ivresse means in English.

Anyway the reason I was attracted to this wine is because of who makes it: Catherine et Pierre Breton. Their winery is in France’s Loire Valley and they do excellent work with Cabernet Franc. So I took a flier on a bottling I’d never had before. Bourgueil, by the way, is a part of the Loire where Cabernet Franc totally dominates. And Catherine et Pierre Breton make red wines from this region that dominate my dreams.

So where is the Loire Valley? Where is Bourgeuil? Peep this map. I got it from Wikipedia but don’t worry, it’s totally legit.  You’ll find Bourgueil is very close to Saumur (in red on the map), another fantastic spot for Loire Cabernet Franc. (Those labeled Saumur-Champigny are particularly good.) What I like about Loire Valley Cabernet Franc is that it’s (generally) a lighter-style red. The wines also have a lot of savory, non-fruity flavors. More on the herb and spice side of things.

loire valley map

Does drinking Drunken Nights lead to intoxication any more than Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc would? No. Thought I do appreciate that the name shines a hedonistic spotlight on wine rather than filtering it through gauzy sentiment. What would you prefer wine facilitate: navel-gazing dialog or gazing at actual navels? Just please don’t be a creep; focus your gaze on the navel that belongs to your lover. Do I need to tell you what happens next? You have another glass of Loire Valley Cab Franc, duh.

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