Choosing the Right Cabernet for Midday

In this new column, Jameson Fink will weekly select the best choice from a by-the-glass wine list or bodega retail shelf.

One of my favorite times to visit a restaurant is the quiet hours between lunch and dinner, especially at a place that has a bar. What better time to relax with a glass of wine and a book, or (truth told) stare at your phone and scroll through Facebook and/or Twitter? If you’re close to the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market, Le Pichet is a fine location for a quiet mid-day respite.

While the low-key afternoon atmosphere is certainly a plus at Le Pichet, it’s the wine list that keeps me coming back. I’m a sucker for all the esoteric, non-showy French wines. Like the 2010 Domaine Bruno Dufeu Bourgueil ($7). It’s a Cabernet Franc from France’s Loire Valley region, and is a wonderfully light and lively red wine. It doesn’t club you over the head with clumsy oak flavor, gum-searing strength, or boozy aftertaste. Spicy, pure, and unfussy, it’s the perfect accompaniment to uninterrupted time at the bar. But if you’re hungry, the Dufeu would be an ideal match to to an assortment of charcuterie, like the air-dried country sausage.

And when we finally get around to having a summer in Seattle, this Cabernet Franc would be the perfect warm-day red. Serve it with a slight chill and enjoy it with hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill. Preferably in a comfy chair on a shaded porch or lawn. But, in the meantime, a stool at Le Pichet is not a bad second option.

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