Explore the World via Cabernet Franc
March is here and that means Spring is on its way. Considering last March we had two massive snow storms, I will change that to Spring is HOPEFULLY on its way! In addition to the crocus popping up, bunnies hopping around and birds chirping, it is time for #WinePW! This month is all about my beloved Cabernet Franc.
Wendy Klik of A Day in the Life on the Farm, is hosting this month’s chat and I was ecstatic to hear her choice of topics! Anyone who knows me, reads my posts, or listens to the podcast knows that I can talk Cabernet Franc 24/7! If you would like to find out, what I am sure is going to be incredible pairings, we will be getting together to discuss the wines we tasted and the pairings we made later today. (March 9th at 11 AM ET) It si super easy. All you need to do is follow #winepw.
Cabernet Franc; A Wine Lover’s Best Friend
Cabernet Franc is an essential blending grape, found primarily in Bordeaux-style blends. Primarily used as the third and smallest minority ingredient in the production of the coveted Bordeaux blend, it helps create the meritage magic with its constant companions, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
If you are a winelover, and I assume you are if you are reading this blog, you should be very thankful for Cabernet Franc. It is a parent of some of the most popular grape varieties, probably the most famous being Cabernet Sauvignon which came about thanks to its crossing with Sauvignon Blanc. Is Merlot more you style, well you are indebted to Cab Franc also, since a crossing with Magdeleine noire des Charentes gave you the wine in your glass. Love the spiciness of Carmenere? Cabernet Franc and Gros Cabernet deserves your gratitude!
Cabernet Franc; A Food Lover’s Best Friend
Cabernet Franc berries are thin-skinned and produce a medium bodied red wine with flavors ranging from plum, blackberry, violets, raspberry and blueberry to sage, bay leaf, rosemary, tobacco, and bell pepper. It is a perfect wine to pair with a variety of foods. When ripe, the fruit can present spice, fresh herb and leafy aromas, but when under-ripe, the green pepper and other vegetal characteristics can run wild.
With its lower tannic profile, it is much more palate friendly than its best known offspring making it an extremely food friendly wine. It matches wonderfully with roast chicken, pork, roasted or grilled, beef, duck, sausage, lamb, veal, hearty fish dishes and a variety of hard and soft cheese.
Vegetarians Cheer For Cabernet Franc
2, 4, 6, 8! Who do vegetarians appreciate? Cab Franc! Cab Franc! Yeah!! Since Cabernet Franc is lighter to medium bodied, it is an easy choice for lighter meats including chicken or Turkey, but can also hold its own with duck or other game birds. Drink it on its own or with beef dishes that Cabernet Sauvignon pairs with, such as steak, veal, meatloaf or ribs.
However, it isn’t always easy to find a wine that pairs with the dishes that appear on a vegetarian’s plate, but Cabernet Franc is a winner here also! Cabernet Franc loves the spotlight when paired with vegetarian dishes. It shows it diversity with foods such as cabbage, bell peppers, and eggplant or zucchini and steals the show when your plate has herbs, particularly rosemary, sage, thyme or saffron.
I decided to make a spinach Quiche with goat cheese and a blend of Mexican cheeses and paired it with our very own 2016 Reserve Plummer Vineyard Cabernet Franc. The recipe can be found on our partner site; Wine Pairing with Dracaena Wines.
Our Reserve Cabernet Franc is a single clone, single vineyard designated wine. It is crafted from Clone 4 (also known as French clone 332) that was imported to Foundation Plant Services from the Chambre d’Agriculture de la Gironde, France. Recognized for its low yields, intense dark fruit flavors and increased richness and mouthfeel; when paired with the vineyard’s soil, sun exposure and micro-climate we felt it was the ideal choice for our Reserve and I guess we chose correctly, since it won a Gold medal in this year’s San Francisco Chronicle. (as well as our Classic Cabernet Franc, which also received a 91 in Wine Enthusiast)
We all have heard the adage, “What grows together goes together.” Goat cheese and the Loire Valley are synonymous with each other, and that is why I chose to make my Quiche with it. Since goat cheese softens when exposed to heat, but doesn’t actually melt, like cow cheeses do, it provided a wonderful texture to the Quiche. The fresh, tart acidity, along with the fresh black cherry, blackberry and toasted oak flavors in the wine were ideal with the spinach, Mexican cheeses and a tart, earthy flavor of the goat cheese.
Looking for more ideas to pair with our favorite grape variety? Here are my #WinePW friends’ suggestions:
- 2 oz Pours: 5 Cali Cab Francs by Nicole of Somm’s Table
- At the Brasserie: Domaine de la Noblaie Pierre de Tuf 2014 with Chanterelle Mushroom & Herb Omelet by Cindy of Grape Experiences
- Lamb Stew Paired with Cabernet Franc Created by Couplesfrom Gwendolyn of Wine Predator
- Cabernet Franc Food Pairings by Steven of Wine and Food Pairings
- Think Spring! Cabernet Franc Rosé Paired with Pasta e Piselli by Linda of My Full Wine Glass
- Cabernet Franc: A Vegetarian’s Best Friend by Lori of Dracaena Wines
- California Cab Franc with a Homey Casual Meal by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chicken + Loire Valley Cabernet Franc — A Devilishly Delicious Pairing by Nancy of Pull That Cork
- Experimenting Chilean Perez Cruz Cabernet Franc with Five (Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty and Umami) Tasty Meat by Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings
- Ironstone 2016 Cabernet Franc: Comparing the Reserve and the Not Reserve by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Leah Jorgensen’s Blanc de Cabernet Franc Paired with Red Lentil Soup by Lauren of The Swirling Dervish
- Portobello Mushroom Chicken Braise with Dracaena Reserve Cabernet Franc by David of Cooking Chat
Dracaena Wines now has a Wine Club! We named it the CHALK CLUB. Draco is on our label, but Vegas was getting a little jealous. So we decided he deserved to be club spokesdog. In Las Vegas, betting CHALK means you are betting on all the favorites. We are betting that we are one of your favorite wineries, so we thought the name was apropos. The club is simple yet a bit different than most. When you wager on us, we will ship you three bottles of wine twice a year; once in April and once in September. You can choose all red or a mix of red and rose’. You immediately receive 15% off ALL your wine purchases but what makes our club stand out is a progressive discount. Let your club membership ride into the next year, your discount increases. Each year you parlay your membership, you receive an additional 5% off up to a plan maximum of 25%. Your club shipments are discounted. Flat $15 shipping PLUS we’ll cover your club shipping cost for your second shipment. That is $15 house money in a sure bet for you! So please head to our website; www.dracaenawines.com/chalk-