Cabernet Franc is traditionally blended in with other grapes for Bordeaux or Meritage blends, but some small run vintages offer up some spectacular stand-alone varietal offerings. Generally, Cabernet Franc will come off as less dense, lighter, Cabernet Sauvignon, but with a bit more perfume or fragrance. A well-made Cabernet Franc should have lots of aromas of plum, black currant on the nose, plus subtle hints of herbs and green bell peppers, or green olives.
The first Cabernet Franc I fell in love with was from Chateaux Des Charmes. I just adored the green pepper and olive notes, and enjoyed this wine with many grilled veggie wraps. Tasting Cabernet Franc on its own, helped me understand Bordeaux’s complexity and balance of grapes. Other great producers of Cabernet Franc are Tawse, Benziger, Crocker & Starr, Pride Mountain, Bernard Baudry and Chateau de la Grille.
Best Wine for Vegetarians
Food is a necessity with this light, and tart red which really shines when paired with vegetarian dishes. Anything that contains cabbage, bell peppers, or herbs (particularly rosemary, sage, thyme or saffron), and grilled friendly vegetables like eggplant and zucchini will be zested up by this crisp red.
Cabernet Franc and Grilled Veggie Wraps
Why not try your next grilled veggie wrap or sandwich with a glass of Cabernet Franc the next time you are BBQ’n! Saute up some green and red peppers along with onion, zucchini, maybe some eggplant, add a bit of goat cheese, and enjoy with this tart red.
Vegetarian Lasagna and Cabernet Franc
The tart Cabernet Franc is excellent with vegetarian lasagna. The bell pepper and herb notes simply go well with tomato sauce, whilst complementing the layers of noodles, peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, or any other veggies you may have thrown in there.
In fact, Cabernet Franc will match up nicely with any tomato based dishes, like Pasta, Bruschetta, or tangy Baked Beans. If you have a zucchini spiralizer, substitute zoodles for pasta noodles for your next spaghetti dish, and enjoy with a Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet Franc is for Meat Lovers too
Since Cabernet Franc is lighter to medium bodied, it will pair up just fine with lighter meats such as Chicken or Turkey, along with gamier fare like duck or other game birds. The juicy flavours will help cover up any gamey bird flavours whilst the herbal overtones will complement the dish. It also goes along just fine with richer beef dishes like steak, veal and meatloaf. Cabernet Franc is also a good match with tender bbq ribs.
For the ultimate experience, any of the items mentioned above, grilled, herb crusted, or with an herb sauce will be remarkable with Cabernet Franc. Unfortunately this red doesn’t get a lot of exposure, compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Merlot, so you might have to work harder to track down a great bottle. However, it’s worth the effort, especially if you pair it with the right dish!