Cahors, France is where the Malbec grape originated, and it is a somewhat lighter bodied Malbec than what you’d expect from Chile or Argentina. You still have a bit of tannin, but nothing as aggressive as a Cabernet Sauvignon, nor does it have a super long finish. Expect an in inky dark red colour (that is almost black)with a robust melding of blackberry, fruit leather, tobacco, earth, and hints of chocolate and licorice.
Small percentages of Merlot and Tanat are typically added to Cahors, and as a bonus fact, Malbec is often added to a Bordeaux to give it a deeper colour.
Cahors is excellent with lighter cuts of beef, Cassoulet, mushrooms, Roast Duck, Duck Confit, Roast Lamb, Roast Pork, Bue Cheese, Couscous and Turkey.
Cahors and Cassoulet
Cahors is a ‘holy grail’ of pairings with Cassoulet. Cassoulet is a long simmered bean dish (which you can make in your slow cooker), often mixed with duck, goose, or savoury pork sausage. It’s perfect for a chilly winter evening in front of a roaring wood fire. Cassoulet is an extremely rich dish, that is complemented by the full bodied, and earthy flavours of Cahors.
What Not to Pair Cahors With
Foods you want to avoid are bitter greens like arugula, which will make Cahors taste bitter. You also want to avoid fishy fish dishes that will make this red wine taste like you are licking a tin can. Vinaigrette salads are also a no go as it will make the fruit flavours of Cahors taaste flat. Instead, go for cream based dressings, or pairing with roasted vegetables.
The Two Styles of Cahors
The Cahors region itself can be broken down into two regions, one where grapes are grown on the limestone plateaux of the area which is known as the Causses. Here you can expect a more tannic red that may requiring some maturing in the bottle before you pop the cork. The second region has gravelly slopes and sits between the Lot River and limestone Plateaux. This region gives you fruitier wines that are more approachable.
For the Cahors wines with more tannin, expect to pay $25 to $60 (although some Cahors go for $150 a bottle), and for the fruitier Cahors, you’ll pay $12 to $30 approximately. For Cassoulet or Duck Confit, go with lower priced bottle, and save the pricer bottles for wine collectors.
Cahors is not a popular red wine, however, since it has been produced since the 1600’s, you’re definitely in good hands when you pick up a bottle. If you’re in the mood for some Cassoulet, or Duck Confit, you simply owe it to yourself to try out this fruity and dark red wine.
Do you have a favourite Cahors and Food Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!
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