When you think of a Cabernet, Sauvignon is usually the first name that pops into your mind- rightfully so, as it’s one of the most popular grapes in the entire world. However, there’s another powerhouse red out there and that’s the Cabernet Franc.
You’ll get a similar flavor from a Cabernet Franc as you will from a Cabernet Sauvignon but with deeper fruit flavors like plum and cassis. Because of the oak-aging that a Cab Franc goes through, it comes out with a fairly high level of tannins which make it bold but palatable as a drinking wine or one to pair with your meal.
The high acidity and delicious tannins make the Cab Franc a perfect pairing wine with almost everything you’ll eat except light fish. Hearty meats, rich cheeses, spicy peppers, and starchy vegetables are just some of the foods that will shine when eaten with a the medium-bodied Cabernet Franc.
The Cab Franc is mainly grown with the intention of blending it with Cab Sauvignon and Merlot, however it can be grown on it’s own like it is here in America. It is very similar to the Cabernet Sauvignon except it tends to ripen a week earlier, making it more suited for cooler climates, like what we have here in New York, particularly that of the East End of Long Island. The earlier ripening keeps it from being susceptible to the harsh weather we have during harvest seasons, therefore making it a truly perfect New York grape.
Many of our beautiful Long Island wineries are growing Cabernet Franc, not just to shine on their own but to blend with their other lovely red wines. If you’re looking to expand your vino horizons, check out some the tasting rooms in the East End and ask for a sampling of the Cabernet Franc. You won’t be disappointed.
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