Great choices: the NCAA Championships or Paris-Roubaix. Both are coming up this week. (Paris-Roubaix is an ultra-tough pro cycling race through cobblestone roads, and the scene of a classic movie, “A Sunday in Hell,” 1976.) Either way, I like to watch them with a glass of wine and a bowl of snacks. That way I feel as if I’m in a box seat.
In a good vintage, Cabernet Franc is very, very good, and 2010 on Long Island was such a vintage. This year I’m very excited to be releasing two North Fork Cabernet Francs – a dry wine and a rosé. Cabernet Franc a great party wine – with bright berry aromas, some earthiness, fresh acidity, light-to-medium body, and moderate alcohol. The key aromatics associated with Cabernet Franc are raspberry, strawberry, red currant, violets, tobacco mushrooms, leafy notes and lead pencil.
Cabernet Franc is more intensely aromatic and spicy than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and less tannic and lighter bodied than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is traditionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in Bordeaux, where it contributes perfume and acidity to the blend. In the Loire, Chinon, Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil are all made from Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc also grows well in Southwest France, Northeast Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Hungary, Chile, California, Washington and New York. Our Long Island climate is cool enough to give balanced acidity and warm and sunny enough to showcase its fruity characteristics.
For your weekend pleasure, I recommend Cabernet Franc with cheese sticks, freshly popped popcorn, chips and salsa sauce or walnuts. There’s enough fruit to enliven the crunchy snacks and enough spice to stand up to the salsa.
Coming up next: Cabernet Franc with French Bistro Dishes, Cabernet Franc with Mexican Food, Cabernet Franc with Italian Food, Cabernet Franc with Vegetarian Dishes, Cabernet Franc with Cheese, Cabernet Franc with Fruit. Stay tuned!