Cabernet Franc + Comfort Food
When it’s cold outside, it’s time to put the Loire Valley’s red wine superstar on the table: Cabernet Franc.
This grape variety produces spicy, lively red wines that are a perfect antidote to the winter blues. Characterized by a medley of peppery spice and floral aromas, plus just-picked red fruit notes and medium tannins, these wines are ideal alongside classic comfort foods – especially the hearty soups, stews, and roasted meats that dominate winter menus.
Though Cabernet Franc sometimes flies under-the-radar, it’s actually an ancient grape variety and a relative of Cabernet Sauvignon. It ripens earlier than its more famous cousin, making it perfectly suited to the cooler climate of the Loire.
The grape has a moderately thick skin, which gives most Cabernet Franc wines ample tannins and a deep purple color. Unlike other red grapes, which need a hot climate to ripen properly, Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire Valley’s cool climate where limestone soils provide just the right amount of nutrients and water retention.
Overall, the grape is beloved for yielding light- to medium-bodied reds which offer the perfect balance of power and finesse.
Cabernet Franc takes many forms in Loire Valley wines, but its best known in the aromatic reds from the Chinon, Saumur and Anjou appellations. The wines can be lighter bodied, less tannic reds that are generally ready to drink soon after bottling. However, Cab Franc can also produce full-bodied wines capable of aging magnificently over many years. We love this endlessly complex grape and its wines all year, but especially for warming up on cold winter nights.