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The sauce is a tomato basil sauce with olive oil and garlic. (Conventional, I would say.) However, I am adding some hot Italian sausages. I do have a Syrah, Shiraz and a few Cabs available. What is your suggestion?

Still, generally, what can I match a Cab Franc with. The present Cab Franc that I have is from California and it will my first time trying such. Recently, I had a French Cab Franc (Anjou 2005 Domaine Philippe Delesvaux) without food. Man-alive, I truly enjoyed it and thus, I will be going back for some more soon enough. Nonetheless, I would not know what kind of food to pair with it. Thanks for your help.

quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Could work. It probably won't suck, but will depend on the sauce and the spicing of the sausages. Do you have other alternatives? How are you preparing the sauce?

PH
Thanks PH. So the acidity is the key. Next time, I will pair a Chianti. What would you say, in general, is the ideal food pairing for a Cab Franc? -- cuzz, I like it!

quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Of the wines you list, the Cab Franc would be the way to go. I think you'll likely get a bit more acidity than from a Shiraz or a Cab Sauvignon. If you can get a Chianti, that would be my choice with this dish. Hope the sausages aren't too spicy.....

PH
I'm not a Cab Franc expert by any stretch, but I'd imagine it's a pretty versatile varietal to pair with. Since it's less tannic than Cab Sauv, it should even match up with heartier poultry. Obviously red meat would work well. The acidity in tomato sauce can be a tough pairing for wines without a bit of noticeable acidity.

PH
Pairing with food is often my weak spot. Still...

If I think of the really, really acidic Chinon I had yesterday, I'm contemplating the fact that more acidity from the wine, added to the high acidity in tomatoes might result in quite a sour match.

With the Bologneselike spaghettis we eat, I prefer something more round and spicy, like a Coteaux du Languedoc with some (a lot of) Syrah.
quote:
Originally posted by Rik:
Pairing with food is often my weak spot. Still...

If I think of the really, really acidic Chinon I had yesterday, I'm contemplating the fact that more acidity from the wine, added to the high acidity in tomatoes might result in quite a sour match.

With the Bologneselike spaghettis we eat, I prefer something more round and spicy, like a Coteaux du Languedoc with some (a lot of) Syrah.


Well, the point is to complement. It's not like you are adding acidity to the tomato based sauce by drinking a sangiovese. You are making the transition between the tomato based sauce "food" and the "wine" much more accommodating. The notice in changes in acidity from wine to food in the mouth will be much less if the acidity of the wine matches that of the food.
Hey PH, I actually took a drive to a local wine tasting room in my community to pick up a bottle of Chianti. Good choice. It worked well. I will save the Cab Franc for some red meat.


quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
I'm not a Cab Franc expert by any stretch, but I'd imagine it's a pretty versatile varietal to pair with. Since it's less tannic than Cab Sauv, it should even match up with heartier poultry. Obviously red meat would work well. The acidity in tomato sauce can be a tough pairing for wines without a bit of noticeable acidity.

PH
It generally is. The berries are slightly larger and the skins slightly thinner.

It rippens a good couple-few weeks before Sauvignon too, so you're more likely to have riper tannins.

I hear of a lot of producers doing a bleed off in the vat to up the tannin and intensity of Cab Franc so I've got no doubt the finished product could easily match the tannin of a Sauvignon.
How does "bleed off in the vat" work? Do you mean that what remains in the vat is more concentrated, which allows for more tannin extraction? Yeah? Or, am I way off?

quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
It generally is. The berries are slightly larger and the skins slightly thinner.

It rippens a good couple-few weeks before Sauvignon too, so you're more likely to have riper tannins.

I hear of a lot of producers doing a bleed off in the vat to up the tannin and intensity of Cab Franc so I've got no doubt the finished product could easily match the tannin of a Sauvignon.
The French term is 'Sangee' but I try to not use French words when talking about wine or winemaking.

After crushing the grapes at harvest, the juice is clear. You bleed off or 'Sangee' some of the clear juice from the vat the crushed grapes are in. This leaves a higher percentage of skins in the vat. The skins contain the flavor compounds, tannins and color compounds.

Thus you increase the relative percentage of those compounds in the remaining juice. You can use the bleed off juice to make a rose. That's one of the reasons why you'll see a few Cab Franc based Rose's on the market. Also why Grenache is a popular wine to make rose out of, as Grenache has issues with color and one way to correct that is to bleed off some of the juice.
Prime stuff! Thanks for the lesson, SW!!!

quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
The French term is 'Sangee' but I try to not use French words when talking about wine or winemaking.

After crushing the grapes at harvest, the juice is clear. You bleed off or 'Sangee' some of the clear juice from the vat the crushed grapes are in. This leaves a higher percentage of skins in the vat. The skins contain the flavor compounds, tannins and color compounds.

Thus you increase the relative percentage of those compounds in the remaining juice. You can use the bleed off juice to make a rose. That's one of the reasons why you'll see a few Cab Franc based Rose's on the market. Also why Grenache is a popular wine to make rose out of, as Grenache has issues with color and one way to correct that is to bleed off some of the juice.
Sancho - that's why you sometimes hear it called "bleed wine".

Anyway - for pairing your wine, the classic is Chianti with your tomato sauce foods - pizza, lasagne, etc. Which is interesting because the tomato cooking is generally further south in Italy and Tuscan cooking isn't as big on the tomatoes.

But the idea is to use a high-acid, low-tannin wine and sangiovese fits that bill. On the other hand, you could get something from the south, say a primitivo or nero d'avola and see where that takes you.

Cab franc is really different in California and in France. If it isn't ripe, it can have definite flavors of green bell peppers and vegetables. And it can be really acidic too. If you don't like that, then stay away from Chinons and the like. In CA, it gets riper more frequently. So those elements are toned down considerably and while still there to a degree, they act as supporting players. You don't get quite as much depth as you do with cab sauv, and you often have a brighter profile, but it can make a really good wine!

I don't know Stefania's that well, but Pam Crocker seems to like that grape. In fact, it seems like lots of female winemakers like it - Viader, Dalle Valle, Crocker, Corison all have a good shot of cab franc in their namesake wines. If you get a ripe Chinon, you can get an herbal quality that might be reminiscent of a Cote du Rhone, although you won't get the underlying fruit.

So the CA and WA cab francs that I have had can work really well with just about anything you would serve with merlot or cab sauv - grilled steak, lamb, roast beef, venison, some kinds of sausage, etc.

Those from France can do that as well, but because they seem to have more apparent acid and herbal qualities, they also do really well with fatty cuts of meat and sausages and herbed potatoes and/or root vegetables.
GregT, terrific insights for this wine novice!!! I have come along way in this wine learning process. However, I must admit that I did broadbrush the Cab Franc as a pleasant wine because of a Cab Franc (100%) that I recently tasted from the Loire Valley – from Anjou to be precise. It was dark in color (nearly opaque). IMHO the fruit flavors came through: currants, plums and to boot, fresh. I do not claim to know much and I do not buy expensive wines. Nonetheless, in my fledging wine experience, I look for value wines and taste as much of a variety as I can. (Advise from this forum.)

This particular one: Philippe Delesvaux Anjou 2005, while in the grand scheme of things not a great wine, still though, a wine that I enjoyed very much. Now, I am curious to taste this California Cab Franc that I have.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by GregT:
Sancho -
Cab franc is really different in California and in France. If it isn't ripe, it can have definite flavors of green bell peppers and vegetables. And it can be really acidic too. If you don't like that, then stay away from Chinons and the like. In CA, it gets riper more frequently. So those elements are toned down considerably and while still there to a degree, they act as supporting players. You don't get quite as much depth as you do with cab sauv, and you often have a brighter profile, but it can make a really good wine!
You picked a good one to start with! Good choice. And if you like that, by all means try more from that area and from Chinon. Bernard Baudry makes some really terrific wines that aren't too pricey. And there is a little-known region called Marcillac that is down in the southwest part of France - they use an entirely different grape but it is reminiscent of those Cab Francs from the Loire.

Over in the US, Viader makes a cab franc and a cab franc blend, both of which should give you a pretty good idea of the differences. So does Pam Crocker under the Crocker and Starr label - if you can find a bottle of her 97 Stone Place Cuvee, it is a blend of merlot and cab franc and it's drinking really well right now! I'm going to have a bottle next weekend, maybe I'll post some notes. Those are a bit more expensive than the Loire wines, which, by the way, are a great find if you like them - priced much lower than most wines from France for the quality you get.

Also from CA and somewhat lower in price (and quality IMO) is the cab franc by Lang and Reed. It's widely available and true to the varietal however.

There was a guy up in Washington making some good CF - Owen and Sullivan but they changed the name a couple of years ago, I think it is now O&S or something like that. One of the best cab franc based wines around at the time but I haven't tried any vintage later than 2001. However, in New York, cab franc is one of the most planted reds out on Long Island. I don't know where you are or if you can find those wines, but most of the wineries out there are producing a cab franc or at least a blend. And you really do pick up that varietal characteristic of herbs and bell peppers. That is also found in merlot, which is also planted out there. New York obviously lacks the sunny climate of California, so you really get to see the differences in the grape that come from the different climates and weather patterns. It would be an interesting educational tasting actually - a few from the Loire, from CA, from LI, and maybe from WA and Bordeaux!

Best of luck.
Why drink California Cab Franc when you can get Loire reds so cheap. I keep a lot of those around for food that overpowers Barbera and Chianti. Lasagna, Moussaka, steak, lamb, burgers...I can't rationalize paying $20 more for a Zin or a Cali Cab.

Also, I prefer them a little softer, so a few years of bottle age helps out.

Also, keep the spice down in the sausage. Spiciness and 14% alcohol don't mix.

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