What’s in My Glass? Chinon

When “Cabernet” gets mentioned in drunk  polite society, it tends to refer to the big and bold Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sadly, Cabernet Franc, the more moderate and reserved parent of Cabernet Sauvignon is often left on the sidelines–like most moms are after a kiddie soccer tournament. “Forget you, reliable mom, I wanna go get ice cream with my loud and psychotic coach!”

Parents of the world deserve…a mention.

Generally, Cabernet Franc adds peppery spice to wines, and is characterized by black fruit flavors (blackberry, currant, cassis, etc.) or is blended to temper heavier Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot-dominated wines. In some parts of France and the New World, however, Cabernet Franc is bottled on its own, and tends to yield wines with lots of black pepper spice, vegetal notes, and medium body. Especially in the Loire Valley, Cabernet Franc is grown and vinified in an ‘everyday wine’ style–making it easy to enjoy paired with simple dishes, and equally easy on the wallet.

This week, I was surprised by the peppery grape during a tasting this week when it popped out of the bottle in a light and candied style.

The Chais Saint-Laurent Chinon, a 100% Cabernet Franc bottling from the village of the same name in France’s chilly Loire region, was beautifully light in the glass–almost pink in color. Aromas of candied strawberry and raspberry (Jolly Ranchers, perhaps?) leapt from the glass, and the grape’s characteristic peppery scents were accents instead of the starring role in this wine (Like Taylor Swift, not Beyoncé at the Grammy’s). Light and refreshing with tart red fruit flavors throughout and just enough earth, this was $12 very well spent.

Cabernet Franc Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Domaine de L’Oubileé 2012 Merci La Vie Bourgueil for a more classic, pepper-dominated Cabernet Franc.

Drinking red wine and pretending to be like Beyoncé in herDrunk in Love video.

Fun Facts: Cabernet Franc has a ton of names:  Aceria, Acheria, Arrouya, Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy (Gascony), Breton, Burdeas Tinto, Cabernet, Cabernet Aunis

Until 1997, everyone thought Cabernet Franc was the child of Cabernet Sauvignon and not the parent. Thank you DNA double-helix craziness testing.

Chinon was the site of filming for the film rendition of Joan of Arc featuring Ingrid Bergman.

According to Nile Guide, Chinon “remains a tranquil village,” and takes just 3 hours to tour.

Perfect Pairing: Heavily spiced or herbed poultry (Like this Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe from everyone’s favorite city-lady gone cowgirl)

Olives & Meaty Tapas

Oily fish like Trout & Mackerel

  • January 27, 2014
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