Have you been searching for a wine to pair with your upcoming lovely roasted holiday feast? Want to offer your guests something a bit different that is delicious? Good news folks! Cabernet Franc may be the wine you are searching for this holiday season.

Let’s explore the question – Why try Cabernet Franc?


First and foremost,  we all should try Cabernet Franc out of respect. Without Cabernet Franc we would never have met Cabernet Sauvignon. It was proven in 1997 that back in the day Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc got together and made Cabernet Sauvignon grape babies. Cab Franc used to be thought of as a blending grape. These days more and more wineries are featuring this as a stand alone varietal all by itself.

Still, another good reason to try Cabernet Franc is to broaden our taste profile horizons. Many have yet to try Cab Franc and/or are afraid to. DON’T BE!

Awesome Addition to Your Varietal Favorites List

If you like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot then you will love Cabernet Franc. I’ll try and paint you a better picture. If Cabernet Sauvignon is the seven foot tall big brother that’s wearing a rugby shirt and blue jeans then Cabernet Franc is the younger six foot six brother wearing a nice suit with glasses and holding a briefcase. He’s big but not quite as big and is a little more sophisticated but usually doesn’t need as much age on it. The sweet spot on Cab Franc aging is usually around 5-10 years but can go as long as 20 while Cabernet Sauvignon is generally 10-20 years and can go 40 or more.

Pair Your Holiday Feast with “Wow” Wine

The third reason I think we should try Cabernet Franc is because the holidays are here! I’m not just saying this because it has a high alcohol content which does help with the ol’ holiday spirit, and could potentially be yet another “reason”, but because of all the food.

Cab Franc is always a great option to serve or to bring for any holiday dinner party. Are you roasting or braising a meat as the centerpiece of your holiday feast? This varietal pairs well with winter time recipe centerpiece dishes such as special dishes like wild game hens, duck, rack of lamb or a show stopping beef standing rib roast. This rich varietal pairs well with roasted pork, sausages or veal dishes. The acidity can also be a nice compliment to tomato based sauce dishes. Yes, it is an easy varietal to pair for special occasions, isn’t it?

Cab Franc can, also, pair beautifully with conversation around the fireplace. Either way it is always a great guest to have at any holiday celebration.

Varietal with Lots of Value

Last but not least, we should all try Cab Franc is because it is such a great value.

Eponymous makes an amazing Cabernet Franc that is under $40 a bottle. Honestly, it drinks better than some wines that cost twice as much. Robert Pepi’s winemaking reputation is stellar. This is one of his passion projects and each sip shares that.

Bill & Roxane Wolf of Eagle Eye Winery - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

Eagle Eye Winery  offers a Cab Franc with a  “91 points gold” rating from the Sommelier’s Challenge 2016 for only $55. The Wolfs have created lovely Cabernet Franc wine year after year. On their Eagle Eye Winery website, they share two or three of their award winning Cab Franc vintages for sale. You may want to offer your guests a taste comparison of vintages.

Bringing these high quality wines to the table make you look like more of a connoisseur than bringing the $100 bottle that everyone has heard of. So for this holiday season please don’t forget all of these reasons to bring along your new sophisticated friend Cabernet Franc.

Cheers and Seasons Sippings!

Looking for more information on wines for winter holiday celebrations?

How to Serve Wine to Your Guests Well Tips 


Winter Wine = Good Times

Published by Todd Wetzel

Family, Living in Napa & the Chicago Cubs 

Our CKJY Exports team affectionately calls him… “THE Todd”.

Todd has 20+ years of experience regarding everything wine, beer, spirits and the service industry. He is a triple threat because provides keen insights to the changing wants of consumers and working knowledge of fine restaurants. Additionally, Todd brings an in depth understanding of how wineries, breweries, distilleries and distributors operate to our team.

Todd is the team’s "go to alcohol expert." He pairs his impeccable taste with a friendly outgoing nature and a big smile on his face. Follow Todd’s blog posts to gain a more in depth understanding of American wine, beer and spirits!

Todd’s go to favorites are.. lush Viogniers, delicious IPA’s and his weakness is a rich Cabernet Sauvignon. But what truly excites him is trying new and creative things!

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