Cabernet Franc is a mysterious grape. As the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon it expresses none of its massive toughness. It is much more delicate with a soft fragrance that shines when grown in the right spot like the steep rocky red volcanic soils of RSV’s Vandal Vineyard. Violets and cocoa dust with underpinnings of graphite come to mind when I think of Cabernet Franc – particularly RSV’s. It possesses nicely structured tannins that don’t rip your mouth out. Instead they support the fragrance and soft fruit notes of sour plum and blackberry. It’s the feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon with a grace that makes it a wonderful companion for food, especially roasted birds and dishes vibrant with herbs.
I created this couscous dish with a spirit of adventure. I didn’t want to focus on meat as the main part of the meal but as the side dish. The couscous is the star here packed with roasted tomatoes, a hint of olive and a good handful of chopped fresh herbs that bring out the Cab Franc’s beautiful fragrance and fruit. If you don’t feel like roasting duck, then roast chicken breasts or a lamb leg will substitute just fine. You can also serve the couscous on its own and round it out with a few more vegetables. Don’t worry, the Cab Franc can handle it!
Until the Next Wine….