#WinePW Celebrates #CabFrancDay
Wine Pairing Weekend - #winePW - happens on the second Saturday of the each month. Click to read Lori's invitation for this month's event.
In preparation for December's #WinePW event - when Lori of Dracaena Wines asked us to help her celebrate #CabFrancDay - I opened several bottles of Cab Franc and invited some friends over for dinner.
You'll have to read more about that as the recipe and tasting notes I'm sharing aren't any of those!
The Line-Up...listed alphabetically by post title
- Nancy from Pull That Cork chose to have An Elegant Cabernet Franc Pairing for #WinePW
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla decided to make Apple-Braised Duck Legs + Dracaena's Cab Franc
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog has A Bounty of Cabernet Franc
- Lori of Dracaena Wines will be examining Cabernet Franc: the Versatile Cab
- Cindy of Grape Experiences will Wine and Dine: Cabernet Franc and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Jeff of Food Wine Click declares Cab Franc: Never Say Never
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator found some Cabernet Franc Winners With Osso Bucco, Squash Casserole
- Lauren of the Swirling Dervish created a Super Fast, Super Good: Sausage and Potato Pan Roast with Dracaena Wines Cabernet Franc
- Jade of Tasting Pour will be talking about Leah Jorgensen Cellars: Faces of Cab Franc
of Cooking Chat will be
preparing Roasted Sirloin Steak with Avocado Sauce for #CabFrancDay
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will be hosting A Celebration of Cab Franc
- Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog will be posting A Captivating Cab Franc Paired with Sushi
Live #winePW Twitter Chat December 10, 11 a.m. ET: Participating bloggers and others interested in the subject can connect via a live Twitter chat. It's a nice bring way to bring in others interested in the subject who didn't get a chance to share a blog post. Follow us with hashtag #winePW this weekend.
- 4 duck legs
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- 2 large onions, peeled and cubed
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thickly sliced
- 2 C miniature apples, sliced in half
- 1-1/2 C stock, preferably homemade
- 1/4 C red wine
- 1/4 C apple cider
- 1/4 C dried cherries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamom pods
- handful of fresh herbs (I used dill)
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
In the Glass...
My initial plan for this post was to compare Cab Francs from around the world. I served and paired the following menu for a Cab Franc pairing dinner party. I had one from Chile, one from South Africa, and one from California. If you click on the hyperlinked titles (not all of them are linked, sorry), you will go to my original recipe post.
Cab Franc-Friendly Cheese Plate: Port Salut + Gorgonzola
Grilled Baguette and Warmed Olives
paired with Maquis Cabernet Franc 2012
Cabernet Franc from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
paired with Raats Cabernet Franc 2012
Cabernet Franc from South Africa
paired with Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc 2013
Cabernet Franc from North Coast, California
However, none of the wines that evening thrilled me...or any of us, for that matter. I even opened two other Cab Francs later during the month to see if I wanted to highlight those. Nope. So, I decided to go a different route.
Earlier this year I uncorked Dracaena Wines' 2013 Cabernet Franc for our March #WinePW #OTBN event. Read that post: here. And, as soon as I saw an email that their new vintage was for sale, I ordered a few bottles immediately. So, for #WinePW's #CabFrancDay, I'm going back to our favorite Cab Franc. I paired Dracaena Wines' 2014 Cabernet Franc with some Apple-Braised Duck Legs.
Cabernet Franc resembles Cabernet Sauvignon in its aroma, flavor, and appearance though the former tends to be lighter in color than latter. Dracaena's 2014 Cabernet Franc was harvested in October 2014 and bottled in August 2016; this wine was crafted with a blend of 90% Cabernet Franc 10% Petite Sirah before being aged in one-year-old French oak barrels for two years.
The color of a deep ruby, I got lots of ripe fruit on the nose and spicy sweetness on the tongue. I have to admit that one of the reasons I liked this wine the best - of all the Cab Francs I poured - it was more Rubenesque. And, by that, I mean it was full-bodied and voluptuous. What a delectable wine!
Forgot to mention: The pairing was fantastic! The spicy sweetness of the wine paired nicely with the richness of the duck.
On the Plate...
To mirror the sweet and spice in the wine, I decided to do a riff on one of our favorite dinners: braised duck legs. For this version, I added miniature apples and lots of spices and herbs to the mix.
In a Dutch oven or a braiser with a tight-fitting lid, place duck legs, skin side down along with the garlic cloves. Turn heat to medium. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the fat is rendered and the skin golden and crisped. Flip to the other side and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the duck to a plate. Place the onions, fennel, and miniature apples in the Dutch oven. Lay the browned duck pieces on top. Pour in the stock, wine, and cider. Add cherries, herbs, and spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. Braise for 90 minutes.
Raise the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees. Return the duck to the oven, uncovered and roast for 10 to 15 minutes until the duck is browned and the skin on top crispy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
I rounded out the dinner plate with a baked potato and a fresh slaw. Cheers!