What is Cabernet Franc

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Cabernet Franc is a slightly less common variety of red wine that has a unique flavor and a number of health benefits for you to enjoy.

What is Cabernet Franc?

Cabernet Franc is a black grape wine varietal that is widely grown around the world. The wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes tends to be a light clear red, with strong pepper notes, that is popular for mixing with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is most commonly grown to make a Bordeaux blend, which is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet grapes grown in the Bordeaux region of France. By itself, this wine has unusual flavors of bell pepper and strawberry, with medium dryness and appetite-stimulating acidity.

Cabernet Franc grapes hanging from a branch

Cabernet Franc grapes ready to be turned into wine. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Cabernet Franc
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]86.59
Energy [kcal]83
Energy [kJ]349
Protein [g]0.07
Ash [g]0.27
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]2.45
Alcohol, ethyl [g]10.6
Sources include : USDA

Food Pairing

This wine is most commonly seen in red wine blends but is considered an ideal wine by itself to pair with food, thanks to its reduced tannin content and high acidity.

Both these qualities lend themselves well to hearty fish dishes or savory meats like roast chicken. In fact, this common red table wine is an excellent pairing for all sorts of roasted or grilled meats, including pork, beef, duck, sausage, veal, and lamb.

Cabernet Franc also goes well with the tanginess of soft cheese, such as goat cheese, camembert or feta. Furthermore, the acidity makes it a perfect wine for serving with spiced roasted vegetable dishes or tomato-based sauces.

Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Cabernet Franc is a light red wine that is thinner and more acidic. It has more herbal flavors than Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, dry red wine that is fruitier than the variety in question, with notes of tobacco and vanilla.
  • Both wine grapes are grown worldwide, but Cabernet Sauvignon is more often found sold alone.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is usually aged before drinking, while the Cab Franc is more often had while it is young.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon was hybridized from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and is actually a descendant.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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