It’s Time for Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. The other grape involved is Sauvignon Blanc. That’s according to U.C. Davis DNA analysis. Most often, Cabernet Franc is a grape added in small amounts to a Bordeaux blend. Only in recent times do we find many wineries producing a stand-alone Cabernet Franc. Now is the time for Cabernet Franc. Add Cab Franc to your cellar and find out why many people like it.

Cabernet Franc is a more gentle grape than Cabernet Sauvignon. Some say Cabernet Franc is more feminine, with more aromatic flavors. Blending it with Cabernet Sauvignon softens the wine. Cabernet Franc, along with Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, make up the five famous Bordeaux grapes.

2017 Steele Cabernet Franc Lake County

2017 Lake County Cabernet Franc by Steele

I’m relying on my friends of the Vintage Wine Club and readers of GoodCheapVino to keep me abreast of the Best Buy wines at Costco Stores. I have not been to a Costco Store since the middle of March. I must say I don’t miss it all that much.

One of our readers posted a comment last week raving about the 2017 Steele Cabernet Franc. I was able to get my hands on a bottle and yes, it is a delightful and a pleasing red wine. The wine does have a mellow side, with beautiful red and dark fruit. It is soft on the palate and has a long and lingering finish. The Steele Cabernet Franc will go with many foods. I like it with chicken, pizza, pasta, and pork. But with a juicy steak, I always like a heavy-duty Cabernet Sauvignon. 89 Points for the Steele Cab Franc. The Wine Enthusiast gives it 92 Points and Editors Choice. The price is just under $14.

2018 Joel Gott Pinot Gris

2018 Oregon Pinot Gris by Joel Gott

I like this wine, vintage after vintage. Joel Gott has this wine down pat. It is lively and zesty, with lots of freshness. It is another one of those garden-drinking wines. This Pinot Gris beckons for the outdoors. It is sandwich time with this wine. So good, at $13 to $15 a bottle at BevMo, Safeway and Total Wines. 89 Points. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is just not Pinot Noir land, but it is definitely Pinot Gris territory.

More on the Victory Garden for Wine Lovers

Last article we described the essential herbs that should be growing in the victory garden. Herbs are relatively easy to grow and they go a long way in enhancing foods.

This time, we look at easy-to-grow vegetables. When these are freshly picked, the flavors make such a difference in what you’re cooking. We will start with three veggies. They are tomato, squash, and lettuce. You do need to choose the right spot in your garden. Make sure the soil is good, and give the veggies some tender, loving care.

It is not too late to grow tomatoes. A tomato farmer once told me the earliest to plant a tomato plant would be Tax Day. He also said you could plant them in May and June, depending on the variety. Go to a good nursery and see what they are selling. If they have them, you can plant them. There is nothing that beats a freshly-grown tomato.

I love the Alice Waters recipe book, “The Art of Simple Food II.” She reaps herbs and vegetables from the garden and provides her recipes. Here is one I just made: Squash Blossom Quesadillas, on page 149 of her cookbook. It calls for 6 squash blossom, 1.5 cups of Monterey Cheese, 4 Whole Tortillas. Heat a griddle and divide the cheese and squash blossoms among the tortillas. Fold over the tortilla. Add butter to grill and cook up the Quesadillas.

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