Magazine article Sunset

A Red for Right Now: This New Cab-A Great Friend to Food-Is Perfect for Spring

Magazine article Sunset

A Red for Right Now: This New Cab-A Great Friend to Food-Is Perfect for Spring

Article excerpt

UNTIL JUST RECENTLY, I thought of Cabernet Franc as a sort of Tour de France supporting team member to its front cyclist, Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape was almost always hiding in a classic Bordeaux blend, added to make the king of reds look better with its beautiful aromatics--violets, fresh herbs--and fine tannin structure. But this past year, I've noticed Cab Franc coming to the table solo more often. To be honest, I wasn't sure this was entirely a good thing. When the grapes miss the mark--that is, fail to get thoroughly mature--those fresh herbs smell more like stinky green peppers.

After tasting a healthy cross section, though, I can report a happy conclusion: Cabernet Franc is becoming an exciting wine all on its own. Vintners are clearly doing the work of managing this finicky grape to ripeness in the vineyard. The best (see my picks on the next page) pop with delicate florals and resiny herbs. And they're light bodied and lively enough to take on spring's hard-to-pair, vegetable-rich foods. This is the Cab for leaving winter behind.



To set off the pine-forest aromatics, fresh herbs, and fine tannins of Cab Franc, we slather pork loin with resiny rosemary and set it on abed of fennel. The wild card: green olives. Trust us.

Rosemary pork roast with fennel and green olives


3 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 boned pork loin roast (about 3 lbs.), strings, rinsed, and
dried Kosher salt and pepper
1/3 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 lbs. fresh fennel, bulbs stemmed, cored, and cut into wedges,
plus 1/2 cup chopped fronds
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup pitted green olives, halved

1. Preheat oven to 350[degrees]. Mix rosemary and garlic in a small
bowl. Sprinkle one side of roast lightly with salt and pepper. Spread
with half the rosemary-garlic mixture, pressing it on. Drape half
the prosciutto lengthwise over loin. Holding the prosciutto on the
roast, turn it over. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, spread
remaining rosemary mixture over the top, and drape with remaining
prosciutto. Tie roast at 1 1/2-in. intervals with heavy cotton
string, tucking prosciutto into place.

2. Pour oil into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add roast
and cook until prosciutto is crisp and beginning to brown on the
bottom. … 
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