Cabbing it in cool weather

As a relatively young wine region, the Okanagan – in truth, British Columbia and Canada – is still finding its way when it comes to identity.

  • Do we have a signature grape?
  • A signature white?
  • A signature red?

Maybe not yet, but the topic is open for much discussion.

My palate is turning toward juicier reds as autumn descends, but I’m not yet ready for the big, bold wines of winter nights.

Light pinot noir this season? Sure, when there’s enough sun on the patio before twilight. 

But I am leaning toward Cabernet Franc for fall. On its own, or with a little bit of another grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, B.C. Franc can stand on its own with its typical notes of red berries, cassis, plums, and violets, with some herbaceous notes and green pepper.

They're perfect reminders of summer in a red wine that will pair well with the first stew of fall.

Looking for some suggestions? Try one of these, and enjoy.

Bordertown 2016 Cabernet Franc, $24: a deep Franc, with tobacco notes and that signature green pepper. A long finish with red fruits and slightly grippy tannins. Good to open during a sudden rain storm or for Sunday dinner with the last burgers from the barbecue.

Platinum Bench 2013 Cabernet Franc Block 23, $40: sold out, so you’ll have to bribe your favourite wine geek who may have a bottle. A few years of gentle resting, plus French-oak aging created an elegant wine with black-licorice flavours and excellent balance.

Skaha Vineyard at Kraze Legz 2015 Cabernet Franc, $26: a wine made with care and finesse. This is a jammy, slightly spicy bottle with vanilla notes and a nice complexity. Delightful on its own, or, as the winery suggests, with pork and apple sauce, or a hearty, veggie lasagna.

Pentage 2013 Appassimento Style Cabernet Franc, $35: if you like Amarone, this is your wine. The grapes are partially dried, producing a concentrated, richly flavoured wine with a palate full of plums, raisons, and richness. Pair with dark chocolate.

TH Wines 2016 Cabernet Franc, $35: every bottle at this winery is famously made by hand, with minimal fuss, letting the grapes express everything you may want in a Franc. Juicy, plummy, but not too bold. Enjoy on a date night, with a selection of local cheeses.

Township 7 2016 Cabernet, $28: in addition to the Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon makes up this blend. If you prefer Sauv, you’ll find elements of black cherry, caramel, and eucalyptus. Likely the last vintage of this particular bottle, so pick it up soon.

Deep Roots 2016 Cabernet Franc, $40: bold, ripe, full of stewed red fruits, chocolate-covered cherries, fruitcake, tobacco, and a mix of spices. A full-bodied Franc that can wait a few years, if you can, or enjoy now with Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you layer bacon over your turkey.

Mission Hill 2015 Cabernet Franc, $50: the very first single varietal Franc from Mission Hill, with future vintages to come. From 21-year-old vines, it has a supremely long and elegant finish. Ready to drink now with your best friend and your take on grandma’s signature beef stew.

More Okanagan Taste articles

About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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