It happens almost every night: someone grabs a chair at the bar, the bartender asks her/him what she would like to drink, and she/he says, “a Cab.”
At Vino Vino, we can call you a “cab” but we don’t serve “cab” by the glass at the bar.
That is to say, if by “cab” you mean Cabernet Sauvignon.
That’s not to say that we have anything against Cabernet Sauvignon or the people who like to drink it. In fact, some of our best friends are made from Cabernet Sauvignon — like many of the great wines of Left Bank Bordeaux, where Cabernet Sauvignon is used as one grape variety in blends.
No, the Cabernet Sauvignon that we don’t care for is the “big California Napa Valley Cab,” fruit-bomb wine, concentrated with syrupy flavor, high in alcohol, and drowning in oakiness. While there are some great producers of “Napa Valley Cab,” we find the wines to be unfriendly to food, unless you’re eating a charred steak (and, honestly, how many steaks can you eat in one year?).
Yes, at Vino Vino we like “the other Cab,” Cabernet Franc, to be precise.
With its seductive vegetal notes and its bright, bright food-friendly acidity, Cabernet Franc is grown most famously in the Loire Valley of France (think Chinon, Anjou, Saumur, or Bourgueil).
But it’s also grown in northern Italy: at Vino Vino we’re huge fans of the De Tarczal 100% Cabernet Franc, grown in the region of Trentino in the Italian Alps, where high altitude and cool summer evenings give the wine the freshness and acidity that we look for in wines that we want to pair with Chef Esteban’s cooking.
The key is the cool evening temperatures during summer when the grapes are ripening: because the grapes ripen very slowly, they don’t get the high sugar content that wines from the warm Napa Valley floor get. As a result, you have all the desired acidity without the excessive alcohol (fermentation turns sugar in alcohol).
Come down to Vino Vino and see why we love the “other Cab.”