The 4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition and Celebration Concluded with a Gourmet Dinner, featuring Cabernet Franc Wines from Around the World

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Photo ©Michael Kelly

The third and final event for the 4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition and Celebration was a gourmet dinner featuring Cabernet Franc wines from around the world. It was held at The Golf Club at Copper Valley clubhouse on Saturday April 22nd, 2023. Featured Cabernet Franc wines were paired with specifically chosen foods to complement and enhance the experience. The wines started off with a Cabernet Franc Blanc from Livermore, California then moved to a wine from Chinon, France. Next was this year’s Grand Sweepstakes winner from the competition from Paso Robles and ended with a Cabernet Franc blend from Colchagua Valley, Chile. Each wine was entirely different, unique and represented the terrior from their respective regions. The wines will be described in more detail with each dish further below.

The dinner started off with a quick overview of Cabernet Franc wine history and profiles be it a warm or cool climate, pricing trends per ton for Cabernet Franc, what regions/geography Cabernet Franc is grown, food pairings, etc.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Each table was set with four wine glasses, the food menu and the wine menu for the evening. Some additional bottles of other Cabernet Franc wines were presented at each table with wines from a combination of New York, Washington, California and Virginia.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

As the guest were let in to the Grandview Room, each was handed a bloody Mary shrimp shooter with perfectly prepared spices and fresh shrimp with vodka. Absolutely tasted as good as it looked!

Photo ©Michael Kelly

The first plate was a butter lettuce salad with Gorgonzola and pear dressing including diced avocado, thinly sliced pear, roasted and chopped hazelnuts and sweetened and dried cranberries. This was paired with L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc Blanc from Livermore. This won a Gold Medal and Best of Class in the Specialty Division at the International Cabernet Franc Competition held March 29th. A newly released wine from winemaker Steven Kent Mirassou that can only be described as “other worldly and phenomenally delicious”. Aromatic with intense floral notes and in his words “fresh Kauai Plumeria”. Flavors of stone fruit white and yellow peaches with nectarines in the background. An excellent food pairing and unique white Cabernet Franc.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Next up was the chicken Raviolo with red wine demi-glace with Gremolata & Porcini mushrooms, paired with a Cabernet Franc from Domain Fabrice Gasnier from Chinon, France. This wine was bright and racy with great concentration and length. A “lighter wine” but with the food it turned into one of the best food and wine pairings of the evening. Domain Fabrice Gasnier with their biodynamic techniques in farming with no pesticides or herbicides, provide a pure essence of a Cabernet Franc from France.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

After an Intermezzo of lemon sorbetto, we were treated to the third plate of prime strip loin Oscar. An extremely tender beef cooked to medium rare and topped off with fresh crab in a Béarnaise sauce. Accompanying the plate was asparagus and gratin roasted potatoes. This was paired with the Grand Sweepstakes Winner of the wine competition held March 29th of LXV Wines of Paso Robles. The wine had savory notes of garrigue, sliced raspberries and aromas of fresh lilacs on the nose. On the palate, vanilla counter balanced with white pepper and sage, along with the fruit provide mouth filling experience with silky smooth tannins and a beautiful long finish.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

The fourth plate, the dessert was decadent chocolate Pots de Crème with a dollop of fresh cream and chocolate shavings. This was served with a Marquis Lien Cabernet Franc blend from Colchagua Valley, Chile  of 60% Cabernet Franc, 29% Carménère and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine won a Silver Medal at the Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition in the International Division.  While referring to the lighter Cabernet Franc from Chinon as a ballerina, this was a heavy weight boxer. Yet still providing sufficient French Oak nuances and ripe red fruit aromas. Intense tannins and structure was achieved with this blend of wines.  By itself it was a strong sipping wine, but with a small amount of rich chocolate, it softened up and was a delightful conclusion to the meal.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Executive Chef Jaime Alderete showcased his culinary skills to perfection. The attendees were literally blown away with the food and wine pairing as the played like a royal orchestra in the mouth. Food and Beverage Manager Edwarda Alderete worked with her staff to set up the room and provided an elegant touch to each table setting.  The wonderful wait staff was prompt and attentive to a very loud room all night long. Bravo to Jaime and Edwarda Alderete for a spectacular evening that will be remembered for years.




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