VARIETAL: Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It may have originated in the Basque country of Spain but this fact is up for debate.  Cabernet Franc profile is typically strawberry, raspberry, bell pepper, crushed gravel, and chili pepper. 

PAIRING IDEAS: Higher acidity makes it possible to pair Cabernet Franc with tomato-based dishes, vinegar-based sauces (smoky BBQ, anyone?), or rich black beluga lentils.  

LIKE CABERNET FRANC, ALSO TRY:  Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Zinfandel