With fall in full swing, it’s time to introduce you to some wonderful wines to celebrate with this holiday season. I love wines from the Loire Valley, especially Cabernet Franc because they are down to earth, earthy, and affordable. Thanks to Loire Valley Wines I was able to taste some delicious Cabernet Franc wines from this region, paired with a lovely fresh fruit basket.

So where is the Loire Valley and why do you want to start buying wines from this region? Well, for starters it’s a very well-known region in the central part of France. It’s famous for its natural beauty and has several smaller sub regions where they produce top wines. The important growing areas in Loire include Saumur, Anjou, Pays Nantais, Touraine, and Centre-Loire. Each area has specific wines they produce well, but the entire region of Loire produces great whites, reds, and sparkling wines.

I especially enjoy the red wines in the fall, because they go so well with fall flavors. The wines from this region are extremely well priced, and you can find fantasic options for under $30 a bottle as well as some more expensive wines too. I love Cabernet Franc as a grape varietal in general so when I had the opportunity to taste three this season, I hopped on the chance.

I started with the 2018 Somnambule Rogue, Le Fief Noir. This one is made from 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and is a beautiful ruby color. This wine is from the Anjou-Villages area, and very expressive of the terroir. It’s a delicious wine filled with strawberry and black currant notes, with hints of ripe black fruit. It’s rich and intense and very smooth, making it ideal for this time of year. A crisp fall evening deserves this wine! I especially enjoyed this wine with London Broil, whipped maple sweet potatoes, and grilled vegetables. You can find this wine online, as well as in retail wine stores. $22

Another wine from the selection I loved was the 2018 Marc Plouzeau, Château de la Bonneliere, les Lisons. From the Chinon area, this wine is beautifully structured and full of body, which is ideal for this chilly time of year. It’s a nice ruby red color, made from 100% Cabernet Franc and pairs nicely with fall dishes such as Beef Wellington, twice baked sweet potatoes, and even one of my favorite options; Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ravioli topped with pancetta and balsamic glaze! This wine has sweet berry notes with nice toasted wood aromas, and some hints of pepper and coffee. On the palate the tannins are well integrated and attractive, and make for a fantastic smooth finish. It’s honestly a steal for under this wine, and I recommend buying a few for the fall and winter season! $17

Lastly, and one I can not wait to try for Thanksgiving (but I used my Coravin to taste it for blog purposes of course) is the 2017 Regnier-David, Le Paradis. Also 100% Cabernet Franc, this wine is from the Saumur area of the Loire Valley. A wine beautifully ruby red in color, like many from Loire, it’s also another palate pleasing perfect table wine for the holiday season! This wine is nice and balanced and expresses notes of black currants, forest floor, ripe fruit, and an acidity that is very attractive. This wine is very refreshing with a fullness that’s quite pleasant with dishes such as slow cooked short ribs, rabbit, and even grilled fish with a smokey fall chutney; some of my favorite cold weather dinners. This wine has fine tannins, and really is incredibly balanced and beautiful. $23

Now that you know a bit about Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, I encourage you to go out and taste some for yourself. While online, I was able to see many fantastic shops in NYC have these wines, as well as some online retailers like Wine.com, so be sure to grab them before they’re gone. Always remember eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly and stay healthy!