In some of my last few articles I mentioned how pleasant the weather was last month in Dallas. Well one axiom with Dallas weather is no matter how pleasant a week or month began, the weather can and will change in a moment. As spring weather swings from quite warm to quite cool like a pendulum it afforded me the opportunity to make one more hearty winter meal before moving on to lighter spring cuisine entirely. Fortunately I had just the wine sample and recipe for the perfect winter night pairing.
Cornerstone Stepping Stone Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Franc: This wine poured a deep violet into the glass and opened with a soft nose of red fruit, herbs and spice. On the palate this silky wine delivered flavors of red cherries, currants, mushrooms, spice, olives and a dusty earth finish that leaves a lingering dryness on the back of the palate. This wine was smooth with well-structured acidity and integrated tannins. It drinks well now and I believe the earthiness will continue to develop over time with proper aging. I love Cabernet Francs and Cornerstone Cellars has produced an excellent one. SRP $45.
As you know I participate each month in #WinePW with a group of fellow food and wine bloggers. Last November Christy Majors, Confessions of a Culinary Diva, shared a recipe with our group that had my mouth watering. I knew at that moment I had to make the dish and upon receiving the Cab Franc from Cornerstone Cellars I knew it would be a perfect pairing. So on this cold winter’s night I paired the Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc with Christy Major’s Norwegian Meatballs with Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes with Jarlsberg. The recipe was easy to make and turned out every bit as delicious as Christy’s picture looked! Furthermore, the meatballs and sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the earthiness of the Cab Franc. I believe the Cab Franc would pair well with many foods: hamburgers, steak, pot roast and braised veal check; however, this was an outstanding pairing and a delicious dinner! Thank you to Cornerstone Cellars and Christy Majors for adding some flair to a cool early spring weeknight dinner!
You will recall from my articles “Feeling Alright Now with Cornerstone Cellars Chardonnay,” “Wine, Food and Love with #WinePW, “Cornerstone Adds Luxury to a Weeknight Meal,” and “A Vacation in our Own Backyard with Cornerstone Cellars,” that I am already a huge fan of the outstanding wines being crafted by Cornerstone Cellars. Craig Camp, Michael Dragutsky, Jeff Keene (CA wine maker), and Tony Rynders (OR wine maker) are firing on all cylinders by perennially releasing outstanding award winning wines from their least expensive, Rocks! Blends, through their entire portfolio to their most expensive, White Label The Cornerstone. You simply cannot go wrong drinking Cornerstone Cellars wines.
Cornerstone Cellars considers themselves an “atypical” Napa Valley winery and I agree; just the fact their Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs are produced in Oregon speaks to their willingness to focus more on producing high quality wines over staying in one region; “It’s more important where the vines put down roots than where the winemakers do.” Don’t you love that?! Cornerstone Cellars crafts wines to express their vision of the 3v’s: vineyard, vintage and variety. Their philosophy is “EXCELLENCE IS NOT ENOUGH. We have to go beyond and establish an ever higher goal each vintage. Our mission is to craft wines that are not only exceptional, but memorable. Each of our wines expresses the essence of vineyard, variety and vintage, which combine each harvest to create something never to be exactly repeated.”
From the Cornerstone Cellars web site:
We do not make wine for everyone. We make what we believe in, not what the mass market demands. We will not be a slave to the fashion of the moment, we make wines we love to drink. What makes a great wine does not change; it’s not like having hemlines to go up and down according latest whim.
I strongly encourage you to visit the Cornerstone Cellars web site to learn more about them, view their entire portfolio of wines and to order wine, including this Stepping Stone Black Label Cabernet Sauvingon. Furthermore, take a moment to look at their low cost, low commitment, high value wine club. It could be one of the best wine club values I have ever seen! Furthermore, next time you are in Yountville you MUST stop by their lively and educational tasting room; there is always something fun going on there!
My Song Selection: I have been a longtime fan of singer/songwriter Pete Yorn. I love his sound and style. The song I have chosen to pair with Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Franc is the song that first introduced me to Pete Yorn; Life on a Chain. I have chosen this song because like the Cab Franc it starts out slow but slowly picks up steam; halfway through my toes are tapping and by the end I am dancing and singing. Additionally, the song, and the wine, are not your typical repeat of the popular mold; both have their own style and delivery that is just right!
Get your own bottle of Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Franc and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!