The phrase, "Everything old becomes new again," or some variation of that thought, has been attributed to the Bible, the Peter Allen lyrics of a popular song and novelist Stephen King. In the world of wine pairing, the "new again" designation is certainly true of the red wine we have chosen to feature.
The Wines of Cahors
Cahors, in France, has a long history tied to grapes, wines and wine-making, much of it centered around the Malbec grape. But even grapes fall on hard times, as do vintners and regions. Today, the Malbec grape is most often associated with Argentina; more than 70 percent of the world's current production is from that single South American country. The Malbec grape was a gift to Argentina from Cahors. It is also grown in Chile, and Malbec grapes thrive in some parts of Australia and even in California.
Now, however, Cahors is reclaiming its former familiarity, blending old and new, to produce some astonishing results.
Malbec grapes never completely disappeared from France, of course. In some regions, they are grown under other names, and many blends benefit from the rich flavor and color of the Malbec grape. But in Cahors, it has definitely become new again.
Trio of Reds
Production of the renowned "black wine" of Cahors falls into three tiers today: Tradition, Prestige and Speciale. The designations are recognized and categorized, regulating the percentage of Malbec grapes; the quality of the wines ranges from "easily quaffable" to seriously laudable.
Red wine traditionally pairs well with meat dishes. With overtones of berries and spice, Malbec stands up well to the distinctive flavors of Indian, Mexican and Cajun foods. But it is with full-bodied entrees such as duck and steak that we think this variety adds a special intensity.
As is true with most grape varieties, the quality of the wine depends on a number of factors. Today's French Malbecs exhibit a wide range, as well, with soil types and experimentation lending some surprises to tastings.
If you enjoy red wines, we thoroughly recommend adding some of the "new" Malbecs of Cahors to your tasting list. We would like to hear what you think.
At Pascal, we will be pleased to suggest options to help you discover, appreciate and embrace this intensely interesting wine. While you can certainly choose a more familiar red wine, and we can suggest many a delightful Cabernet or Bordeaux, we would like to introduce you to the new-old delight of a newly available, well-aged Malbec.
Whether you choose to join us for an Open Table dinner or you prefer to browse the selections available in our market, we hope to serve you soon.
As always, our food is fresh, natural and prepared with an emphasis on innovation, quality and sustainability. The gastronomic journey that characterizes Pascal continues. Won't you join us?
Just remember: If you eat good food, drink good wine.