Now Reading
Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon

Jonas Muthoni

 The debate between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc is ongoing, with each wine having its own merits. The two wines are made from different grapes, grown in different regions of the world, and have distinctive tastes.

Let us look at the comparison between these two favourite red wines. They both have certain similarities and differences that we have mentioned here. From their origin to the best food pairing, we have covered all the grounds for you. We are sure that the conflict of which one to choose will end in your mind after reading this blog.

Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark-skinned grape that is widely used in Bordeaux wines. It’s also found in some California wines. It’s known for its bold taste and strong tannins. It can be dry or sweet, depending on how it’s aged.


Cabernet Franc is a light-skinned grape originally from France but can be found in many other regions, including parts of Italy and Australia. It is famously known for producing wines with deep red and purple colors.

Features of the two wines

Let’s discover about each of them and look at the main differences between Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

1. Origin And Grapes

  • Cabernet Franc has its origin in a small region that comes in southwest France named Libournais.
  • It is an ancient wine, and its history begun hundreds of years ago. At that time, it was called Breton because they were planted under the care of an abbot named Breton.
  • As it is an old wine, the name of the grape variety used to make it is unclear, but based on the color of the grapes, the variety is called Bouchet, which in French means “black vine of France.”
  • Cabernet Franc’s grapes are now used as a parent grape to make other wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. These wine grapes are black-skinned.
  • Originating from France now this wine is grown and produced in other places of the world like Australia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, and the United States.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon also has its roots in France, a region called Bordeaux from around the 16th century.
  • But today, it is grown and produced in countries from  Australia, Canada, California to through all over Europe because of the broad climate spectrum of this wine grape variety.
  • This wine grape occurred by the cross-pollination between the wine grape of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc, which means these grapes are a mix of two other wine grapes, and that is how it got its name.
  • It also got some natural inheritance of other grape varieties like Moreno, Carmenere, and Merlot. In simple words, they all are related to each other in some way.
  • This grape variety is thick and durable skin and the resistance to other elements. The main reason behind its production in so many countries is that it is easy to grow compared to the other varieties.

2. Taste and Flavors

See Also
Does Champagne Freeze

  • Cabernet Franc is a medium-bodied red wine.
  • You can find it as a single varietal, but its blends with other wines are more popular.
  • It has the taste of a good amount of fruits along with some earthy flavors, herbs, olives, green pepper, and spice. So, you can say a mixture of sweet and savory.
  • It gives a rustic mouthfeel to the drinker.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine. It has a dark ruby color that appeals to the eyes.
  • You will notice the flavors of Blackcurrants, spice, tobacco, black cherry, and graphite. It also has flavors of bell peppers similar to Cabernet franc as it is also grown majorly in cold climates. There are some touches of vanilla also.
  • It can vary from dry style to very dry style. It is also used in the making of Bordeaux wine blends.

Cabernet Franc vs. Cabernet Sauvignon – Comparison Table

This table highlights the differences between these two wines.

Categories Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon
Appearance It has a light shade of red which comes from the black grapes. It has a much more dark red color shade similar to ruby.
Aroma It usually has strong aromas of herbaceous, with some touch of raspberry, cherry, plum, and bell peppers. It has soft aromas of blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, smoke, earth, bell pepper, asparagus and green.
Sweetness It is a dry style wine but not too dry on the palate. It comes more on the dry side when compared to Cabernet franc and can be too dry on the palate.
Alcohol It has an ABV range of 11.5–13.5% usually. It has an ABV of around 13.5% but can go up to 14.5% in grown in less cold regions.
Ageing Worthiness Best enjoyed young (under 3 years) Can be very age worthy
Cost The price can vary from $5 – $70. The price can vary from $525 – $150. But can go really high.
Food Pairings It goes well with sweet and spiced BBQ, roasted pork and lamb, and tomato sauces. It goes well with peppery foods, stir fried fish, blue cheese and burgers.
How it is used? It is more popular in its blended versions than the monovarietal form because on its own, it often lacks the structure and complexity to produce a great wine It is more popular in its monovarietal form than the blended versions. Many of the world’s most celebrated wines have been made from this grape.


Wine is not just a wine. I mean, it has a lot to offer; there are so many things that you need to consider before comparing its experience to another wine. For example, its color, the alcohol content, sweetness, body, acidity, tannins smells, and the main part is the flavors. So, when you have so many things to think about, it becomes a daunting task to choose one over the other.

So, in the end, it all comes down to what your preferences are! What do you like in your wine! Both these wines are fantastic and unique in their own ways! So, just follow your palate!! Also, check these amazing red wines that you can try.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
Scroll To Top