Our Wine of the Week, Lang & Reed 2010 North Coast Cabernet Franc ($24), makes me think of a summer night in New York City.
The wine is bright and refreshing, with pretty acidity and soft tannins. If you drink it at cellar temperature -- in the summer, this can mean putting it in the refrigerator for a bit -- it works beautifully with the lighter fare we want in hot weather.
As I sip, the wine calls to mind a late-night dinner in Manhattan, around 11 p.m. or so, when it was finally cool enough to eat.
Our wine, a lovely red quaffer from the south of France, arrived at the table perfectly chilled, and it was a great hedge against the thick humidity of August on the East Coast.
This cabernet franc can serve the same role here.
The wine is deeply colored, with a deep violet hue that hints of the midnight sky.
On the palate, there's a clean brightness that resolves into suggestions of cool red fruit followed by dried herbs, especially oregano and lavender.
There's a buoyant quality to the wine as well, a lightness that belies its darkness in the glass.
On my own, I would never reach for a cabernet franc in the summer, but this beautifully-made wine is a lovely match with many of the season's fruits and vegetables, from green beans and eggplant to roasted peppers and ripe tomatoes.
Almost anything with blueberries and blackberries will welcome the wine, and you can even enjoy it with watermelon in the right context, such as a salad of watermelon, mint, red onion and feta.