Grilled Pork Chops with a Cherry-Cabernet Franc Sauce


Going to the farmers market is so much fun! You never know what you’ll find or what great ideas will strike you. This weekend we stopped by the Los Gatos farmers market on our way to one of our favorite breakfast spots, the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company. They have the most amazing savory crêpes and of course, awesome coffee. At the farmer’s market I found baby spinach, fresh parsley, local honey, huge cucumbers (I’m going to make pickles), organic carrots, and some beautiful, ruby cherries. Since I had just made some cookies (Totally Tropical Oatmeal Cookies – coming later this week), I went looking for a savory dish. Cherry and wine sauce!

Today’s recipe is inspired by the farmer’s market cherries combined with my husband’s love of pork chops and my favorite wine, Savannah-Chanelle’s Cabernet Franc.

So what’s so awesome about Cabernet Franc? It is a parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon but has thinner skin and provides lots of big fruit like a Zinfandel. This wine provides the perfect base for big sauce that is a reduction of wine and balsamic vinegar with cherries added near the end to provide complexity and sweetness.

Beware: fresh cherries have a lot of deep red juice that can easily stain clothing, fingers and cutting boards.


2 – 3/4” thick pork chops

Salt, pepper and garlic powder

1 ½ cup Cabernet Franc

4 tbsp. high-quality balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. thyme

½ tsp. crushed bay leaf

½ cup pitted and sliced fresh cherries


  1. Preheat grill to around 450 degrees and prepare pork chops by sprinkling with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Grill pork chops for about 10 min. or until the internal temperature reaches 150 – 160°. If the grill is cooler, it could take up to 30 min. to cook pork chops.
  3. To prepare the sauce, wine and vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and add spices.
  4. Boil for 10 to 15 min. or until liquid has been reduced by half.
  5. Add cherries and boil for an additional 10 to 12 min. At 10 min., carefully taste the sauce. If the sauce is tart, then add a sprinkle of sugar or sweetener.
  6. To serve, cover pork chop with sauce. Oven roasted new potatoes with onion and garlic in olive oil are great side dish. Enjoy with their remaining wine. It won’t be enough!

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Comments: 2

  1. Emily Richer June 30, 2011 at 11:12 am Reply

    Oh MY, does that look Dee-licious. I googled Cabernet Franc and Cherries and glad I found you! I will make this recipe, thanks for sharing. I actually produce Cabernet Franc myself, and I recently had the ah-ha experience with my own Cab Franc blend and pork chops (at Farmstead in St. Helena). Something about the pork chop sweetness and earthiness from grilling just makes the fruit POP from a Cab Franc. You’re so right that the thinner-skinned, aromatically-generous franc is a special grape. I did a duck-with-cherry-sauce recipe recently, using dried cherries, but your recipe (and your photos) look better! I never knew there was any single-varietal Franc produced from Santa Cruz mountains, dying to try it…

  2. Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey February 19, 2013 at 9:31 am Reply

    Oh, Melissa! This looks heavenly! My favorite protein and my favorite fruit together at last. I am so pinning this :)

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