What Is Cabernet Sauvignon?


Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

One of the most popular wines in the world, and definitely one of my favorites, is the good ole’ Cabernet Sauvignon. But what do you know about this staple wine? Personally, I knew very little. So I did a little research and am here today to share what I found.

It is said that Cabernet Sauvignon grape varietal came about very recently, around the 17th century, by cross breeding Cabernet Franc with Sauvignon Blanc. Experts believe this came about in the Pauillac region in the South of France, where the two mixed wines were often grown. And thus, a masterpiece was born.

Cabernet grapes tend to have thicker skins and prefer warmer climates like those in the South of France or California, though Cabernet is planted all over the world. Some very noteworthy wine regions that Cabernet is found I’m sure almost everyone will have heard of: Bordeaux France, Napa Valley California, Piedmont Italy, Margaret River Australia, and Stellenbosch South Africa. These are of course just examples, and again, you will find Cab many many places.

So what terms can you use to describe Cabernet Sauvignon to impress your date? Well, my friends, here’s just  few to help you out! Some Cabs can give off a bell-peppery and vegetal taste and some will be jammier, fruitier, with notes of blackcurrants and cherries. What’s the difference? The more earthy flavors will be more under-ripe grapes that are used for wine which contain a higher amount of a compound called Pyrazines, giving it that flavor. While the fruitier tasting Cab uses more ripe grapes. Cabernet is often robust, full-bodied, and can be mature. And yes, we are still talking about the wine and not your date. When looking at the color it is often a deep burgundy color, though I would say call this one how you see it.

All of these things are effected by the region, terroir, and climate of course like every wine. Because cab grapes are very flexible in where they are able to be grown, climate and terroir wise, a you will come across many different tasting Cabs.

So what foods should you serve with a Cabernet Sauvignon? Younger, fruitier, Cabs go great with rich heavy foods such as with fatty meats. (For all of my vegans out their, think of other rich heavy foods, perhaps a tempeh steak, or fatty dish). Cabs are a nice rich wine that helps cut through rich foods.

And there you have it! A very basic intro into Cabernet Sauvignon. Interested in learning more? TheWineCellarInsider has a great post with much more knowledge on this incredible varietal.


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