Cabernet Sauvignon is the world”s most loved red wine. It is nicknamed ”the king of red wine grapes,” and often paired with other reds, including merlot and shiraz. Admirers of the wine affectionately refer to it simply as ”cab” or ”cab sauv.”
In addition to worldwide fame, Cabernet sauvignon wine is the most popular red wine made in California. It is fairly easy to pronounce (Cah-bur-nay Saw-vee-nyonh) and is a very popular red wine served in restaurants.
Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes
On the vine, the cabernet sauvignon grape is hardy with thick bluish black skin. This thick skin contributes to the grapes notoriously high tannin levels, which soften and smooth with aging. Wine producers are also fond of this particular grape because it can withstand rainfall and is resistant to disease.
Cabernet Sauvignon Flavors
Pyrazine, symmetrical molecules found in cabernet sauvignon grapes, contribute to its notorious bell pepper aroma. These molecules are more prevalent, and hence the flavor is stronger, in under-ripened cabernet sauvignon grapes. This flavor is not considered a fault, but not all consumers desire it. Critics may describe a strong bell pepper odor as ”weedy.” Other noted aromas present in cabernet sauvignon wine include:
- black currant
Cabernet Sauvignon also has fruit flavors present, including blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, plum and dried fruit essences.
Aging Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet sauvignon is known as a consistent wine for aging, and almost always improves over time. The wine can be aged up to 10-15 years. With aging the black currant aroma can develop additional aromatic hints of:
- cigar box
Cabernet Sauvignon History
The grape originates from the Bordeaux region of southwest France and is known to be the result of breeding a cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grape. Historically, these two types of grapes were grown in neighboring vineyards and the cabernet sauvignon grape has been produced for several centuries.
Due to its tolerance to many different climate types and soil types, the grape is grown in almost all wine producing countries. Some of the more notable regions include:
- Bordeaux (France)
- Napa Valley (California, U.S.A)
- Sonoma County (California, U.S.A)
- Tuscany (Italy).
Popular Cabernet Sauvignon Varietals
In California, some of the regions producing the highest rated California varietals include Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, the Paso Robles region of California”s central coast, and Napa Valley. In St. Helena, CA, popular Whitehall Lane cabernet sauvignon wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec grapes.
In the state of Washington, Boudreaux Cellars produces an award winning ultra-premium Boudreaux cabernet. Depending on the specific production year, prices for Boudreaux cabernet sauvignon can be reach or exceed $100 a bottle. Boudreaux Cellars is the only winery in Washington state that is completely self powered.
A popular South American favorite is 35 South cabernet sauvignon. This increasingly desirable wine is produced from a grape grown by one of Chile”s largest wine producers, Vina San Pedro, an organically farmed winery with over 6,000 acres.
Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairings
A few decades ago, cabernet sauvignon replaced burgundy as the generic term for red wine. In restaurants, Copperidge cabernet sauvignon is served as a popular brand of house red wine. This delightful yet inexpensive choice is almost impossible to find in stores, due to a marketing deal between its producer and restaurants.
The bold flavored cabernet sauvignon is often matched with strong flavored foods like:
- filet mignon
- grilled steak
- lamb chops
- strong flavored cheeses.