This is a quick overview of the most celebrated red wine variety in the world, the highly-respected Cabernet Sauvignon.
What is Cabernet Sauvignon?
Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of red grapes – it is a full-bodied red with a powerful and well-structure character. It is one of the two most popular wine in the global wine market today. (The other dominant wine variety is Chardonnay – the queen).
Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark purplish skin – thicker skin than Pinot Noir grapes.
You might like to read our article on: The special medium-bodied red wine – Pinot Noir.
Where is the origin of Cabernet Sauvignon?
It’s of French origin in Bordeaux (primarily on the left bank of the river Gironde), France. Its pedigree is founded in the soil of the Medoc in the heart of Bordeaux wine region.
Where are the growing regions for Cabernet Sauvignon?
Besides growing in the Bordeaux regions in France, other growing regions include California, Oregon and Washington states in US, Tuscany in Italy, Australia, Chile and China.
What does Cabernet Sauvignon wine taste like?
The classic Cabernet Sauvignon has a prominent taste of black currants, black plums and oak-related scents.
The longer it stays in the oak barrel, it tends to have more distinguished notes of cigar-boxes and cedar wood.
The younger variety of Cabernet Sauvignon from California has taste of blackberries and more jam-like preserved fruits notes, and less oak-related scents.
When a Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in its bottle for 3 to 5 years, it can take on aromas like warm leather and dark chocolates, and ever-so-slightly scent of cardamom.
How much is a bottle of good Cabernet Sauvignon?
A good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon ranges from $1000 to $40. Here are some great vintages we have recently enjoyed with friends and family:
- A premium choice: Opus One 2016 (priced around $1000). This full-bodied has beautiful deep garnet-purple color, with undercurrent of spicy cardamom. It’s the smoothest red we’ve sampled this year.
- Another premium selection: Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac, 2015 (prices around $1500). This is a complex and bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux. It truly represents a structured red with firm tannins and impressive dark-fruits notes.
- A great-value find: Stag’s Leap SLV Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (priced around $150). This is a medium bodied red with jammy taste of blackberries, spicy note of black pepper and warm cassis undercurrent.
- An affordable choice: Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Napa, 2018 (priced around $35). This is a full-bodied fruity red showcases the minerals in the Napa valley soil. It has high tannins and medium-high acidity.
What food is good with Cabernet Sauvignon?
Cabernet Sauvignon is bold and rich – it ranks high in acidity, alcohol and tannins. You want food with strong characters to go with this wine.
Red meat such as beef, lamb and venison pairs well with Cabernet Sauvignon. Heavy sauce using cabernet sauvignon in its reduction also pairs well.
You might like to read our article on: wine paring with Steak Diane.
What is a good serving temperature for Cabernet Sauvignon?
Serve Cabernet Sauvignon around 65° Fahrenheit or 18° Celsius. The slightly warmer temperature here brings out its bold characters and level of tannins the best.
Remember to leave some room in your glass to swirl the wine, and observe the “legs” of the wine. Use a glass with a narrower mouth – it will retain the aroma better.
Why is Cabernet Sauvignon so special? Because:
- It is considered the King of red grape by wine producers, merchants and red wine drinkers globally.
- Its adaptability to grow in a variety of soil around the world is impressive.
- It is capable to develop gracefully as it ages in a bottle (a great attribute priced by wine collectors).
- It pairs beautifully with red meats, and heavy and flavorful sauces.
- It represents the noble character of a strong, bold and structure red wine variety.
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