The Cabernet Sauvignon Grape
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is one of the world’s most recognized red wine grape varieties. It is king of California Central Coast Wine Country. The grape initially attracted attention in Bordeaux for its ability to blend with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Today the grape produces some of the best wines in the world.
Cabernet Sauvignon is easy to age because it’s a full-bodied wine that is highly tannic and acidic. To balance this, oak barrels are used during fermentation making the wine feel softer. The aromas of blackcurrant, green bell pepper, mint and cedar are most common with this varietal. The oak barrels bring out flavors of vanilla and spices.
It’s important to harvest Cabernet Sauvignon at the right moment because too soon and the wine can have almost vegetable-inspired flavors and too late creates a jammy or stewed blackcurrant mouthfeel. Young California Cabs are fruit-forward while older, aged cabs have more tobacco notes. Cabs age well so drinking now or later is up to personal preference.
How to Serve Cabernet Sauvignon
It’s important to serve Cabernet Sauvignon the right way which includes opening the bottle one to three hours prior to drinking . It’s also important to serve the wine at room temperature or just a little chilled. As soon as the cork is removed oxygen enters the bottle “opening it up” making the aromas and flavors more prominent. You can also use a decanter to speed up the process and remove any sediment from the wine. Use a large glass to serve the wine so more more air will come into contact with it furthering developing aromas and flavors.
Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing
Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing is best with nearly all red meat, including prime rib, New York strip and filet mignon. Also try lamb or pepper- crusted ahi tuna. The wine is best enjoyed with food and is great in sauces or reductions. Be sure to avoid pasta and rice because the starches won’t mellow out the harsh tannins in the wine.