Cabernet Sauvignon

What is Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon (will also be called Cab Sauv) is the most popular of the red wine varieties. It is grown in almost every wine producing country, but its roots are traced back to Bordeaux, France. The varietal came to be after a natural crossing of Cabernet Franc (red grape) and Sauvignon Blanc (white grape.) The body is usually medium to full, with a higher tannin content, and medium acidity. Cab Sauv grapes are grown well in warmer climates with a good amount of sunshine.

Style of Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon wines are typically grouped into two categories: Old World and New World. The Old World describes the wines that are produced in France and Italy. These Cab Sauvs are usually blended with other varietals (i.e. Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sangiovese), and are commonly more floral and herbal in flavor. (INTERESTING FACT: Cab Sauvs from Italy are called Super Tuscans, and are not recognized by the Italian wine classification system.) New World wines are those produced out of areas like California, Washington, Chile, and Australia, and are generally more fruity with a higher alcohol content.

Aromas & Flavors

The aroma and flavor profile of a Cabernet Sauvignon is dependent on where the climate and soil of where the grapes are grown; however, the aromas are generally described as black currant, green pepper, vanilla, cedar, violets, and leather with flavors like plum, blueberry, vanilla, black cherry, black pepper, tobacco, green pepper and mint. (INTERESTING FACT: the green pepper flavor of Cab Sauvs is said to come from the compound pyrazine, which is found in younger grapes.)

Food Pairing

Because Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold and assertive wine, it pairs well with fatty foods and meat. It’s good to pair it with steaks, lamb, burgers, mushroom dishes, and foods with heavy butter or cream sauces. When it comes to cheese, it does better with mild flavored cheeses like Mozzarella, Brie, Cheddar, and Gruyere. As Cab Sauvs have an affinity to oak, grilled and/or smoked dishes will also work well.

ABV & Calorie Count

The typical alcohol by volume (ABV) content of Cabernet Sauvignon is 13.5% to 14.5%. The typical calorie count is around 123 calories for a 5 ounce glass.