Due to its worldwide prominence and ability to adapt to a wide range of different soil types and climates, Cabernet Sauvignon is among the most popular and famous red wine grape varieties on Earth. The historic home of Cabernet Sauvignon is Bordeaux in France, but its popularity is truly international in character. From Napa Valley in California to Coonawarra in Australia, winemakers are making truly world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines that rival those of Bordeaux.
In terms of character, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are typically deep red in color with moderate acidity. They often have notes of black currant and spices and have moderate to good tannin structure.
Throughout history, winemakers have attempted to blend Cabernet Sauvignon wines with those made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and even Tempranillo. In general, these blends have been successful, imparting these wines with the unique and much desired “Cab” character. While winemakers in Napa Valley and Australia have created some truly remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon wines, Bordeaux is still acknowledged as the world leader for Cabernet Sauvignon.
What has made Cabernet Sauvignon so popular in the New World is its remarkable ability to provide high-quality, high-yield grape harvests as far north as Canada and as far south as Argentina. However, Cabernet Sauvignon is a late ripening grape, and that means that the grape is particularly susceptible to especially long winters. Winemakers know, though, that Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkably safe investment due to its undeniable global appeal.
Cabernet Sauvignon is best paired with hearty meat dishes. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon pairs especially well with steak dishes and Beef Wellington.