Cabernet Wines

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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The small, dark Cabernet Sauvignon grape has its essential home in the Bordeaux region of France. However, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is very well travelled indeed, and now thrives beautifully in California and Chile. It also seems to be doing quite well in Australia, South Africa, as well as Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe.

Cabernet Sauvignon wine can be found in the United States and Australia under its very own varietal name. Of course, there are French Cabernet Sauvignons to be found as well. If you happen to be a lover of Bordeaux (made, naturally, only in Bordeaux), but don't know how to find a New World equivalent, look no further than the New World blends of "Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot." Also know that the term "claret" is a traditional reference for Bordeaux, and so "claret" wines made all over the world will, too, contain Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Violets, Cedar, Tobacco and Pepper

In terms of grape characteristics, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is small, thick-skinned, and a matte-finished deep, dark blue. It's juice is very aromatic, and is said to have fragrance and flavor notes including violets, cedar, pencil, chocolate, black currant, coffee, and tobacco. As a young wine, it tends to be fruity; as it ages, the aromas become more complex and defined. A whiff of green pepper may actually let the drinker know that the grapes were under-ripe when selected.

In terms of food pairings, Cabernets go very well with steak and almost any other smoked or grilled red meat. Cabernet Sauvignon also pairs nicely with English Cheddar and nearly all cheeses from Holland. It is widely held that all Cabernet Sauvignon wines, whether they be from Australia, California, South American, or are bona fide Red Bordeaux, all taste best when served around 65 degrees.


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