Sarah on February 6, 2014 1 Comment Cabernet Sauvignon Is a Robust, Full Flavored Wine Fit for a King Cabernet Sauvignon has the honor of being the world’s most widely recognized wine. Thanks to the robust nature of the vine, virtually every country that produces wine is capable of making Cabernet Sauvignon, from places in North America to regions in Australia. Cabernet Sauvignon is well known for its firm tannins and full and rich taste, including such notes as blackcurrant, as well as woodsy flavors, such as cedar, oak, and herbs. The wine also contains great potential for aging, thanks to its high rate of tannins and perceptible acidity. The Origins of Cabernet Sauvignon The original source of this beloved wine remained shrouded in mystery for many years. The truth was not discovered until the late 1990s, when researchers discovered that the wine originated in a crossing of two varieties of grapes during the 17th century. These varieties were known as Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, thus creating the wine that we know and love today. The grape which makes Cabernet Sauvignon is well known for its ability to withstand a myriad of environmental conditions, and as a result, this vine thrives in a number of locations without regard for soil conditions. In fact, this durability of the vine played a role in the wine’s discovery, with French producers choosing varieties that could withstand the ever-changing climate of the region. This also explains why the vines have been so successful all over the world. Regional Variations Because of its inherent qualities, production of Cabernet Sauvignon has been successful the world over. Depending on the area where the wine is produced, flavor profiles may differ. The following are just a few of the regions that are well known for their production of this notable wine. Quick Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon: Serving Temperature: 62–65°F Storage Temperature: 55°F Suggested Food Pairings: Steak, Bison, Venison, Lamb, Aged Gouda Suggested Glass Shape: Medium bowl shape, medium sized opening at top, only slightly smaller than bowl shape. – View Example *Decanting or Aerating Recommended Bordeaux:The Bordeaux region of France has the honor of being the birthplace of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a bit ironic that this iconic wine came about purely as a financial decision. Thanks to an unpredictable climate, producers in Bordeaux planted a number of varieties of grapes each year. The reasoning was simple; if one variety fell victim to unfavorable weather conditions, producers had many others to choose from. These varieties were blended once it was discovered that some varieties served to complement one another. This is most likely how the wine came into existence. Italy:Cabernet Sauvignon made its first appearance in Italy’s wine country in the early 1800s. While the variety has been looked on harshly by those who feel it diminished Italy’s native grapes, over time it has been embraced for its astounding ability to be mixed with other varieties. Restrictive regulations prohibited the amount of foreign grape varieties in Italian wines. This caused some consternation among the country’s wine producers, who favored the way native vineyards tasted when mixed with complementing foreign grapes. The result was the creation of a so-called ‘super Tuscan’ wine, which featured Cabernet Sauvignon mixed other varieties of Italian grapes. These wines went on to sell better than their native counterparts. This caused industry regulators to take another look at their practices, and as a result many Italian wines include Cabernet Sauvignon as a means of improving their existing flavor profile. California:Taking a note from the Bordeaux region, California producers of Cabernet Sauvignon tend to follow the practices of the famed French region pretty closely. This is most obvious in the production and planting practices utilized all over the state. Due to California’s many different environments, different regions yield different flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon. For instance, hillside vineyards produce a far more intense flavor, due to the less fertile soil and smaller grapes. Conversely, mountainside vineyards yield fruit that features deeper colors, as well as an aroma strongly reminiscent of berries. Australia:Australian producers of Cabernet Sauvignon first gained attention in the 1970s. These days, this popular type of wine is Australia’s second most plentiful variety, just after Syrah. Depending on where in Australia the wine is produced, some versions contain minty notes, which perfectly offset the rich berry components present in the wine. Recommended Food Pairings When it comes to food pairings, Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with bold, rich flavors, such as those found in the wine itself. Meat is a popular menu item for pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. Items like steak, bison, and even duck pair beautifully with this full flavored wine. This is due to the high tannin content found in the wine. Foods high in protein and fat serve to tone down the tannin component, while foods like fish may actually create an unpleasant flavor profile. As far as cheese is concerned, Cabernet Sauvignon goes best with mild or moderate cheeses. Cheeses offering bold flavors may battle with the inherent richness of the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic wine for all seasons. Whether sharing an intimate dinner or attending a gathering of friends, this wine is sure to win the hearts and palates of each who samples it. While regional tastes may vary, you can rest assured that this popular variety will offer wine lovers a rich and full bodied flavor.