Cabernet sauvignon has long been considered the Rolls Royce of red wines. It's what you pour for special occasion dinners when rich red meat such as filet mignon or lamb chops are a part of the picture. This wine is best served after it's been aged for several years, which is why many consumers purchase it by the case to have it on hand several years down the road. Because cabernet grapes are cultivated throughout the world, the wine varies greatly in flavor. For instance, cabernet grown and bottled in France generally offers a smoother, more subtle finish than its counterpart grown in Spain. California cabernet sauvignons are characteristically bold with strong, earthy accents of dark fruits such as blackberries and plums.
If you're new to the wonderful world of wine, you're in for a treat. Following are just a few basics concerning cabernet sauvignon, designed to help you enjoy this varietal to the fullest.
Cabernet Sauvignon Can Double as a Dessert Wine
Although most people think of cabernet sauvignon as something always served with dinner, its dark fruit notes make it a good choice to serve with berry, cherry, and plum desserts. California cabernets are also characteristically spicy, which means they pair well with dark, complex chocolate. For an elegant yet no-fuss dessert option, enjoy a couple squares of the richest, darkest gourmet-quality chocolate you can find with a glass of California cabernet sauvignon.
Cabernet Sauvignon Can Be Served with Vegetarian Dishes
If you don't eat meat, you may be thinking that you won't have the option of enjoying a glass of cabernet sauvignon with your entree. However, this wine pairs well with certain vegetarian dishes—the key is to match it with something with a rich, earthy flavor profile. Creamy pasta tossed with sliced roasted sweet potatoes makes a great pairing for a good cabernet sauvignon, and most mushroom-based dishes will work as well. It's also a good choice for fruit salads containing plums, berries, or black cherries.
Cabernet Sauvignon Makes a Good Sipping Wine
Many wine lovers divide their favorite wines into either table wines or sipping wines. Cabernet sauvignon can be used for either. Because of its rich flavor profile, it's best when enjoyed before a warm fire on a chilly evening. You can also use it to make mulled wine for holidays and other special occasions.
Wineries typically have tasting rooms where you can try various wines so that you can find the one you like the best. For a special treat, look for one offering Caymus wine.