Cabernet Sauvignon King of the wine grapes, found almost everywhere wine is grown. Equally found in almost every restaurant or shop that stocks wine, and has one of the easiest pronounced names in the wine world, often called be the simple three or seven letter names CAB or CAB SAUV. Another reason, suggested by a colleague, for Cabernet Sauvignon popularity, in Ireland at least, is its blackcurrant hints which, he argues quite convincingly, reminds of Ribena consumed in our youth.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are small and thick skinned and bluish in colour. This thick skin is part of the reason why king Cabernet has managed to travel the world and establish itself globally. But this big hitter in the wine world has only been around since the 17th century when nature in south west france decided to cross Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the rest as they say is history.

As with any wine that travels Cabernet Sauvignon has reinvented itself in each of the new regions it has settled in. Cabernet from Paulliac in Bordeaux its home terrain, for example, has mineral and cedary, cigar box flavours, whereas in Cabernet Coonawarra, in Australia, has big cassis flavours with hints of menthol and clove. Cabernet from Chile’s Central Valley has lovely black fruit flavours dominating and each region its grown in has a different characteristics. 

Because of its high levels of tannin Cabernet makes great wines for aging and can be potentially long lived. It is well suited to oaking which allows it to develop flavours of vanilla, spice and chocolate among others. Another popular practice with Cabernet is ‘blending’.

Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended together with softer juicier grapes such as Merlot or spicy Cabernet Franc (These to are used very commonly in Bordeaux with Cabernet). And Great Cabernet doesn’t cost you your first born there are some great French,  Aussie and Chilean Cabernets out there under €20.