Cabernet Wine 101: Regions, Characteristics, Pairing, Storage & Benefits

Due to the variety of available wines in the market, people inevitably get confused. Have you ever experienced planning to buy wine but don’t know what you want? If yes, then reading this post will be a helpful guide for you.

Here, we will talk about one of the famous wines. What is Cabernet wine? Where does it come from? What does it taste like? Don’t worry because we will know all that.

This blog also comes in handy if you want to know what foods you should pair with it. Also, the benefits it will give to your body.

What is Cabernet Wine?


Before anything else, let us clear the confusion here. Cabernet is a shortened name for Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically, it is referred to as Cab as well.

Even though there’s also a Cabernet Franc, it became a notion that if you say Cabernet, it automatically refers to Cabernet Sauvignon. Going back, what is Cabernet wine, really?

Cabernet wine is a famous wine made using the grape Cabernet Sauvignon– an offspring of Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet franc. This is the reason why people tend to mix up these names.

Cabernet is a famous wine because of its good quality. As a matter of fact, you can find Cabernet wine in many wine shops worldwide. The cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes is also a fast-growing industry.

Where Does Cabernet Wine Come From?


Cabernet was first harvested in Bordeaux, France. But later on, many countries started to grow the same grape varietal. It is why it is accessible and affordable to different places.

The production of Cabernet grapes is not limited to France alone. Here are the lists of countries that produce the best quality Cabernet.

One of the notable characteristics is that Cabernet is cultivated in hot weather. Other considerations are also being taken, which causes the different taste of the fruit.

  • Bordeaux, France: France is where it all originated. It is the home of the famous Bordeaux blend as well. Some of the unique tastes of the Cabernet in France are plum sauce, tobacco leaf, and pencil lead. Although it may sound unappetizing, these wines are age-worthy.
  • California: California is also one of the top contributors to Cabernet Sauvignon wines. However, unlike France, which specializes in making blends, California is more on 100% pure Cabernet wines. American Viticultural Areas like Sonoma and Napa Valley are where these grapes are usually present. These places are perfect for growing Cabernet because of the soil and climate features.
  • South Australia: South Australia is known for producing Cabernets of unique taste. This country is perfect for cultivating this grape variety because of its red soil and warm climate. Coonawarra region and Langhorne Creek are the famous spots for Cabernet production.
  • Italy: Cabernet is also famous in Italy, particularly in Tuscany. One of the notable contributions of this country in the Cabernet world is their Super Tuscan. Super Tuscan is a term coined in the 1980s to identify the non-indigenous wines in the area. Some of these are the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
  • Chile: The Cabernet wines produced in Chile are known for tastes like black cherry, green peppercorn, fig paste, and blackberry. Chile produces high-quality Cabernet because of its excellent climate. Hot and cool weather balance could be felt in areas between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains.

The list doesn’t end here. China, Argentina, South America, and Washington State are significant contributors too.

What Are the Characteristics of Cabernet Wine?


The most crucial information about Cabernet is its characteristics. Why do people love this drink? We will know the answers in this part!

First of all, Cabernet is red wine. It is known for being full-bodied wine with an alcohol-by-volume content of 13.5% to 15%.

Its tannin content is medium to high. So, expect that a Cabernet wine would probably be astringent and bitter. The acidity is also at a medium level.

When it comes to color or appearance, usually, it is red. However, some variants may also appear to be dark or light. The color depends on the blending too. Its consistency is denser than other wines.

Cabernet’s taste differs depending on the region where it is produced. In cooler climates, Cabernet wine could taste like asparagus and vegetal. On the other hand, it could taste like eucalyptus, mint, or black pepper in warm temperatures.

But, generally, Cabernet wines taste like green bell pepper. This is due to the chemical compound called pyrazine.

Pyrazine is commonly present in red wines and is a great indicator that the wine has excellent taste. However, this taste should always be balanced, or the wine will taste unpleasant.

Some primary flavors that an individual can taste when drinking Cabernet are cedar, graphite, baking spices, black cherry, and black currant.

How Long Can I Store Cabernet Wine?


Cabernet is a kind of wine that goes best when stored for a long time. You can keep it for 7 to 10 years if it is unopened. Meanwhile, a maximum of 5 days would be ideal if it is opened. But it could last for 7 days if you use a wine stopper.

Opened wines are more prone to contamination and oxygen contact. That’s why it is best to consume them immediately after opening.

Moreover, there are conditions in storing precious wines like Cabernet wine. Some are listed below:

  • 55 degrees Fahrenheit: The temperature of the environment where you will store Cabernet should be consistent. It should not be too cold or hot.
  • 70 degrees humidity: The storage facility’s humidity contributes to the Cabernet’s overall condition. It should be maintained at all times.
  • Enough light: As you probably know, all wines should not be exposed to excessive sunlight. This is the reason why most wine facilities are dark and often enclosed.
  • No vibration: Vibration ruins the quality of the wine. It should not be kept in areas with too much vibration, like near or on top of the refrigerator.

If all these conditions are met, the proposed storing age of Cabernet will be possible.

What Glass Should I Use For Drinking Cabernet Wine?


Since Cabernet is a full-bodied red wine, it is best to use a Bordeaux wine glass.

Bordeaux wine glass is designed specifically for wines that need a big bowl. This way, people who drink it can immediately smell the wine’s aroma.

Big glass bowls also help in the oxidation and evaporation process of the wine. Which both help in making the quality of the wine better. It also makes the wine smoother.

Another option for the glass would be the Cabernet wine glass itself. This glass is tall and can hold a wine volume of 29.4 ounces. It would also allow the drinker to smell the wine quickly.

How Do You Drink Cabernet Wine?


Finding food that would go well with Cabernet wine is not challenging. It is a versatile wine, so you don’t need to worry about what to pair with it.

Cabernet is best paired with meat; it will serve its purpose for beef, lamb, duck, or steak. Burgers will also do the trick here. You can also pair it with filet mignon and prime rib.

That’s for the main course meat dishes. But how about for some appetizers? Of course, there would be some choices too!

Pairing Cabernet with cheese curls and puffs is always a good choice. Pretzels, dark chocolates, mushroom tarts, and bacon wrapped in blue cheese would also taste good.

As you can see, we mentioned some cheeses for appetizers. That’s because Cabernet also tastes well with certain cheeses!

If you like to try it, you can choose from herbed cheese, blue cheese, truffle cheese, and creamy cheese.

For veggie lovers here, you can pair Cabernet wine with roasted vegetables because roasted and smoky flavors will blend well with the taste of the wine.

Even though there are plenty of food pairing choices here, there is one thing that you should never forget. Avoid pairing Cabernet wine with rice and pasta. The starch from these foods will not balance with the high tannin content of Cabernet.

How Does Drinking Cabernet Wine Benefit My Body?


Generally, red wines are suitable for the body. They are good for the heart if consumed in the right amount. Most are good cholesterol and blood sugar regulators. These wines also contain antioxidants that the body needs.

But, this may not always apply to all red wines. As we know, there are a lot of kinds of red wines, and they don’t always possess the same components. So, we cannot vouch for all types. Instead, we will focus on the benefits of Cabernet wine!

Cabernet wine contains two essential compounds– flavonoids and resveratrol. Each can affect the body in a good way.

Flavonoids are antioxidants that help in protecting the heart from cholesterol. Meanwhile, resveratrol is a compound that focuses on fighting the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Cabernet wine is rich in these two compounds.


Now that you know what is Cabernet wine, its origin, and its distinct characteristics. As well as the food you can pair it with and the benefits it could give your body, it is now easier to distinguish it.

Whenever you plan to buy a new bottle of wine, do not forget to include the famous Cabernet wine in your list!


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