Cabernet Sauvignon: History And Food Pairings


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wine grape varieties. It’s known to be planted all around the world in different climates but many consider those grown in Bordeaux to be of superior quality, though the ones grown in Napa Valley, California is also a popular variety. Cabernet Sauvignon is also used to produce the world’s most expensive wine.

For a long time, the Cabernet Sauvignon was believed to be the most planted red grape wine in the world until it was replaced by the Merlot during the 1990s. But since 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon once again became the most planted grape wine world-wide.

So let’s delve into the history of viticulture and the best Cabernet Sauvignon bottles you must try.

History of Cabernet Sauvignon

It took a while for people to find out the history of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Many believe that the grape had ancient origins dating back to ancient Rome. It wasn’t until 1966 that wine researchers at UC Davis finally concluded where Cabernet Sauvignon grape was first seen.

During the 17th century in the southwestern region of France, there occurred accidental breeding between a white Sauvignon Blanc grape plant and a red Cabernet Franc grape. Out came Cabernet Sauvignon, admittedly the most popular grape wine many wine enthusiasts drink.

The grapes of a Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its red color and its thick and durable skin. The vine is quite resistant to the elements which is one reason it’s been grown in different places around the world. 

After the introduction of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, winemakers across France, looking for hardy grape varieties that are easy to grow, began to adopt the grapes for their wine production. The grape found its home in Bordeaux where, to this day, the production of Cabernet Sauvignon is a time-honored tradition.

Growing Cabernet Sauvignon


Although Cabernet Sauvignon can be grown in different climates, the wine quality is largely dependent on the temperature of the climate. The vine of the Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the last grapes to ripen and the climate during the growing season dictates when the grapes should be harvested.

In the wine region of California, the vine is given ample sun with fewer problems of ripening making it possible to produce different varieties of Cabernet wine. In Bordeaux, where the climate is a little more unpredictable, the grapes are harvested earlier than ideal and blended in with other grapes.


The soil consideration for Cabernet Sauvignon is very different between Europe and America. In Bordeaux, soil condition is crucial in determining the type of Bordeaux grape to be planted. Cabernet Sauvignon is known to thrive in soil that is gravel-based in the Medoc region. Gravel soils are well-drained and radiate heat to the vine to help in ripening. Clay and limestone soils are cooler thus vines ripen later.

Popular Cabernet Sauvignon

Being as popular as it is, Cabernet Sauvignon has many different varieties of wine coming from all over the world. They also range from bottles that are under $20 to bottles costing $200 upwards. 

Here are some of the most popular Cabernet Sauvignon. From Napa to Bordeaux, these wines are known for their lightness, slight acidity, and a timeless taste that will be a pleasurable pair to any meal.

Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2016 Saint-Julien

If you want gravitas in your wine, then you’ll find it in the Château Ducru Beaucaillou. Its boldness is beautifully paired by the rich and complex structure of the fruit all blended perfectly together.  A full-bodied wine full of promise and taste, the Château Ducru Beaucaillou derives its powers from its structure rather than the fruit.

Austin Hope 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)

The Austin Hope was the brainchild of Austin Hope who spent years trying to come up with a wine of this quality. It’s a thick and dark wine with an aroma of black currants and blueberries mixed with roasted coffee.

2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia

For any American Sauvignon lovers, the best place to taste the most delicious wine would be in Napa Valley. The 2015 Insignia is made from 90% Cabernet that has been carefully blended to create a rich and dramatic taste. It has a distinct taste and aroma of cocoa, graphite, cedar, and grainy tannins.

2015 Château Mouton Rothschild

A child of Pauillac, France, this perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit is a popular favorite amongst wine connoisseurs. This particular year blessed the region with a mild climate resulting in a deep-colored wine with playful hues of black fruit flavors and spices.

2014 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC

This is another world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon vintage. This production really put Italian Cabernet wine into the limelight. The wine itself boasts a garnet hue with intermingling aromas of black fruit and raspberries along with hints of baking spices.

Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings

Cabernet is perfectly suited for any kind of meat. Being full-bodied and rich, it offers a complex palate that perfectly complements for meaty dishes and meals with rich sauces.

You can’t go wrong pairing the Cabernet with a grilled blue cheeseburger. The funky taste of the blue cheese goes very well with the tannins of the cabernet.

Braised lamb shanks is another meal that will go nicely with the Cabernet. What pushes this combination together from being just an average meal is the rosemary. Both create a wonderful friendship that only our palate is witness to.

Filet Mignon paired with the Cabernet is always going to be a safe bet. Some may even call it a classic combination. The sauce of the steak perfectly matches the acidity of the Cabernet.

Moussaka is one surprising dish no one would expect to go well with the classic taste of a Cabernet. At times, eggplant can be a little bitter but pairing it with the tannic taste of the Cab and both extremes cancel each other out leaving behind only a rich taste.

If you haven’t already guessed, lamb tagine really goes well with the Cabernet. And since this stew version is made Moroccan style, the spices perfectly complements the tannin present in the Cabernet.

Summer Thatcher
Summer Thatcher
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