Pronunciation: [ka-behr-NAY soh-vihn-YOHN; soh-vee-NYAW<em>N</em>]
The most successful and popular of the top-quality red-wine grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is the basis for most of California's superb red wines and the primary grape of most of the top vineyards in Bordeaux's Médoc and Graves districts. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is most often blended with one or more of the following grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. In California, wines are more often made with 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, although some blending is now taking place. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce full-bodied, fruity wines that are rich, complex and intensely flavorful. There are a multitude of well-made Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made throughout the world. Among the most notable are those from France's Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Margaux, and California's Beaulieu Vineyards, Caymus Vineyards, Heitz Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. Cabernet Sauvignon is a red-wine drinker’s red wine. It’s quite rich, packed with intense bordering-on-bitter flavors that can be almost leathery and that need something equally bold (and bordering-on-bitter) to stand up – a charred, well-marbled steak does so nicely. Actually, anything fatty, rich or toasty will pair perfectly with Cabernet Sauvignon.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.