Our brother is a “Cab guy”, and he’s pretty particular about which bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon he buys. But how different can Cabs be anyway? Very different, it turns out…and for a number of reasons.
- Where the grapes are grown. Cabernet grapes are grown all over the world – from France, Chile, Argentina, Australia to the US. Grape quality is affected by weather and soil, plus the time of harvest and the pruning methods used in the vineyard. Just like a cantaloupe or tomato grown in different regions of the world, a grape takes on different qualities too.
- What other wines are added. Some winemakers make a 100% Cabernet wine. Others blend the grape with other red varietals such as Merlot or Cabernet Franc. With each type of blend, flavor changes. Think of your own recipes: different ingredients, different amounts produce different flavors.
- How “old” they are. Once bottled, most wines are ready to drink right away. But Cabernets – particularly good quality ones – will be aged in their bottles before they’re released for sale. This aging process improves the wine and softens its harsh young tannins.
- What foods you may be eating with the wine. Food affects the way a wine tastes. The Cab will taste different if you sip if with a big juicy steak as opposed to a slice of blue cheese – or a piece of chocolate cake.
Barbara and Beverly