Let's Talk Wine with Eric Garnier
December 2011

The King of wine: Cabernet Sauvignon

It seems like yesterday that I was writing a wine column about the wines best served with the traditional meals of Thanksgiving!
December jumps out and before we know it, Christmas will be staring at us. If your house is as crazy as mine during the holidays, there will be many days filled with family, food and wine.

I must raise my glass of wine and salute the king of wine, Cabernet Sauvignon. As much as I love to discover and taste new varietals, when it comes to my "back to basic" wine, I always fall back to a good juicy, tannic, velvety, chewy cab. This varietal is grown in most major wine growing areas throughout the world, in in my opinion is best if from California (Napa valley), Washington, and France (Bordeaux)

I call a cab the "meat lovers" wine. During the holidays, prime rib seems to be the meat of choice in most households. This is when the Cabernet shines best. The different styles of Cabernet Sauvignon from different regions can also influence how well the wine matches up with certain foods. Old World wines, such as Bordeaux, have earthier influences and will pair better with mushrooms. Wines from cooler climates that have noticeable vegetal notes can be balanced with vegetables and greens. New World wines, with bolder fruit flavors, will pair well with bolder dishes that have lots of different flavor influences. The wine can typically pair well with a variety of cheeses, such as Cheddar, mozzarella and Brie and what I call a variety of "stinky"cheeses.

While New World Cabernets are characterized as being drinkable earlier than Bordeaux, premium producers such as the Californian cult wines will produce wines that need time to age and could potentially develop for two to three decades. Overall, the majority of Californian Cabernets are meant to be approachable after only a couple of years in the bottle but can still have the potential to improve further over time.

Merry Christmas
Joyeux Noël
Kala Christouyenna
Feliz Navidad,

Questions or comments? Reach me at : Wineoeric@gmail.com

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