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Thursday, August 28, 2014

International Cabernet Sauvignon Day, Aug 28th

Or depending on who you ask Cabernet Day might be on August 30th of each year. What did you expect from a bunch of winos? The good news is that Cabernet will be required for at least two dinners this week!

A few boring facts about Cabernet Sauvignon:
  • It's a genetic cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • It needs to be grown in a fairly warm climate. That is, it won't ripen in the same places as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, for instance.
  • It's home is considered to be Bordeaux, France where it's often blended with other grapes such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In the U.S. people think of Napa Valley when they think Cabernet.
  • Cab is the most planted grape in the world.

So, what Cabernet to drink? With so many available the choices and price ranges are almost never-ending.

Some of the most recognizable wineries earned their reputation because of their Cabernet Sauvignon -- places like Silver Oak, Mondavi, Joseph Phelps, Opus One, and Jordon.

In Sonoma County the prime growing region for Cabernet is Alexander Valley, but there are several other areas of the county growing great Cabs including Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley. A couple special areas for Cab in the county are the Rockpile appellation and the historic Monte Rosso Vineyard in the new Moon Mtn. appellation.

Cabernet Sauvignon is arguably at it's best in blends, usually with the other "big 5" Bordeaux varietals of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Sometimes you see Cab blended with Syrah.

So grill a steak and pop a Sonoma County Cabernet (or two) this week!

A big award winner at last fall's
Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Image from forchini.com