Cabernet Day - Pairings, Fun Facts and Some of my Favorites

Cabernet Day: Thank god someone thought of this day....not that I needed another reason to drink Cabernet Sauvignon.

Most people say that some sort of white or sweet wine is what brought them into the world of wine. You could almost say that is true for me, I would drink some sort of sweet white wine in college and I couldn't tell you one thing I liked about it. But when I found my love for wine it was Cabernet. In this post I will tell you about my favorite cabernets, cheese pairings, food pairings,

Fun Facts:

1. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted wine grape in the world (~720,000 acres)

2. It actually wasn’t proven that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc until 1996 by wine researchers at UC Davis

3. Cabernet Sauvignon grows in nearly every wine producing region of the world, from as far north as Washington State, to as far south as the Yarra Valley in Southern Australia.


2013 O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Davis Estates Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Affordable favorites:

McGrail 2014 Patriot Cabernet Sauvignon

Michael David Winery: Freakshow Cabernet (you can find this at most grocery stores)

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon

(I Should probably tell you a little about Howell Mountain because as you can see it is my obsession)

HOWELLL MOUNTAIN: The selfish part of me doesn't want to tell you about Howell Mountain in Napa because its hidden and full of full bodied secrets. But oh man THE best wines come from this mountain. The windy roads, foggy mornings, sometimes snow, small production wineries, exclusive tasting rooms, I could go on. But what makes the wine so good? (I think its the Howell Mountain magic, but most of you won't settle for that answer.) A lot of people don't know that there are some major differences on mountain cabernet. The biggest difference is as stated above, the weather. On the mountain it is colder during the day. This little difference makes Cabernet Sauvignon struggle to produce small clusters of tiny grapes. The smaller grapes have a higher skin-to-juice ratio resulting in deeper-colored wine with higher tannin.

Wine Folly Fact: Howell Mountain Cabernets are some of the most concentrated wines in the world. WHAT. Y'all I am so serious when I say this is the best wine, biased but its true. ;)

STOCK UP THE WINE FRIDGE (or don't more for me) :)

My GO TO Cheeses with Cabernet Sauvignon:

There are a lot of people that argue about cheese pairings and what cheeses you should pair, and some even argue that cheese can take away the fruit and tannins in wines. My first thoughts are if you like cheese and you like wine, don't let the "should be's" stop you from enjoying your evening. I say this over and over again, I like my cabernet paired with my sofa. So pair it with whatever YOU like.

With that said, I am a cheese lover, so there are a few cheeses I like to pair with younger cabernets that still have strong tannins. Sharpe aged Cheddar and Aged Gouda are my go -tos when pairing with a younger cab. What I consider a younger cab is a 2014-2016 (its 2018). The aged cabernets I don't like to pair with anything personally (wine snobs, I do not care what you think), because I PERSONALLY love to enjoy wines without food sometimes. Now when I have people over I am ALL about the pairings. So why aged cheddar and gouda? Their nutty texture and silky taste highlights the berry notes in both young Cabernet Sauvignons, while the wine’s tannins bind to the cheese’s protein and fat.

I sort of use the same thought process for dinner as well. Generally I go for a red meat at dinner if I am going to have a cabernet, but I have definitely still paired it with a rich food as well (like risotto and it was still good- with that said with a creamy rich food I would recommend a white like Chardonnay). My go to with Cabernet at home is a steak salad with butternut squash and herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. The big fatty flavors and savory herbs pair super well with the tannins of a cabernet. Also, where are all my burger lovers? I LOVE burgers and cab! MMMMMM.

Another time Wine Folly said it best: Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the more complex and layered wines out there. It has higher tannins and a savory character often described as black pepper and tobacco. Because of Cab’s traits, look for foods high in fat and umami flavors for Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing.