#Winesday: How Cabernet Sauvignon Became So Popular

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When two wines really love each other, they come together to make a wine the world loves. And that little vino? It grew up successful, rich, and goes by the name Cabernet Sauvignon. (Its close friends call it Cab Sauv.)

In 1996, a research group at UC Davis discovered that Cab Sauv is actually the offspring of the grapes Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. But this grape has been around much, much, longer.

Now the most famous red wine grape in the world, and the most planted (even in Chile!), Cabernet Sauvignon resides most typically in Napa Valley, California, and the Bordeaux region in France. If you’ve ever gawked at the price tag for a bottle of this vino, you’re not the only one. Wineries in Napa Valley actually end up paying more on average for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes than they do for other grapes — hence the embellished cost.

But just how did Cab Sauv become one of the popular kids? It's beautiful inside and out. Outside, Cab Sauv’s thick grape skin lends to its rich tannic flavors, and inside, its juice not only works well on its own but is also perfect for blending. Plus, its thick skin protects it from the elements during growing season and blocks out the Cab Sauv haters.

Be sure to send Cab Sauv an invite to your next party; you won’t be disappointed. Its full-bodied, medium acidity and dry, tannic taste is the perfect pairing to a stack of short ribs or a fatty cut of lamb. While it may leave your mouth feeling dry (thanks to the tannins) the flavors of dark cherries, green pepper, leather (yup) and black pepper will coat your palette. Our mouths are watering already. If you pick up on hints of vanilla, that’s due to the oak barrel your vino sat in for 9 to 18 months.

While great on its own, Cabernet Sauvignon is also used to create one of the world’s most famous red blends: the Bordeaux blend. So whether you’re uncorking Cabernet Sauvignon over a mushroom pizza or opting for it in a blend of delicious wines, we can all agree to raise a glass to the two grapes that brought this beautiful vino into our life: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. What great parents Cab Sauv has to look up to. Cheers!

Sources: VinePair, The Wine Cellar Insider, Wine Folly 1, Wine Folly 2

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