Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing – Your Complete Guide

If you’re new to the world of food pairing, things can seem like a bit of a minefield. When it comes to cabernet sauvignon, this can be one of the trickiest ones to tackle.

Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing - Your Complete Guide

Chances are that on every bottle you’ve picked up, meat has been suggested as the key pairing. But what about other food items, such as pizza, pasta, and starters?

If you’re on the hunt for some cabernet sauvignon food pairings that go beyond just meat, then you’ve come to the right place.

Below, we’ve compiled this handy guide that will give you all of the information you need regarding cabernet sauvignon, as well as some of its very best pairings. This will help to give you the inspiration you need to prepare the perfect dining experience possible.

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look at the subject.

What Does Cabernet Sauvignon Taste Like?

So, before we jump straight into our pairing guide, first of all, let’s take a closer look at the complexities of flavor demonstrated by this popular wine.

For those who have had the pleasure of tasting a good bottle of cabernet sauvignon, you will already know that it’s one of the most delicious varieties of red wine that you can purchase.

It has an incredibly rich and dark flavor that comes through from the blackcurrant. It is a full bodied wine that has bold flavors, such as black pepper, or bell pepper.

It also displays flavors of black cherry, blackberry, tobacco, wood, and vanilla, which comes from the aging process in oak barrels.

In general, it’s regarded as an incredibly rich and dry wine, with acidic notes displayed by the berries. It has strong tannins, but this mellows as the wine ages.

You will recognize the tannin in the wine if you feel it drying out your tongue as you drink it. It’s far less sweet than many other red wine varieties.

It is a wine that usually displays a high alcohol percentage, and this often ranges from anywhere between 13 – 14 percent.

Why People Love Cabernet Sauvignon?

Chances are that every bar and restaurant you visit will have cabernet sauvignon listed as one of their key wines. It’s become increasingly popular over the years, and now rivals other popular varieties such as merlot.

But why do people love this popular wine so much?

Well, this is an easy question to answer – it’s simply because it tastes delicious. People love the dry, fruity, full bodied nature of this wine, and it feels incredibly indulgent to drink.

In addition to this, people also love the rich, acidic flavors displayed by the tannins, which make it stand out as a cabernet sauvignon.

Another reason why cabernet sauvignon is so popular is because it goes so well with such a variety of different food items. It can be paired with a whole host of popular meals, which we’ll get into later.

As well as this, because of its full bodied nature, it can also be enjoyed as a treat by itself.

The Aromas Of Cabernet Sauvignon

Now that we’ve discussed the flavors displayed by cabernet sauvignon, as well as why it’s considered to be so popular. We can move on to discuss the smells associated with this wine, so that you can identify it in future.

What are the aromas displayed by cabernet sauvignon that separate it from other wine varieties?

Well, the first thing that you’ll notice in terms of aroma when it comes to cabernet sauvignon is the rich berry notes displayed by this wine. You will be able to smell the cherries, blackcurrants, and blackberries.

As you take in the full aromatic profile of the wine, you’ll be able to smell the oaky notes that come through via the peppery smell, tobacco, and vanilla.

Where Is Cabernet Sauvignon Produced?

Now that we’ve covered what cabernet sauvignon smells like, we can move on to discuss where this popular wine is most commonly produced. Originally, cabernet sauvignon was first produced in the region of Bordeaux in France.

It was first produced during the early portion of the 17th century, and gradually grew to become one of the most popular wine varieties the world over.

Today, you will still find cabernet sauvignon being produced in the bordeaux region, where the expertise displayed by the city is poured into every barrel produced.

If you have the opportunity of purchasing a bottle of this beverage on your next visit to France, we’d recommend that you give it a try.

Due to its popularity, cabernet sauvignon is also produced in several other regions today. Perhaps one of the ones which produces it most ubiquitously is Chile.

This one is great if you’re looking for a delicious bottle of cabernet sauvignon, but won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Finally, the region that produces the most cabernet sauvignon today is California. California cabernet sauvignon tends to display a far oakier flavor profile, really allowing you to fully appreciate the tobacco, pepper, and vanilla flavors.

It’s also got a lot more tannin, and you’ll notice this from the dryness on your tongue when you drink the wine.

Napa is the number one producer of cabernet sauvignon in the region, and we’d recommend picking up a bottle if you have the opportunity, and you don’t mind splashing the cash.

How To Serve Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing - Your Complete Guide

Before we jump straight into our food pairings, first of all, we’d like to discuss how cabernet sauvignon is best served. The first thing that we’d recommend you do is open up your wine several minutes before you plan on serving it.

This will help to allow the wine to breathe, and rid it of some of the more acidic flavors.

If you have a decanter, then we’d recommend that you transfer it into this beforehand, and also get rid of any of the sediment. We’d also recommend storing your cabernet sauvignon in the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving it up.

Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairings

Now that we’ve covered some of the key characteristics of cabernet sauvignon wine, we can move on to our pairing guide.

Before we jump straight in with our list of food products, first, we’d like to give you some things you should consider before creating any food pairings with cabernet sauvignon.

The first thing that you want to remember about this particular variety of wine, is that it’s incredibly bold in terms of flavor. Therefore, you want to pair it with foods that are equally bold, or otherwise it will drown them out.

The next thing you need to remember is the tannin content. As we mentioned briefly above, the tannins display the dry texture you get on your tongue as you drink this wine.

It comes from the berries packed inside. In order to break down the acidity of the tannins, you need some form of protein, which is why this variety is often paired with meat based dishes.

Because it has such a high alcohol content, you want to make sure that you’re pairing it with big and bold flavors. In addition to this, because it has medium to high levels of acidity, this means that you should be looking to pair it with rich and fatty dishes.

Finally, because it’s both fruity and spicy, this means that it can be served with very flavorful dishes. When you serve your cabernet sauvignon, we would recommend doing so at a temperature of 63 fahrenheit.

Cabernet Sauvignon Starter Pairings

Now that we’ve covered some of our key points regarding cabernet sauvignon food pairings, we can move on to discuss our guide. First of all, we’ll be getting started with starters and appetizers that work really well with cabernet sauvignon.

When you’re considering some different starters to have with your wine, remember that you’re looking for foods that are big and bold in terms of flavor.

Therefore, we’d recommend meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip, skewered pork or lamb, and bold soups such as french onion.

If you’re considering making a cheese board, then cabernet sauvignon will work particularly well for such an occasion. Display plenty of medium to mature cheeses on your board, as well as a variety of different cured meat options.

Cabernet Sauvignon Meat Pairings

As we promised, we will be covering pairings for this wine that go beyond just meat. But, we do need to talk about some of the key meat pairings, as they work really well with this particular wine variety.

As many of you reading this article will already know, cabernet sauvignon is known for being perfect when paired with steak.

Steak that has particularly good marbling, such as ribeye, is great with this particular wine variety, simply because of the added flavor the fat provides.

If you’re considering how your steak should be cooked in order to appreciate this wine fully, we would recommend that you cook it rare, or medium rare, to get the most out of the flavor profile.

Another meat variety that goes particularly well with cabernet sauvignon is lamb chops. Lamb makes an excellent pairing, and the fattiness of the meat packs in a lot of flavor, enough so that it can keep up with the bold flavors displayed by the wine.

We would recommend caramelizing your lamb chops, as this goes really well with the herbal, peppery notes displayed by the wine. Finally, cabernet sauvignon is also really good at masking all of those gamey flavors associated with lamb chops.

Finally, in terms of meat pairings, we would also recommend meatloaf as a pairing for cabernet sauvignon. When meatloaf is made, a lot of the fat is removed, and it can end up tasting incredibly dry and bland.

This is why so many people opt to make a ketchup based glaze to place on top of it, but with a glass of cabernet sauvignon in hand, there’s no need to do this.

The rich berry flavors will make up for the absence of sweetness in the meatloaf dish.

Cabernet Sauvignon Salad Pairings

Some of you reading this guide may believe that because cabernet sauvignon is so rich and bold in terms of flavor, that it couldn’t possibly go with fresh salad items, but this simply isn’t the case.

There are some specific varieties of salad that this wine works exceptionally well with.

We would recommend pairing cabernet sauvignon with a steak and blue cheese salad, as it can keep up with the extra bold flavors displayed by the dish.

In addition to this, because of the juicy, berry notes in cabernet sauvignon, this also makes the wine a great option for pairing with fruit salads, or ones which have a fruit dressing.

Cabernet Sauvignon Vegetarian Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing - Your Complete Guide

Many of you reading this list may be on the hunt for some vegetarian cabernet sauvignon pairings. If so, we’ve got some great suggestions for you.

If you’re looking for the best vegetarian food pairings for this wine, then we’d suggest that you choose ones which are on the heartier, more flavorful side, as you may have guessed.

Perhaps one of the best vegetarian dishes that goes well with cabernet sauvignon is mushroom risotto. The wine really compliments the earthy flavors displayed by the dish.

As well as this, it also goes really well with Mexican based vegetarian dishes, such as chili.

In addition to this, it also works really well with vegetarian loaded nachos, and with tacos or enchiladas.

If you’re somebody who loves nothing more than indulging in a hearty pizza dish, thankfully, this dish works perfectly with cabernet sauvignon. Green pepper and mushroom will go really well with this wine, and of course, triple cheese too.

Another popular vegetarian dish that cabernet sauvignon works excellently with is mac and cheese. Depending on the cheese you’d use, we’d recommend trying a more mature variety.

Cabernet Sauvignon Lunchtime Pairings

What if you’re planning on opening up a bottle of cabernet sauvignon for your lunchtime meal? If this is the case, then you’re probably looking for some appropriate food options.

When it comes to cabernet sauvignon, we’re a big fan of pairing it with sandwiches. If you’re a big fan of a steak and cheese sub, then this one really works well with this variety of wine.

Actually, pretty much any sandwich that’s loaded with steak will go super well with your wine. This will help to seep up all of the tannins.

In addition to a cheese and steak sandwich, a hamburger also goes really well with cabernet sauvignon, for the same reasons.

Don’t be afraid to load the cheeseburger up with plenty of rich items such as relish, which are perfectly counterbalanced with the cabernet sauvignon.

Finally, pulled pork sandwiches are also a fantastic choice for pairing with cabernet sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon White Meat Pairings

Some of you reading this list might be surprised to find that cabernet sauvignon works really well with white meat too. But, there are actually a whole host of chicken and turkey dishes that pair perfectly with this wine.

We would recommend pairing your cabernet sauvignon with chicken dishes that have a rich, tomato based sauce. The acidity levels match up really well.

In addition to this, roasted chicken that has had lots of herbs marinated in it will also be perfect to indulge in. This goes the same for roasted turkey and all the trimmings.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, cabernet sauvignon is a variety of wine that goes well with a whole host of different dishes. Most notably, cabernet sauvignon is known for working particularly well with meat based dishes.

This is because of the high protein content displayed by meat, which helps to break down the tannins in the wine.

But, it also works well with a whole host of other dishes too. We’d recommend pairing it with pizzas, fruit based salads, cheeseburgers, and pulled pork sandwiches too.

It will also work well with white meat based dishes such as roast turkey or chicken, that have been cooked in plenty of herbs.

Finally, cabernet sauvignon also works really well if you’re planning to prepare a cheeseboard. For such an occasion, choose plenty of medium to mature cheeses, and cured meats.

Sarah Perez
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