It is the King of Grapes, the undisputed heavy-weight champion of the world, the most widely planted varietal in the world, gracing vineyards in every wine-growing region in the world. Its ubiquity can be attributed to a number of factors. It travels well both in vine form and when vinified. It adapts to a wide variety of climates from Bordeaux to Napa to the Maipo Valley of Chile and the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon; oh, and people love it.
Reading descriptions of highly rated cabernets – described as “powerful” “hedonistic” and “sexy” – one gets the sense that part of our love of cabernet stems from associations, conscious or not, with the sort of bachinals that would make Dionysus proud. Of course, it pairs well with steak and cabernet has a long and proud association with luxury as anyone visiting the Chateaux around the city of Bordeaux and the wine palaces of the Napa Valley can attest.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, cabernet is just enjoyable to drink. Despite the emphasis on boldness, cabernet, as illustrated by the discussion of Steve Matthiessen’s wines, can be vinified to be moody and nuanced, revealing itself slowly over the course of an evening.
However you enjoy your cabernet, everyday is a day to celebrate so raise a glass to this most noble of the noble grapes and cheers!