Cabernet Sauvignon wine is a staple in many households across the country and around the world. In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are the most commonly grown varietal in many wine regions around the world. Why is Cabernet sauvignon wine so popular? It is an extremely versatile wine and the grape it is made from can also be used in blends. Additionally, the grape has a thick skin and hardy vines, which is beneficial to growers in all regions.
The Best Cabernet Sauvignon Regions
Napa Valley, California, USA
Napa Valley is famous for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon wine and is known as one of the best cabernet sauvignon regions, not only in the United States but in the world. Wine lovers around the world are impressed by the rich character and full black-fruit notes. Additionally, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers sweet vanilla and chocolate flavors as a result of being aged in American oak. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown in Napa Valley benefit from the warmer climate in that region which can provide a robust taste comparatively.
Washington State, USA
Washington State hasn’t historically been known for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon, however, the 2010s have seen an uptick in production and a new respect for Washington State as one of the best cabernet sauvignon regions. So, what is behind this growing popularity and notoriety? In 2013, a warmer growing season has had a big impact on the grapes. Growers have been able to ripen the grapes in significantly larger tonnages. Warm summers and cool falls, particularly in the eastern part of the state are also perfect conditions for creating a plush fruit flavor and a grape that retains its natural acidity. Pacific Rim & Co.'s Silver Totem is a cabernet sauvignon wine from Washington State.
We would be remiss not to mention Chile as one of the world’s best cabernet sauvignon regions. Cabernet has long been one of Chile’s biggest grape varietals. The country, however, is not a monolith. There is a tremendous amount of diversity in the types of cabernet being made in various parts of Chile. Chile is a warm country with dry valleys. Some comparisons can be made to cabernets produced in Napa Valley for this reason.
Travel the world without leaving your home! Try a Cabernet Sauvignon wine from each region we mentioned and see which is your favorite.
There is nothing better on a cold, rainy, snowy, icy, damp, or just long and stressful day than a plate of steaming hot comfort. Extra homemade bread and butter please! Sure, sipping a glass of Pinot Gris with foie gras is the epitome of elegance - but sometimes, we just want some of Mom’s famous mac & cheese or Pop’s pasta al fredo. What are some great go-to comfort food and wine pairings?
Wines to Pair with Comfort Foods
Speaking of mac & cheese - creamy, goey, satisfying mac & cheese - pour a glass of cabernet franc. The dry red has notes of raspberry, strawberry, bell pepper, and chili pepper. The complex notes pair perfectly with this classic noodle dish, adding a smooth tone that’s not too heavy and not too light.
If you’re looking for the perfect meatloaf wine pairing, don’t be afraid to go bold. A strong red, like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or shiraz will be able to stand up to the hearty meat and mashed potatoes (because you are required, by law, to have mashed potatoes with meatloaf). They’ll taste even better if you use tomato sauce or paste in your loaf.
Pot roast is another dish where red wine rules: try a merlot. Heck, you can even add some while you’re cooking it to infuse dynamic flavor into the meat.
Some of our other favorite wines to pair with comfort foods:
Riesling and chicken pot pie
Pinot gris or pinot grigio with grilled cheese and tomato soup
Chili and pinot noir
Riesling and Chinese takeout (what’s more comforting than food you don’t have to cook!)
Chardonnay with turkey and all the fixings
Off-dry riesling with BBQ pork and potato salad
Cabernet sauvignon or shiraz with sloppy joes and fries, burgers, or pastas with meaty, red sauce
What are your favorite comfort food and wine pairings?
With the holidays upon us, the desire to raise a glass in celebration is seemingly universal. This is a time of year to slow down and take a moment to reflect on the past year and to set our most thoughtful intentions for the upcoming year. For so many of us, taking a pause can be a concerted effort. We are unaccustomed to downtime and rarely do we afford ourselves a moment to contemplate and dream. Enter the winter red wine. Drinking red wine in winter is a custom, but it’s more than that too. If you have noticed that the colder months bring out a pension for winter red wine in you, you are not alone. There are many reasons why folks will find themselves drinking red wine in winter.
While it has been scientifically studied that those living in the colder regions of the world are known to consume more red wine during the winter months, it is actually true of warmer regions, too. Picking up a bottle of winter red wine to enjoy over the long nights of winter is not just a romantic notion. It turns out there are a number of reasons we may experience a preference for drinking red wine in winter months.
1. Increased Blood Flow
Alcohol increases our flood flow which is one reason why the winter months bring about an increased love for red wine. If you can, close your eyes and imagine sitting in a cozy place, perhaps among friends or next to a fire sipping on a glass of red wine. You can almost feel the warmth, can’t you? Drinking red wine in winter gives us that sensation of warmth and that extra flush in our cheeks.
2. Germ Buster
Red wine can be high in antioxidants and with the winter months keeping everyone indoors, some extra antioxidants can go a long way. Winter months and the colder weather are known to bring about common colds and more. If you needed another reason to drink red wine during the winter, getting some germ-busting antioxidants on board is a terrific reason.
3. Heart Healthy
Did you know that moderate consumption of red wine can be a really heart healthy choice? Drinking red wine in winter can actually be helpful in reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Enjoying winter red wine can foster connections to people both within and outside of your circle of friends and loved ones. Wine lovers tend to be enthusiastic about sharing their love and enjoyment of red wine. Enjoying a bottle among friends is a great way to foster connections and keep in touch. Likewise, talking to wine enthusiasts around the world, or in your own community can be an amazing way to increase your social circle and meet new and interesting people. Whether it’s online or in person, sharing a love of wine can be a great connector, conversation starter or even the basis for new friendships.
5. Get in the Holiday Spirit
Whether you love the holidays or you simply can’t wait for them to be done with, drinking red wine can give that extra boost to the winter festivities. Wine is something to gather around, a spirit that brings about connection and conversation. The simple act of stopping at a local wine shop to pick up a bottle on the way to a holiday party can put us in the mood to celebrate. Can you think of anything more spirited than putting on your best holiday party clothes, or even the ugliest Christmas sweater ever, and arriving at a friend’s house with a gorgeous bottle of thoughtfully chosen red wine? What a way to make an entrance!
6. Catch the Sales
Winter wine enthusiasm means sales. During the winter months stores and wineries want to cultivate a relationship with customers which can mean sales, sales, sales. Wine sales are a fantastic way to discover new wines that you have never tried. Exploring different wine regions and different vintages can be extremely rewarding. And if you can save some money while you are at it, even better, right?
7. The Pairings
I don’t know about you, but when I think winter, I think food! There is nothing like the smell of a roast in the oven or a delicious sauce or soup simmering on the stovetop. Whether it’s a big family meal for the holidays or a small and intimate meal, winter and food seem to be in concert with each other just as much as winter and red wine. In my house, we use the long dark days as an excuse to stay inside experimenting with new recipes and trying our hand at cuisines from around the world.
Whether or not we are successful on any given evening, one thing is for certain, we are enjoying a bottle of red wine with our meal. Part of the fun of cooking is choosing the wine that best compliments the food we are serving. The opportunity to experience new pairings is one of the best reasons to drink red wine in winter.
If you have traveled around Washington as a wine enthusiast, chances are you have visited The Red Mountain, and in particular, The Red Mountain American Viticultural Area, or AVA. The Red Mountain wine region is in the southeast corner of Washington state, near the Tri-Cities and nestled between Rattlesnake Mountain and Candy Mountain.
The Red Mountain AVA is on the southwest slope and is a 3.5 hour drive from Seattle. Surprisingly, the AVA is one of the smallest grape growing regions in Washington. It’s also one of the warmest. With its truly unique and diverse geology, its south slope, and the consistent winds the grapes grown in the Red Mountain wine region are some of the best in the world.
Here is our shortlist of the best Red Mountain wines:
The 2006 Red from Portrait Cellars is a must-try. And with a price tag of $25 it makes the perfect holiday or birthday gift. This wine is produced intimately in an estate vineyard and is aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels. After its two-year aging process, there is a three to four-year delay from release. During this time the intensity of wine is allowed to mellow. This impressive Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It is known for its smoke and cherry intensity.
We have no reservations about calling the Goedhart Family 2009 Syrah one of the best Red Mountain wines from the Red Mountain wine region. This Syrah is made from grapes picked early which are bright and acidic, as well as grapes picked later which are gamey and deep. The Syrah is aged for ten months in oak and the result is truly elegant as well as complex.
Pacific Rim & Co.
Pacific Rim & Co.'s Thick Skinned is from the Red Mountain wine region and truly stands apart from other wines with its beautiful bold character. Thick Skinned fermentation process brings out the distinctly lush textures and flavors of the fully ripened grapes that are harvested for its production. Thick Skinned is a Bordeaux style blend and has a bold character which makes it one of the best Red Mountain wines.
Pour a glass, relax, and appreciate the beauty and refinement of the best Red Mountain wines.
When we talk about Bordeaux-style blends it is important to know the depth of that phrase and to understand what a Bordeaux blend truly is. Bordeaux-style blends can be used to describe a variety of wines including blends made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and, perhaps even Carmenère and Malbec.
Colloquially, Bordeaux-style blends include those produced in the Bordeaux region and beyond. California, Washington, and Argentina are all among the world’s producers of these types of wines. However, regulations dictate that only wines made in the Bordeaux area can be actually labeled as Bordeaux.
Bordeaux-style blends are very popular, largely due to their versatility. These blends are easy enough to pair, so if you are looking for some Bordeaux blend food pairing ideas, look no further than this post.
Some of the most recommended and classic Bordeaux blend food pairing ideas are red meats. Lamb and beef dishes lend themselves particularly well to this pairing. The tannins in these wines work with the protein in red meat to enhance flavors and make for an overall delicious pairing.
Bordeaux-style blends pair well with absolutely any barbequed red meats and we also recommend dark-meat foul, venison, and bison for something a bit more unusual.
Now for the favorite part of any meal: dessert! Bordeaux blend food pairing ideas are not limited to the main course! Bordeaux-style blends lend themselves wonderfully to being paired with rich desserts, such as dark chocolate or other chocolates, particularly those that are unsweetened. Whether it’s a chocolate tort, some holiday fudge or a decadent layer cake, a Bordeaux-style blend is a great choice.
One of our absolute favorites from the Bordeaux-style blend family is Pacific Rim & Co.’s own Thick Skinned. It’s a gorgeous blend from the Red Mountain wine region in Washington State. What will you pair it with?