I’ve got to be honest – I am sat here right now wondering why grapes get days of international recognition. Who started this? Why? Now the guys sat opposite me in the office are telling me that everything has a “day” these days.
How far away from the madness of “International paint your armpits orange day” are we?
Therefore thinking about it – at least Cabernet Day is a good excuse to pour a glass or three of one of the greatest wine varieties. However I’m not too bothered about painting my armpits, but I do like a glass of vino.
Anyway – back to the job at hand. International Cabernet Day was on the 1st of September. So a quick bit of research online tells me it was started by Rick Bakas back in 2009 using the #CabernetDay. And has since turned into the largest global varietal day.
If this grape could talk it would argue that it is the most famous grape in the world. And I would stand next to it nodding in agreement. It is the world’s most widely planted grape variety, and that’s not purely because of tradition or an ancient heritage – it’s only been around about 400-odd years and back in 1990 Cabernet was thought to be the 8th most planted variety.
Where Did It All Start?
Cabernet Sauvignon is the product of a 17th century love affair between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. I presume they met, exchanged some witty flirtatious banter, and then married immediately, as was the custom in those days. Their offspring were thick-skinned, well mannered little grapes. Easy to cultivate, resistant to rot, frost, insects and the diseases of the time. They also travelled well – taking to a variety of soils and climates around the world.
It’s easy to see how this variety quickly became popular with both grape grower and wine drinker. Classically it’s a full bodied and tannic with a nice round acidity. Flavours like blackcurrant, cherry, fresh mint and warm cedar will always be popular, and the ease at which Cabernet blends with other grapes will always ensure its place on the vineyard.
Now onto the fun part – buying it and drinking it. Well right at the top of the market you have the famous Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 – cheap at just $500,000 (if you can find a bottle). More recent vintages can be picked up for more reasonable prices.
From the Virgin Wines range it’s really tough to choose. We have a number of really nice Cabernet Sauvignons – both Old World and New World. Consequently if I was forced to pick out two standout bottles I’d choose the 16 Little Black Pigs Cabernet Sauvignon. However it’s made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this exhibits all the blackcurrant and herbal flavours that make this grape so distinctive and so well loved. And the Prime Cut Cabernet Sauvignon. A Chilean masterpiece that has loads of juicy fruit and a minty edge that pays homage to the traditional flavours of Cabernet Sauvignon.
As mentioned – Cabernet Day was on the 3rd September. Finally get ready to crack open a bottle of your favourite, and toast the current king of grapes.