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The Swig - Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Ben Hughes on

The SWIG - Cabernet Sauvignon

Feelin’ in a mood to rejoice, for I was young(ish) and free and havin’ decided on a plate of good Aussie Kangaroo girt by sauce, I cast an inquisitive glance to the wine list.  Lookin’ down the reds I chanced upon a name that made me laugh and yell out to the bar attendant ‘You taking up making furniture then?’ I gestured to the wine list.

‘Ya Goose!’ he replied ‘That’s CABERNET, CAB-er-nay Sor-vin-yon, it’s a grape variety that originated in France, but most wine regions grow it’

‘I knew that’ I said unconvincingly, and I fumbled in my pocket for my Smarter Than I Phone.  Stumbling with the buttons and my XXL fingers until I finally found what I was looking for.  Once I had achieved a new high score in Candy Crush, I proceeded to look up Cabernet.  Turning around revealed O’Farrel, looking over my shoulder. I jumped a tad as I asked ‘How long have you been there?’ 

‘So, you don’t know what a Cabernet is?’ he quizzed, helping himself to a seat.  ‘it’s originally a cross breed of the grapes Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in the 18th century’  My eyes began to glaze just so he moved on. ‘In Bordeaux it is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a couple of others  It is a round berry with thick skin and is a hardy plant and relatively easy to grow.  It has distinct characters of blackcurrant, capsicum, mint and eucalyptus’ at that last one I had an image of a very happy Koala pop into my mind.

He continued ‘The variety has a great balance between tannins and acidity and is versatile enough to make wines that will cellar for long periods of time and also to make wines to satisfy those who have more immediate needs.’ He took a sip of his wine, paused to reflect, then once he put his mirror down he proceeded. (Editors apology for terrible Dad joke)‘We grow it almost all of the regions here in Aus, but some really well known ones are of course, Coonawarra with its distinctive Terra Rossa, or red, soil which produces some of Australia’s most sort after wines.  Then there’s Margaret River with its distinct maritime climate and the wines have that noticeable lively leafy-ness and deep black fruits’.  ‘Sounds a bit perfect’ I said.  ‘Well, they do say it suffers a bit from, what is known as, the doughnut and so it is common to see it blended with other varieties, even if it’s just a small amount’ 

‘Sounds like the worst food and wine match ever, Red wine and Doughnuts’  I felt and incredible wave of restraint emanate from him as he continued.  ‘The doughnut is this phenomenon where, once the wine has been sipped into the mouth, all the flavours seem to congregate around the edge of the mouth and leaves a gap in the middle palate, so to remedy this another grape is added normally mouth filling Merlot , even in small doses to try and fill that hole.’

‘With your Kangaroo you could do a lot worse than a good Coonawarra Cab Sauv…Bon Appetit’

‘No need for insults’ I bristled ‘It’s French for Good Eating’

‘Well’ I replied ‘Bon Ape tit to you to’



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