Few things in life are as satisfying as cracking open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Whether it’s a dinner party with friends, or simply kicking your heels up at the end of a stressful day, this classic red wine holds a special place in many hearts. However, enjoying your favourite red varietal goes beyond just uncorking and pouring a glass.
If you want to get the most out of your bottle of cab-sav wine, you’re going to have to learn to serve it like a pro. That means no more pouring it into coffee cups or drinking it straight out of the bottle — we’ve all been there, don’t worry. It’s all about elevating the experience, and the good news is that we’re here to guide you through the entire process.
Here are 7 tips to follow when serving your favourite bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Choose The Perfect Glassware
The journey towards serving Cabernet Sauvignon like a pro starts with the perfect glassware. Sure, you could serve it in any drinking vessel of your choice, but if you want to get the most out of your favourite bottle, reach for large, tulip-shaped wine glasses with a narrow rim. The reason for this? Firstly, this type of wine glass allows your wine to breathe due to its wide bowl. Secondly, the narrow rim better directs the wine’s complex aroma to your nose. This instantly maximises the richness of each sip, taking your wine from ordinary to extraordinary.
- Mind The Temperatures
We all know the basics of wine serving temperatures — whites are served chilled, while reds are served at room temperature. However, room temperature differs depending on where in the world you are located, which is why minding the temperatures when serving Cabernet Sauvignon is key.
Generally, the ideal serving temperature for Cabernet Sauvignon is anywhere between 15-18 degrees Celsius. Any warmer than this and the alcohol can overpower the complex flavours, for a sip that is more astringent than it is nuanced.
If your room temperature veers towards the warmer side, consider chilling your bottle for a short 15-minute burst before serving. On the flip side, if you live in a cooler region, allowing your bottle to sit in a warm room with the heater on for 15-20 minutes will do wonders.
- Uncork and Decant
Now that you’ve secured the perfect glassware and your Cabernet Sauvignon is at the perfect serving temperature, it’s time to have some fun. For starters, handle the cork gently when opening your bottle of wine. This ensures that it doesn’t crumble and fall back into your wine. A reliable corkscrew is the best tool for this, so it’s worth investing in a quality option.
Now, it’s time to decant. Pour your wine into a decanter in a slow and steady motion. Decanting not only separates any sediment that might have formed in the bottle but also allows the wine to breathe, more of which we’ll touch on next.
- Aerate Like A Pro
Once the bottle is decanted, you’ll need to allow some time for your wine to aerate. This simply means letting it sit in the decanter for a short period so that it can breathe. Aeration not only improves the bouquet but also softens the tannins for a smoother sip.
Generally, you’ll want to aerate your wine for anywhere between 30-60 minutes, depending on its age and structure. Younger bottles might need a bit more time to open up, while older vintages may require a shorter aeration period to preserve their delicate subtleties. It’s all about trial and error and finding what suits your taste preferences best.
- Perfect The Pour
Ever wondered how servers at fancy restaurants or bars seem to look so elegant and refined when pouring a glass of wine? Well, it all comes down to perfecting the pour.
For starters, you’ll want to hold your bottle of wine by its base, ensuring a stable grip to avoid any accidental spills — no one wants their tablecloth or sofa stained with red wine. Next, start pouring the wine in a slow and steady stream. This not only prevents messy splashes but will also enhance the wine’s aromas as it interacts with the air. Finally, as you reach the last few drops, make a smooth circular motion with your wrist to prevent any drips.
The result? A perfectly poured glass of Cabernet Sauvignon that’s sure to impress your guests.
- Pair With The Right Ingredients
If you’re hosting a dinner party or gathering that features a delectable spread of food, you can truly elevate the experience by pairing your Cabernet Sauvignon with the right ingredients. Some of the ingredients that work best with Cabernet Sauvignon include beef brisket, ribeye steak, sausages, aged cheeses and mushrooms.
Alternatively, for a modern twist, consider pairing it with international dishes such as spicy tacos, sushi, gourmet burgers or even Indian food. It’s a wine that is bold enough to stand up to a variety of flavours, so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself.
- Carefully Preserve The Leftovers
If you happen to have any leftover wine, you’ll want to ensure that you carefully preserve it for the next occasion. After all, there’s nothing worse than letting a good bottle of Cab Sab go to waste. This is where a quality wine stopper can make all the difference, as it acts as the perfect seal to slow down oxidation and degradation of your wine.
Alternatively, if you want to go the extra mile, consider investing in a vacuum pump or inert gas preservation system. They cost a lot more than a standard wine stopper but can be a worthy investment if you’re a true wine enthusiast.
You should also ensure that your leftover wine bottles are stored in a cool room, away from direct sunlight. This way, you’ll be able to perfectly preserve its flavours for the next pour.
And there you have it — 7 expert serving tips that are guaranteed to take your Cabernet Sauvignon experience to new heights. Whether you’re hosting a grand celebration or simply unwinding after a long day, these tips ensure that your Cabernet Sauvignon moments are nothing short of exceptional. So enjoy your perfectly poured glasses of cabsav over your next hearty dinner or perhaps even over your next French language lesson with me!