Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that you see everywhere, but otherwise may not know much about. The cabernet sauvignon grape is the love child between sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc; it is a full-body red that is incredibly tannic, but also layered and powerful. Because of the tannins, Cabernet Sauvignon has the ability to age well once it’s bottled, though this isn’t to say it can’t be consumed right away. The other characteristic that sets cabernet sauvignon apart from other wines is its distinct flavors and aromas. Black current and black cherry are the two you’ll likely pick up first, but it also often contains hints of tobacco, licorice, green bell pepper, and cigar amongst others. Cabernet Sauvignons from the Old World (France and Italy for example) tend to be blended with other varietals such as merlot and cabernet franc while the New World, like California and Chile, has come to produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignons. It’s an elegant wine, it’s a compelling wine, and it reminds you of that at the first sip.
Food it pairs well with: Lamb; Red Meat; Mushrooms
Recommended Recipe: Strip Steak with Arugula Pesto from Food & Wine
- One 1-pound boneless strip steak, about 2 inches thick
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces baby arugula (7 loose cups)
- 1 ice cube
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
How to make:
- Heat a medium cast-iron skillet until hot. Lightly rub the steak with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the steak to the hot skillet and cook over moderate heat until browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, herb sprigs and butter to the skillet. Turn the steak and cook for 5 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, turn the steak on each side and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Lay the steak flat, baste it with the butter in the skillet and turn the garlic cloves. Continue to cook the steak for about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the steak and garlic cloves to a cutting board and let rest.
- Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add all but 1 cup of the arugula and cook for 10 seconds, then drain and cool under running water. Squeeze out the excess water and transfer the blanched arugula to a mini food processor. Add the ice cube, 3 tablespoons of the pine nuts, the Parmesan and the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process to a fine paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the pesto onto 2 plates. Thinly slice the steak and arrange on the pesto. Mound the remaining 1cup of arugula on the steak and drizzle with any steak juices. Garnish with the remaining 1tablespoon of pine nuts and the garlic cloves and serve.
Recommended CO Wines: Kingman Cabernet Sauvignon; Wild Women Wine Cabernet Sauvignon; Bonacquisti Cabernet Sauvignon; Balistreri Brother’s Cabernet Sauvignon; Silver Vines Cabernet Sauvignon