Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Bordeaux, France
Mugshot: Big-bodied, kinda burly, but carries an air of wisdom when given the chance to age.
Local haunt: Pretty much anywhere.

When people say, “Bigger is not always better”, it’s usually a sign that (A) they have never gone shopping for Nutella, or bacon, or pool noodles. Or (B) they will not be fans of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Often heavy and tannic, Cabernet Sauvignon (“The King of Grapes” as many wise men have called it) is a truly formidable variety. People with inferiority complexes, as well as weird, anemic Nordic furniture collectors oft shy away from such a sensory challenge. But just because cabs can be huge, brawny, packed densely with fruit references ranging from red currants to cherries to cassis to blackberries, and are bold enough to stand up to delightful lashings of new oak, that doesn’t mean we need to avoid them. In fact, you’d be daft to, as South Africa produces some of the finest new world examples of this iconic noble variety.