Celebrating the Versatility of Cabernet Sauvignon | 10 Dishes to Try at Home 

Need some delicious recipe inspiration that will pair perfectly with your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon and wow your dinner guests? Sequoia Grove has been specializing in growing and producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon since 1979. We understand that delicious food has the power to enhance your experience with our wines. That’s why our Winery Chef, Britny Maureze, always pushes the boundaries of wine and food pairings. Whether you are a home cook looking for meal inspiration or an aspiring chef wanting to learn some new tricks, we’re serving up the following pairing possibilities to add a little inspiration for your taste buds! 

Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are synonymous

Napa Valley is America’s most celebrated wine region. Its perfect combination of climate, soil, and terrain means Napa Valley was destined to produce world-class wines. The moderately warm climate offset by early morning fog allows the grapes to ripen slowly for higher quality results. The prevalence of volcanic soils in the valley also adds a dusty, earthy quality that makes Napa wines unique. If you’re in the mood for a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon that is a quintessential expression of the variety, you don’t need to look any further than Napa Valley.

Our Top 10 Cabernet Food Pairing suggestions for your next meal 

There are two angles to mastering the art of wine and food pairing: starting with the wine and then matching the food to it and vice versa. At Sequoia Grove, we always start with the wine.

Most people believe that a good Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should be paired with rich red meat, and they’re absolutely right. Nothing complements an expertly prepared steak or a succulent beef roast better than a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. But that’s not where the fun has to end! As a variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is more surprisingly versatile than most realize, and some creative pairings will go a long way to help highlight and bring out the best of both our wine and your food:

#1 Lamb Bolognese – Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
This bold and beautiful Cabernet paired with a Lamb Bolognese is ideal, as this dish can hold its own against a powerful red. Lamb takes on a lot of flavor without losing its identity, so it makes sense to pair it with a big Cabernet.  

#2 Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Purée and Cranberry Sauce – Lamoreaux Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Think decadence in a bottle and on a plate. Voluptuous fruit and youthful vibrancy drive this wine, making the succulence of the duck and zing of cranberry its perfect fit. The duck makes the wine even more expressive, showing off floral details and pops of spice.

#3 Gourmet Burger – Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
There’s nothing like a juicy burger and wine pairing to make your mouth water! The Rutherford Bench Reserve, with its smooth, elegant notes of cherry and cola, will take your burger night to the next level. Top your burger with aged gouda and crispy fried onions for a flavor-packed combination.

#4 Garlic Chicken Wings – Lamoreaux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Some people will argue that chicken and Cabernet Sauvignon is a no-go. But we don’t believe that to be true. Dark meat chicken such as the thigh and wing, when prepared appropriately, can hold their own next to a robust Cabernet. In addition, garlic can enhance flavor, and paired with the intense aromas of black cherries and cassis in the wine; it will help bring the dish and wine to life.

#5 Pasta Primavera- Tonella Vineyard Cabernet SauvignonAlthough Cabernet Sauvignon is generally associated with meat, it also pairs nicely with vegetarian dishes like pasta primavera. The stewed tomatoes, or a tomato-based sauce, complements the more rich and complex Cabernet Sauvignon like our Tonella Vineyard Cab. You can also get creative by adding some eggplant, red peppers, or your other favorite veggies to this dish.

#6 Venison or Elk Roast- Christian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
The Christian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Coobsville AVA is ideal for venison or elk steaks and roasts. As with other entrées, using lots of garlic and savory herbs creates the kind of complex flavor profile that works best with this classic Cabernet Sauvignon.

#7 Fish Tacos – Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Baja-style fish tacos made with grilled Tuna or Swordfish pair exceptionally well with our Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Its savory flavors and hints of charred meat and cigar box complement the protein beautifully. You can also have some fun by playing with sauces and toppings like chili pepper, onion, and cilantro. The acidity from a squeeze of fresh lime also softens tannin in Cabernet Sauvignon.

#8 Portobello Mushrooms – Christian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Grilled portobello mushrooms with butter and garlic is a great Cabernet Sauvignon pairing. The intense flavor of dried porcini mushrooms will also make the Christian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon shine.

#9 Classic Cheese Board – Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
This pairing never gets old and is a classic for a reason. A good well-rounded cheeseboard with hard cheeses such as aged cheddar, gouda, or gorgonzola will help you show off this great Cabernet. The flavor, salt, and fat content of the cheese balances the tannins while tasting delicious at the same time. It will also help bring out some of the violets, candied red fruit, and cherry notes in the wine.

#10 Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmigiana di Melanzane) – Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon The ultimate comfort food, this hearty Italian dish is a brilliant vegetarian alternative to lasagne. The sweetness of the tomato sauce helps to soften the tannins, while the rich, stringy cheese and roasted eggplant offer an umami flavor that fits the bill for our Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon perfectly.

What makes Cabernet Sauvignon so savvy?

Roast in the oven? Bolognese simmering? While you wait, take a moment to get clued up on Cabernet. In 17th century south-western France, the accidental cross-pollination between the Cabernet Franc grape and white Sauvignon Blanc grape led to Cabernet Sauvignon forming. Cabernet grapes have thick skin and are resistant to frost, making them easy to cultivate. It’s no surprise that Cabernet is a favorite between wine growers and drinkers alike!

This full-bodied red wine is loved for its dark fruit flavors and savory tastes from black cherry to black pepper. It has strong tannins that mellow with age and is typically layered with complex flavors- making it a collector’s favorite. This deep, ruby-red red wine with its black cherry, black currant, and blackberry notes pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes or can equally be enjoyed on its own. 

Cabernet Sauvignon is known as one of the more complex and layered wines and is so loved around the globe that it even has its own dedicated celebration day. Cabernet Day is held on the Thursday before Labor Day at the end of August each year. However, at Sequoia Grove we celebrate it every day. 

Why is Sequoia Grove a renowned specialist in this variety?

Sequoia Grove Winery, situated in the heart of Rutherford, has always championed Cabernet Sauvignon as the ideal Napa Valley variety. This is because the Rutherford AVA has unique growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon: warm afternoons, cool evenings, and marine fog from the San Francisco Bay. Our seasoned winemakers and Vineyard Director, Jake Terrell, base all decisions around how to best grow and craft award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons. At Sequoia Grove, we believe our vineyard-designate Cabernet Sauvignon should tell both the story of the vintage in which it was grown and the terroir of each vineyard site across our ranges. Some of our most popular Cabernet Sauvignon wines highlight the terroir of: Morisoli, Henry Brothers, Stagecoach, Lamoreaux, and Tonella vineyards. When enjoying one of our Sequoia Grove Cabernets, you can look forward to their abundant fruit, earthy flavors, balanced acidity, and smooth tannins – perfect dinner-time companions. 

Wait, was that a knock at the door? Your guests must be here. 

Remember: don’t be afraid to try something new with wine and food just because the old rules say it shouldn’t work. Rules are meant to be broken. Let the season inspire you!

Happy cooking, chef.

2016 Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of violets, candied red fruit, cherries, and subtle hints of graphite. On the palate, this wine is smooth with elegant notes of cherry and cola followed by dried meats, classic Rutherford wine expressions. Rated 92 Points by Wine Spectator and 90 Points by Wine Enthusiast . Winery Exclusive