Is Cabernet Sauvignon sweet or dry?

One of the most commonly found red wines is Cabernet Sauvignon. It hails from the legendary wine producing regions in France. The grapes for Cabernet Sauvignon can be found in almost every region of the world. However, the best ones grow in mild, warm climates such as the best wine region of Bordeaux, France. Other famous regions are Napa Valley, golden groves of California, foothills of Chile, and Australian vineyards.

The origins of Cabernet Sauvignon have a wide range, which spurs confusion regarding its flavours. So, how different are its varieties? And based on origins and other factors is Cabernet Sauvignon sweet or dry? What does it taste like? To understand its wine characteristics better, you should know about its composition because it defines whether Cabernet Sauvignon is sweet or dry.

Cabernet sauvignon characteristics

Also known as wine characteristics, the taste profile of Cabernet Sauvignon is a unique combination of aromas, flavors, color, and wine structure. All the characteristics are explained below in detail:

Wine structure

The wine structure for Cabernet Sauvignon is a combination of alcohol levels, sweetness levels, acidity, tannin, and body.

Alcohol levels – refers to alcohol by volume which is 13.5 – 15% abv

Sweetness levels – refers to residual sugars. Is Cabernet sauvignon sweet or dry depends on sweetness levels – sweet, semi sweet, off dry, and dry. Cab Sav is dry in sweetness levels because the residual sugars are low. The low levels of residual sugars are responsible for dryness. 

Acidity – refers to astringent, pucker sensation. Cabernet sauvignon has high acidity

Tannin – polyphenols responsible for drying sensation and bitter taste. Cabernet sauvignon is known for high ageing potential and tannin is a contributing factor for the same. It has velvety tannin which is also responsible for dryness.

Body – it refers to the heaviness of wline. For instance, whether the milk is skim or whole. Cabernet sauvignon has medium to full body.

What does Cabernet Sauvignon taste like?

The aromas and flavours of Cab Sav wine grapes are influenced by various factors mentioned below:

Growing environments – climate, soil, or more

Maturation or aging process – Cab Sav grapes are aged in Oak barrels

Fermentation process – it involves yeast that converts sugar to alcohol

As the wine grapes for Cabernet sauvignon are grown in different regions, the taste differs. But, you can tell what Cabernet Sauvignon tastes if you can identify aromas and flavours in the wine based on herbal, vegetal, fruit, and floral notes.


Cabernet Sauvignon is the most common red wine type and red wines may exhibit notes of green bell pepper.


Cabernet Sauvignon comes in different varieties depending upon climates. Warm climate wines reveal black fruits notes from black cherry, black berry, and black cherry. Cool climate wines exhibit tart red notes from fruits such as raspberry, red cherry, or strawberry.


In terms of spices, some spice notes such as clove and vanilla come from aging in Oak barrels. In addition to this, you can find Cabernet Sauvignon exhibit notes of black pepper.

In a nutshell, Cab Sav has vegetal notes of green bell pepper, spice notes of vanilla and clove as it is aged in Oak barrels, and black fruit notes of black cherry and black currant.

Is cabernet sauvignon red wine?

Red wines exhibit a range of colors Deep Purple to Bright Ruby Red to Pale Red. The color of red wine comes from the grape skins – thick or thin. You can tell the transparency and color of wines based on the grape skin. The translucent and pale red wine is due to the grape’s light skin color and thin skin. The opaque and deep purple color of red wine is due to the thick skin and dark skin color of the grapes.

Cabernet sauvignon is between translucent and opaque and ruby red in color.

Pairings for Cabernet Sauvignon

The high tannin content in Cabernet Sauvignon provides a nice balance between fatty foods and wine. The full bodied, dry, tannin rich red wine washes away the fattiness of fatty foods such as cheese, meat, and more.

Cheese pairing options

Mild, Sharp, or Smoked Cheddar



Blue Cheese





Food pairing options

Complex spice and herbs, white meats such as pork or duck, red meats like burger, lamb, steak, and vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes, Roasted or grilled portobello mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes.

Do you chill cabernet sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon is best enjoyed warm. The optimal temperatures for storing it is between 45 and 65 degrees to maintain consistent humidity. Red wines like Can Sav should not be chilled as they taste dull and taste flabby and alcoholic when too warm. Can Cabernet Sauvignon be chilled? No, but it can be refrigerated for 90 minutes before serving. 

Is Cabernet Sauvignon dry?

Well, it is certainly one of the driest red wines. Cabernet sauvignon is a full bodied wine that feels denser and heavier in just a sip before giving away its mouth drying sensation.

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