Sangiovese vs Cabernet Sauvignon

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Similarities Of Sangiovese & Cabernet Sauvignon

A red Italian wine grape variety, Sangiovese is a dry, light to medium-bodied red wine that has an interesting amount of mouth-watering acidity and tighter tannins. It is easy-to-drink yet bold. The rich flavors range from rustic to fruity, depending on where and how the wine is processed. The main fruit notes are cherry, plum, and red currant, along with subtle notes of earth and smoke.

This is a classic Italian wine that should be enjoyed young and is great for beginners. The most common aromatic and flavor components found in Cabernet Sauvignon are dark fruits like plum, black cherry, and blackberry along with warm spice, vanilla, licorice, and black pepper. It has mainly gained popularity from growing in the Bordeaux region of France.

One of the lesser known facts of Cabernet Sauvignon is that it was grown from a mix of two varieties of grape – Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Today, CabSau is a classic wine lovers’ choice and is one of the most popular wines grown in Napa Valley as well.

Differences Of Sangiovese vs Cabernet Sauvignon

While Sangiovese is a lighter, soft tannic red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon on the other hand is full-bodied, complex, fruit-forward and dry.  Sangiovese is a more fruit-forward wine while Cabernet Sauvignon also offers notes of leather and tobacco. The latter is fuller and darker than the former one most popular in Italy.

How To Distinguish Between Sangiovese & Cabernet Sauvignon

Sangiovese is a dry, light to medium-bodied red wine and is not as opaque to the eye when you hold the wine glass up against light. The wine tears also will be thinner than that of CabSau. Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and bold, and produces a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors like black cherry, blackberry, and black currant. The nose and palate are much stronger.

Sangiovese vs Cabernet Sauvignon Comparison Chart

Characteristic Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweetness Dry Dry
Acidity Medium Medium to high
Tannins Medium to high Medium to high
Body Light Full bodied
Tasting Notes cherry, plum, and red currant Dark fruit, leather, tobacco
Popularity 14,800 90,500
Calories Per Glass 126 123
ABV % 11-14% 11-14%

Pairing Food With Sangiovese & Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon pairs best with nearly all red meat, especially classic New York strip. It can also be enjoyed with gamey meats like duck, rabbit or escargot. Since pasta dishes with tomato sauce are acidic, it’s best to pair them with a medium-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon. Italian dishes including pizza and pasta, especially with tomato-based sauces, topped with garden herbs work beautifully with a classic Sangiovese. A creamy mushroom risotto is also a perfect pairing for this Italian favorite.