Cabernet Sauvignon Taste Profile

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Close up photo of two people toasting with red wine.

The Cabernet Sauvignon taste profile is made up of a unique combination of color, flavors, aromas, and structure. These elements are known as wine characteristics.

Keep in mind that Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are very similar and can be tricky to identify between the two, but they each still have hallmark characteristics. Let’s explore the typical wine characteristics for Cab.

Unique Cabernet Sauvignon Characteristics

Each type of wine grape develops a unique combination of flavors and aromas. These flavors and aromas are influenced by things like their growing environment (climate and soil – aka terroir), the fermentation process (aka yeast converting sugar to alcohol), and maturation (such as aging in oak barrels).

Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape that grows best in warm climates like Bordeaux, France and Napa Valley, California.


The color for red wine ranges from Pale Red to Bright Ruby Red to Deep Purple. Red wine color comes from the grape skins. Grapes with thin skins and light skin color will translate to a pale red wine and will be translucent (you’ll be able to see through the wine). Grapes with thick skins and dark skin color will translate to a deep purple wine color that is opaque (in other words you won’t be able to see much of anything through the wine).

Image shows the color range for red wine is Pale Red, Deep Rudy, and Deep Purple. Cabernet Sauvignon is identified as Deep Ruby in color.

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Color: Ruby and midway between translucent and opaque.

Flavors & Aromas