Cabernet Sauvignon–Cheat Sheet

Cabernet Sauvignon – Cheat Sheet

Here’s an example of a cheat sheet I talked about in the post Improving blind tasting (part 1): the best tip ever!. The information on this cheat sheet (click on pdf link above) has been compiled from my own tasting and professional experience along with information drawn from a number of different authoritative sources (see below). It is unedited but any abbreviations should make sense to those with a wine background.

The italicized notes in blue are offered as reasons why a particular wine might have certain characteristics. Notes in either capitals, bold, or both are characteristics I personally find particular prominent or distinctive to that wine after tasting a broad range of examples.

To help remember the information in the cheat sheet I have a memory palace for each variety. Also talked about in  Improving blind tasting (part 1): the best tip ever!.  For the Cabernet Sauvignon example my memory palace is an area of the winery where I work. The Left Bank Bordeaux communes are a row of open top fermenters.

An old friend of mine Julian is in one and he represents St Julien. Conveniently, Julian is slim but not skinny and not particularly muscular either–a nice inbetweener, like St Julien. He’s wearing a silk shirt (to represent the silkiness often found in the wines of St Julien). He’s looking over rather enviously to Paul who is an adjacent fermenter.

Paul is another friend and represents Pauillac, suprisingly. Paul is a bit more muscular than Julian and much richer and also older (which I interpret as riper!). Paul removes a lead pencil from behind his ear and makes some marks on some cedar wood he’s about to cut for a fine structure he’s building. He pauses and takes a bight out of a green bell pepper and is surprised to find it full of black currents.

MargauxMargot Robbie is in the fermenter on the other side of Julian. She represents, believe it or not, Margaux. Despite being in an open top fermenter sitting on a pile of earth, she is looking very elegant. She’s smoking a cigarette through one of those long old fashioned cigarette holders. She sprays herself with perfume from one of those vintage perfume bottles and then powders her nose (to represent  the fine powdery tannin of Margaux).

Anyway, you get the idea.


Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours

The World Atlas of Wine

Grapes & Wines: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Flavours

The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting

Periodic Table of Wine

A Taste For Wine: 20 key tastings to unlock your personal wine style

Berry Bros & Rudd Website

Wine Searcher Website

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