Cabernet Sauvignon Alternatives

Dec 19 / Myrna Elguezabal

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red grape variety! It is widely planted throughout the world producing a broad range of styles of red wine. Overall, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to be full-bodied, flavourful and full of character. 

The variety produces exceptional wines, but if you like Cabernet Sauvignon wines… why not discover wines with similar characteristics and have more options for those barbeques and steaks?

Below is a list of some great alternatives:


This grape variety produces big, powerful, and structured wines with high tannins, even higher than Cabernet! Tannat is the flagship grape variety of the country of Uruguay in South America. If you haven’t tried Uruguayan Tannat, I highly recommend it! In the nose, the wines deliver aromas of plums, licorice and smoke. The grape variety is originally from South-West France, specifically from the village of Madiran, which continues producing also great wines.


A dark-colored, powerful and earthy wine with high tannins and medium acidity. Mourvèdre is produced all over the world but thrives in Southern France and in Southern Spain, where it is known as Monastrell. In the nose, Mourvèdre delivers strong aromas of blackberries, herbs and smoked meat. 


Imagine a wine that smells like oregano and prosciutto… what’s not to love?! Aglianico is a grape variety indigenous to Italy, specifically to the provinces of Campania and Basilicata in the south. The grape variety produces bold wines with rich tannins and savory notes. 


Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape variety, they are simply called differently based on where the wine is produced. Syrah wines have a very dark color, even darker than Cabernet Sauvignon. In terms of structure, the wines tend to have high tannins, medium acidity and a full body. In the nose, you’ll get notes of blackberries, herbs, olives and it’s signature aroma, black pepper. 


Although originally from France, 90% of the world’s Malbec is in Argentina. It is their flagship variety and the place in the world where the wines gained worldwide recognition.  Malbecs are full-bodied yet fruity, with aromas of blueberry, bell pepper and baking spices. The perfect pairing for an Argentinian asado.

If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, you can’t go wrong with these alternatives. Tannat, Mourvèdre, Aglianico, Syrah and Malbec… give them a try!

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