July 25, 2017
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Cabernet Sauvignon and grilled T-Bone Steak

By: Jeff James
June 16, 2017

When you talk about a classic combination, grilled beef and a big, well-built Cabernet Sauvignon should be near the top of the list. When you add to that pairing all of the Dads that are being celebrated on Father’s Day you’ve got a veritable trifecta! Dad, big T-bones and robust Cabernets… that may sound a bit stereotypical, but if you’ve got some Dads out there that you want to impress, your odds are pretty good with this combination.

Cabernet Sauvignon typically has the structure to stand up to the beefy flavor, rich texture, smoke and saltiness of this month’s recipe. The tannins, acid and fruit notes of a well-made Cab can be the perfect companion to this abundantly flavored meat. By the way, if you’ve got anybody in the crowd that would rather not eat the T-bone, a nice Cab will also go well with a hearty marinated and grilled Portobello mushroom.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the five grape varieties (along with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot) that are grown in the Bordeaux region of France and which are blended there into some of the most highly regarded wines in the world. We are quite fortunate here, in Sonoma and Napa counties, to also be able to very successfully grow these grapes. Indeed, our local “Cabernet Sauvignons” are considered to be among the best available anywhere. Here, just as in Bordeaux, there are often varying percentages of the other grapes blended into the final product to provide depth and complexity. If a local label lists the varietal as “Cabernet Sauvignon” you can be sure that the majority of the grapes (at least 75%) are indeed that varietal. If the label has the more generic “Red Table Wine”, “Meritage” or some similar terminology, then there is probably no single varietal that composes more than 75% of the wine. While we in California are used to seeing a single varietal listed on the label, don’t be afraid to try some of those blends if they are from reputable wineries and if the grapes are grown in an excellent area such as the Napa Valley or Alexander Valley.

This Father’s Day weekend find someone you would like to show your appreciation to and fire up the grill. Open a bottle of fine local Cabernet Sauvignon, fill wine glasses all around, and then raise a toast… in GRATITUDE!


Jeff James is the founder and co-owner, with his wife Judy, of Stony Point Vineyard and James Family Cellars. Their Cotati vineyard and winery have consistently produced award-winning wines. Jeff can be reached at or