"Two herbs are madly in love with Cabernet Sauvignon: Rosemary and Thyme."
This quote by South African food and wine guru, Katinka van Niekerk, would make for a good intro to a film, featuring a dignified Cabernet Sauvignon, the strong silent type, and two determined herbs fighting for his hand, both bringing flavour and fragrance to the story.
But the romance started earlier, when the serious Cabernet Franc met the flirtatious Sauvignon Blanc. Both known for their green characteristics, the attraction was instant, and it is no surprise that they bequeath some of their green notes to their only child, Cabernet Sauvignon.
When harvested early, green notes in Cabernet Sauvignon are often more pronounced and often not that popular. But even when harvested at a riper stage, Cabernet Sauvignon still brings with it some of the herbaceous flavour profile inherited from its parents.
It is this inherent herbaceousness to the wine that overlaps with the flavours of rosemary and thyme and sometimes even mint.
At the same time, rosemary and thyme are two favourites in the cooking of red meat, especially lamb. And it might be said, while Rosemary and Thyme both fancy Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet is in love with Lamb. There are a few food and wine matches that are just undeniable, whether you know anything about the science behind food and wine pairing or not. Cabernet Sauvignon and lamb is one of them.
One might say,
that a glass of Cabernet
with lamb, rosemary and thyme
is truly and simply sublime
A cliché? Who cares?
It might be one of life's greatest love affairs!
For more wine and herb pairings, see this handy chart.