If you're having beef, hearty stew or strong cheese over the festive season, one of these California Cabs could fit the bill.

Californian Christmas Cabernet

Enjoy some Californian Cabernet this Christmas; these are wines that can stand up to the rich food, like red meat or a strong, hard cheese.

Like a top Barolo or Bordeaux, California Cabernet can be a blockbuster wine if drunk young.

When to drink wine is a dividing line among consumers and critics. There is perceived to be a trend for people to open their big-hitting wines earlier than perhaps a previous generation would have.

Yet, as Anne Krebiehl MW argues in the December issue of Decanter magazine, a little extra time in the cellar can reveal more elements of a wine’s character.

With a Christmas meal, it’s generally good go for a wine where the tannins have had some time to soften, so they don’t overpower your meal.


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But, for those who want a bit more punch, we’ve also included some 2012 vintage California Cabs in this post, which have just entered their drinking windows as set out by our experts. Decanter’s William Kelley described 2012 California Cabernet as rich, ripe wines which are ‘laden with fruit’.

California’s 2008 vintage also produced concentrated wines, with a strong array of flavours and aromas.