Vineyards in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley, much of the Napa Valley and the Paso Robles area have consistently produced the highest-rated California Cabs.
Typically, Cabernet Sauvignon wines smell like black currants with a degree of bell pepper or weediness, varying in intensity with climatic conditions, viticulture practices and vinification techniques. Fruit aromas may include black currant, blackberry, cassis, mint, eucalyptus, cedarwood, leather, plum and black cherry; vegetal aromas may include bell pepper, asparagus and green olive; and spice aromas may include ginger, green peppercorn, pimento and anise.
The best match for a tannic Cabernet is red meat, duck, lamb, roast chicken and wild game; with such sauces as meat stocks, mustard, pepper and red wine; and with vegetables like mushrooms and squash. Cabernet Sauvignon does not pair well with most seafood dishes (except meaty fish like Tuna when served rare), lighter meats unless full-flavored preparation; and citrus, cream and vinegar sauces.
Cheese that go well with Cabernet Sauvignon include Blue cheeses, mild and medium sharp Cheddars, Comte, Danish Blue, Dry Jack, Emmental, Gouda (aged), Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Parmeggiano-Reggiano, aged Provolone, Pecorino, Reblochon, Roncal, San Andreas and such sheep-milk cheeses as Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Toscana.