Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are undoubtedly two of the most popular red wines in the world. While they are both red and dry, they have many differences, including their amount of body, alcohol content, and flavor. They both originate from France, but they’re grown in many places today, including Oregon, Germany, and Romania.
What Is Similar About Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon?
Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon have many similarities. They are both red, dry wines from France, and they’ve both experienced great commercial popularity around the world. In addition, both wines are often used in wine blends to add flavor to more neutral wines. However, they’re great, or perhaps better, when consumed as a single varietal wine. Like most red wines, they can be aged to enhance the flavor in different ways or impart new flavors like vanilla or tobacco.
Lastly, both wines do have fruity flavors, but their other, more unique flavors make them so popular around the world.
What Is The Difference Between Pinot Noir Vs. Cabernet Sauvignon?
Pinot Noir is a light-bodied, delicate wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is a heavy-bodied, bold wine. Wine experts note that Pinot Noir can require a more sensitive palette to best identify its complex flavors. But that doesn’t mean you need expertise to enjoy it; just expertise to pick out specific notes. Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t feel the need to be as subtle.
Pinot Noir has some fruit notes like cherry and raspberry, but it also has more earthy flavors like mushrooms. Some people even describe it as tasting like a “forest floor,” but you are more likely to identify red berries like strawberries. On the other hand, Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like black cherry and blackberries, but it can have its own more earthy notes like wood and bell pepper.
Cabernet Sauvignon is harder to pair well than Pinot Noir, although this doesn’t say too much. A good wine pairing can certainly make dinner more enjoyable, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy wine.
Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?
Both Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are dry wines. But Cabernet Sauvignon is more tannin-heavy, so it can taste drier despite having a similar amount of sugar. Of course, this is assuming you’re drinking a wine that is 100% Pinot Noir or 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and not one of their popular wine blends, which can be much sweeter.
Which One Has More Alcohol Content?
On average, Cabernet Sauvignon might end up having a higher alcohol content than Pinot Noir. It isn’t unusual to see both wines at about 12.5% ABV, but Cabernet Sauvignon can go a little higher. If you’re looking for wines with a much greater ABV, consider a fortified one instead.
How Do I Choose Between Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon?
Choosing between Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon is a matter of preference: do you want a delicate wine or a bold, in-your-face wine? Pinot Noir is known for being light-bodied, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon is a heavy wine that lingers in the mouth. As a result, Pinot Noir might be a better choice for beginners who aren’t familiar with wine and may not be ready for something bold.
Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are dry, red, and French wines. In surveys, they usually rank as the most popular reds and sometimes even the most popular wines overall, outdoing white wines too. Pinot Noir tends to have a little less alcohol than Cabernet Sauvignon. But a bigger difference is its mouthfeel and flavor because it’s a light-bodied, delicate wine, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon is heavier and very bold.