You’ve heard wines referred to as both names, but what’s the difference between Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon? Nothing. Both Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon refer to the same wine: Cabernet Sauvignon.
When people talk about Cabernet Sauvignon, they sometimes shorten the name to make it easier to write or talk about. All of these names are the same:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cab Sav
Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine that goes by the nickname “Cab”, even though other wine grapes have “Cabernet” in the name, for example, Cabernet Gernischt, Ruby Cabernet, and Cabernet Franc.
Helpful Tip: There is no grape named just “Cabernet”, but you’ll often hear someone refer to the Cabernet family. Wines that are part of the Cabernet family include Sauvignon Blanc, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. These wines often share an herbal or minty quality.
Wine loves often shorten other wine names, not just Cabernet Sauvignon. Other wines that have shortened names include Saugivnon Blanc, which gets the nickname Sav Blanc (or Savvy Bee as I like to call it), Cabernet Franc, which goes by Cab Franc, Zinfandel, which gets shortened to Zin, and Gewürztraminer, which you’ll hear called Gewürz (pronounced Gah-vurtz).