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The family name shared by two major red-wine-producing grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. The former is the main red grape of Bordeaux: it is the major ingredient in the blend of grapes used to produce claret in the Médoc. It has been widely planted elsewhere in the world, notably California and Australia, and at the end of the twentieth century was easily the most fashionable and popular of the fine red-wine grapes. Cabernet franc generally plays only a minor part in the grape blend of red Bordeaux (although Château Cheval Blanc, the leading St-Emilion, is predominantly cabernet franc), but it is the main red-wine grape of the Loire valley, and it is also widely planted in Italy. The name cabernet originated in the Médoc dialect, but it is not clear where it came from. One suggested ultimate source is Latin caput, ‘head’.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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