However, some of California's best wine comes out of Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon for mirth and Rhône style wines, Paul Draper's Ridge Winery for Cabernet Sauvignon (think 1976 Paris Tasting), and David Bruce for some excellent Pinot Noir.
The history of Cabernet Sauvignon wasn't fully understood until the 1990s when researchers at the University of California at Davis used the nascent science of DNA testing to identify and type the grapes used to make this red wine.
The wines have won numerous awards, including winning Best of Class for the 2007 California Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2009 Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Awards, as well winning awards for their Merlot and Syrah at the same festival.
Most people start their wine 101 white, sweeter wines like Gewurtztraminer or Riesling and then move into lighter body reds such as Beaujolais or Merlot and then end up with the dryer, bigger styled reds like Syrah or Cabernet.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines run the gamut in price from a few dollars for Trader Joe's well-known "Two Buck Chuck" wine from the Charles Shaw Winery to hundreds of dollars for a well-aged Bordeaux grown in an excellent vintage.
The two founders came together with a purpose, to make a Cabernet Sauvignon with a sense of itself, a fully developed red that could be savored not only after many years of aging but was soft and supple from the get-go.
Warren Winiarski's Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was the winning Cabernet Sauvignon in the infamous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, giving the newer winery instantaneous credibility and fame that would overshadow its neighbor.
They grow Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Lemberger and Pinot Noir grapes at their Savina Estate Vineyard and Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Lemberger and Guwerztraminer grapes at their Catherine Estate Vineyard.
Of course, there are hundreds more that you could dream up, such as a cost-comparison party where a blind taste test could be done comparing different Cabernet Sauvignon wines or quality comparisons on ice wines.
The principal vines grown in the Medoc are the Cabernet-Sauvignon, which is the most important, the Gros Cabernet, the Merlot, the Carmenere, the Malbec, and the Verdot.