Cava & Food Pairings


Cava is a Spanish Sparkling Wine that is both clean and fresh tasting. If you love Champagne, but don’t want to crack open a bottle to enjoy with a casual meal in front of the television, Cava is your wine.

Cava on a boat - cheers

What people love about Cava is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to Champagne. Costs are kept down due to Cava not being aged on the Lees (aging done with dead yeast cells) as long as Champagne, plus Cava uses lesser known Spanish grapes that just don’t have a strong following like the French grapes Champagne uses. Like Champagne, Cava is outright delicious with a wide variety of foods.

Pairing Cava with Food

In Spain, Cava is consumed all day long and is paired with appetizers (particularly fried, like crab cakes, or squid) and desserts.  It is also enjoyed with tapas, fried chicken, barbecued ribs, Texas chilli and sausage on a bun.

Because Cava is bubbly, it excels at scrubbing the grease from your mouth, and this makes each bite of food taste bright and flavourful.

Cava just isn’t for greasy and heavy foods though. It’s also wonderful with fresh salads, crudité, figs, raw oysters and Gazpacho.

Cava labeled Seco are slightly sweeter versions of regular Cava and can be enjoyed with cookies, cake, and churros.

What Grapes are in Cava

The three main grapes in Cava are Macabeo, which is a white grape that often makes up the base of Cava. Next we have the Parellada white grape that gives a bit of body to Cava. Finally, Xarello, another white grape, is added which contributes a tart acid and lean freshness to the Cava blend.

You’ll also find Cava blended with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Trepat, Garnacha and Monastrell. These last four grapes red wine grapes which are often used for Rosé versions of Cava.

Cava and Aging

You’ll also find three aging styles of Cava. The rule of thumb is that the older the Cava is, the more toasty and nutty aromas you’ll find. We use the term aging on the lees below, which is something we’ll eventually write a blog on. However for now, you can read about aging on the lees at wikipedia.

Cava

minimum of 9 months aging on the lees

Reserva Cava

minimum of 15 months aging on the lees)

Gran Reserva

minimum of 30 months aging on the lees

reserva heredad bottle

Recommended Cava Brands

Freixenet, Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut, Paul Cheneau Brut Blanc de Blancs, Sumarroca Brut Reserva and Segura Viudas Aria Brut are all inexpensive and delicious Cavas. If you want to splurge, go for Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad (which comes with its own fancy metal coaster).

Do you have a favourite Cava and Food Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!

 
 
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