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.
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.
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.
minimum of 9 months aging on the lees
minimum of 15 months aging on the lees)
minimum of 30 months aging on the lees
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).