Cards of Wine

Cava (Spain)

Spanish Cava is produced the same way as French Champagne.

In Spain the method is called Método Tradicional.

The grapes used are Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.

Typical Flavors


Lemon
Lemon
Lime
Lime
Apple
Apple
Pear
Pear

Flowers
Flowers
Honey
Honey
Almonds
Almonds
Mineral
Minerals

Typical Cava flavors are Lemon, Lime, Apple, Almond, and Minerality.

Profile

Cava is more Fruity than French Champagne, but not as Sweet as Italian Prosecco:

SUGARDry
BODYLight
FRUITMedium
ACIDITYHigh
Serving temperature:
8-10°C (46-50°F)

Food Pairing

You can drink sparkling wine to almost everything.

Whether it is Champagne, Cava, or Italian Prosecco.


Aperitif
Aperitif
Salads
Salads
Olive Oil
Vinaigrette
Tapas
Tapas

Crab
Seafood
Oysters
Oysters
Salmon
Salmon
Sushi
Sushi

Fish
Fish
Chicken
Chicken
Pork
Pork
French Fries
Fries

Risotto
Risotto
Sandwitch
Sandwitch
Egg
Egg
Asparagus
Asparagus

Cava pairs very well with salty food, because the bubbles break up the salt in the mouth.

The acidity and bubbles also pair well with rich food, creamy and oily dishes.

Pairing Suggestions

Excellent Pairing:
Eggs. Srambled. Frittata.
Tapas. Nuts. Olives.
Fried Fish. Fried Chicken.
Sushi. Smoked Salmon.
Ham. Serrano. Prosciutto.
Rice. Risotto. Pasta.
Chips. French Fries.
Vinaigrette. Green Salad.
Artichoke. Asparagus.

Cheese:
Soft Cheese. Sheep Cheese. Feta. Robiola.

Spanish Specialities:
Gambas al Ajillo (Prawns in Chili and Garlic).
Fish Pie. Pan con Tomate.
Tortilla. Valencian Paella.
Zarzuela (Seafood Stew).
Jamón Ibérico.

Spanish Sparkling

In Spain, Sparkling wine is called Cava, which means "Cellar".

Cava used to be called "Spanish Champagne", but this is no longer permitted in EU, since Champagne is a protected French name.

The production method is the same as for Champagne, but with other grapes:

  • Macabeu
  • Parellada
  • Xarel-lo.

Cava is an important part of the Catalan and Spanish tradition. It is consumed at any celebration (baptisms, marriages, banquets, dinners, and parties).

Cava DO (Denominación de Origen) is not region based. Cava can be made anywhere in Spain, as long as it follows the production rules.

Anyway, 95 percent of all Cava is made in the Penedès wine region in Catalonia.

Cava has 3 aging styles:

  • Cava
  • Cava Riserva
  • Cava Gran Riserva

Méthode Champenoise

Méthode Champenoise is the method used to produce French Champagne.

Wine Glass

With Méthode Champenoise (the production method of Champagne), the first fermentation takes place in a tank, and a second fermentation takes place in the bottle.

Adding CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is not allowed.

The second fermentation starts by adding yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) and sugar to the bottle, and after about 1 year, the bubbles are completely developed.

The legend credit a Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon (1639-1715), for inventing sparkling wine when he bottled a wine before fermentation, but the oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux from 1531.

The method is used for:

  • French Champagne
  • French Crémant
  • Spanish Cava
  • Italian Franciacorta
  • German Sekt
  • Portuguese Espumante

Méthode Champenoise is now reserved (by EU) for wines produced in Champagne:

CountryMust Use
EnglandTraditional Method
FranceMéthode Traditionnelle
SpainMétodo Tradicional
PortugalMétodo Tradicional
ItalyMetodo Classico
Metodo Tradizionale
GermanyKlassische Flaschengärung

Sugar Levels

Regulation
EC 607/2009
Sugar
gram/litre
Calories
/glass
Brut Nature (Brut Zero)0-33
Extra Brut 0-6 5
Brut 0-12 7
Extra Dry (Extra Sec, Extra Seco) 12-17 10
Dry (Sec, Seco) 17-32 20
Demi (Semi) 32-50 30
Doux (Sweet, Dulce) 50+ 30+

Alcohol can be addictive. Drink in moderation.

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