Winning the Cricket World Championship or a successful premiere of an Oscar winning movie, celebration won’t be completed without opening a bottle of Champagne. But, now there is a new member of the Champagne family who can give it tough competition. Welcome Spanish Cava! Whenever you think of sparkling wine, Champagne was on the top of the list so far; but, presently the Spanish spirit is adding the difference to the taste of wine lovers. But, all sparkling wine from the Spanish delicacy is not Cava. The only champagne that is produced in traditional method in Spain is known as Cava. The other drinks, processed by different methods are only known as ‘Sparkling Wine.’
Earlier Cava was known Spanish Champagne, but the spirit took no more time to establish its uniqueness and now, it is popular worldwide in the name of ‘Cava,’ a distinct entity in the family of sparkling wine. It has become an important part of the Spanish and Catalan family and tradition, and it has often been consumed in occasions and celebrations, like weddings, baptisms, dinners, banquets, balls and parties.
Reasons Why Drinking Cava to Celebrate Your Happiness
In French, the phrase ‘Joie de Vivre’ means exuberance of life and joy. You can experience it when you drink Cava. Turn every little occasion into a big celebration with a bottle of Cava. So far, you are getting the idea that Cava is different than Champagne; but, you need to know how it is a separate member of the family. Today, Cava is getting immense popularity around the world, especially in the United States. Now, there must be some reasons behind the sky high popularity of Cava. Today, we will find out certain reasons of its high fame.
- Difference in Production
It is the main thing that works behind the popularity of Cava. The style of production has made it different from its big brother Champagne and cousin brother, Italian Prosecco. Here, you will get a clear idea about the production style of Cava.
Basically, Catalonia in Spain is the major Cava producing area, but there are several other places which are popular Cava cellars, like Aragon, Extremadura, Castilla y Leon, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Valencia, and Navarre. It is consumed in Spain in large scale, and presently, it has become the most exported sparkling wine to the international market. The reputation is growing all along, and there are several important reasons of that.
Types of Grapes
Though Champagne and Cava, both are produced from grapes, there are differences in types. For making Cava, three types of grapes are used here. Each type is unique than the other and brings that exclusiveness to the drink
- Macabeo This type of grapes is responsible for bringing sweetness and an exotic aroma to the Cava.
- Xarel lo It provides the body and unique texture to the Cava.
- Parellada To give the Cava a beautiful scent and bring freshness to the drink, this type of grapes is used.
There are several other varieties that are used to produce cava, like chardonnay and pinot noir. To produce rose cava, different types of grapes are used. Grapes like Garnacha, trepat and Monastrell. These grapes add redness to Cava.
Steps to Produce Cava
- These grapes are used to create the primary still wine which is used to make sparkling wine after second fermentation.
- The method of producing the basic still wine is usual as regular wine where grapes are softly smashed.
- Next, comes the purifying stage where grape musts are purified to separate the sediment portion.
- Then, the wine is kept in a large tank for the first fermentation to prepare the basic wine.
- When the basic wine is produced, it’s now to time for the second fermentation to make the sparkling wine.
- For that, the basic wine is bottled and get ready to follow the tradition of making sparkling wine. This stage is known as triage as Licor de tirage is added to the basic wine bottles. It is, actually a mixture of yeast, white wine, and sugar which is poured into the basic wine so that it produce carbon di oxide and an exclusive smell after the fermentation.
- Next, the bottles are kept in the dark at around 15 degree centigrade temperature at a horizontal position, at least for 9 months. Finally, a large amount of sediment will be there in the bottles, which is needed to be removed.
- Initially, the process of removing sediment was done by hand, but now it was done by the process, called gyropallete. It is a machine where the bottles are kept upside down with the cork downside and then move it to remove sediments. Doing it in the machine has reduced much tiring effort as it was needed earlier.
- Uniqueness Lies in the Taste
No matter how much labor is associated with the process of making Cava, if the taste is not adorable, people won’t like it. But, Cava won’t give you any chance to complain. Even if you have never tasted sparkling wine, Cava will give you an exotic experience to start with. So far, Cava was under the shadow of the superfluous Champagne; but now it is coming up with all its varieties and obviously, with the extraordinary taste that will not give you any chance to miss Champagne.
To describe the taste of the Cava, you can call it refreshing and dry. The bubbly and sparkling wine is not that much sweet but contains a flavor of apple and orange with a bit of toastiness. Cava is crisp and delightful, and the citrus taste makes it awesome to have. This is a drink that is slightly acidic, and you will love the feeling when it crosses the passage of your throat. Cava will taste the best when it is served chilled. The better idea will be to keep it in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving so that you and your guests can enjoy it the best.
There are certain methods followed while preparing Cava which bring variety to its taste. Here are the following methods which bring differences in Cava
- Extra Brut This is the driest version of Cava which contains 0 to 6 grams of sugar per liter.
- Brut This is not as dry as extra brut but comparatively drier than other versions. It comes with 0 to 15 grams of sugar per liter.
- Extra Seco If you want a blend of sweetish taste with citrus flavor, this version is awesome. It contains 12 to 20 grams of sugar per liter.
- Seco This is quite sweet and favorite of those who like sweetness in drinks. The amount of sugar in it is 17 35 grams per liter.
- Semi Seco It contains 35 50 grams of sugar per liter. You can imagine how sweet it is!
- Dulce This is the sweetest as it contains over 50 grams of sugar per liter.
Cava has its own elegance, and you need to know the right time of its maturity when it gives you the best taste. According to experts, you shouldn’t have Cava that is not two years old or more if you want to experience the authentic Cava delicacy. The dishes, which compliment Cava, are definitely any of the authentic Spanish dishes. Apart from that, you can have this with steak, paella, tapas or duck. Rose Cava with blood sausage and sautéed wild mushrooms is really delectable.
With Spanish food, a glass of Spanish Cava can set your evening. So, from now on when you visit any Spanish restaurant, order the traditional Spanish spirit with enough sparkle to make your evening special.
- Affordable Price
In comparison to Champagne, Cava is quite near to you. It is comparatively less expensive than champagne. But, don’t misjudge it with the price. Many of you often think as Cava is marked with a lower price, it is not that much sophisticated among wine family. You are absolutely going wrong. An authentic Spanish dish can only reach to the height of sophistication when you order a glass of Cava, made traditionally. To make Cava, enough labor is needed. Still, you can find a bottle of Cava under 10 pounds.
Usually, not so branded cava, available at the market, is ranged from $8 to $20. The price of Cava depends on the type, style, and variety of the product. Usually, the non vintage Cava is a priced object as it is prepared by blending different versions so that it stays good year after year. But, if you prefer, you will get single vintage Cava also. The amount of alcohol in Cava is around 12 14%. Along with difference of sweetness in Cava, you will also get several types of the drink with exotic fruity flavor. The common Cava flavors are orange, green apple, pear, etc. While you can have it on any occasion, Cava can turn any ordinary day into a celebratory one with its great taste, and you don’t need to spend much for such delicacy.
Top 5 Cava Brands That Will Woo Your Heart
So far you got enough and detail reason why Cava can be your Joie de Vivre. Now, it’s time to know the reputed brands that provide you the bubbly sparklers of the top class.
If the sexy black bottle is one reason to taste the Cava with authentic Spanish delight, the fruity aroma with the fresh and crisp taste can set the mood of the evening. to create a magical moment, Freixenet can be your true companion.
- Anna de Codorniu
This brand was named after Anna, who married Miquel Raventos, the viticulturist. When Raventos family owned Codorniu, they named it after Anna, and it was the beginning of this top class Cava brand. Anna de Codorniu was the first Cava which was made of Chardonnay grapes and full of a special aroma and freshness that make this Cava unique among the crowd. Though you can have it with anything, you can show the proper regard to this cava by having it with white fish, aperitif, shellfish, sashimi, sushi or slightly spiced carpaccio.
- Agusti Torello Mata Reserva Brut
They have exclusive land, preparation procedure, local varieties, soil, process, climate and overall tradition to come up with their enchanting brand. If you are a wine lover, this brand will make you go crazy about it. The well integrated bubbles are really balanced and elegant. You can enjoy it any time of the day, but having it on a lonely afternoon with jazz music on your sound system can create the appropriate mood to enjoy your slumber.
- Llopart Reserva Brut Nature
They have started their journey by producing their first bottle in 1887; since then the Llopart family became a dedicated producer of Cava and put all their efforts and experiments into it. The uniqueness of their Cava lies in the taste as it feels light and delicate in the mouth and obviously, completely soft and dry. You can have it alone or with any dish to make your brunch exciting.
- Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
It is very common to have a fruit taste and aroma in Cava, but this brand has taken their product to the next level by introducing a nutty ecstasy to the Cava they produce. The lemon lime bright taste will hold the refreshing taste while the undertone of apple adds a soft touch to your senses. This cava belongs to one of the remarkable brands, and it is unique because of its production type. All three essential grapes (Macabeo, Xarel lo, and Parellada), used to make cava, are blended here to present you certain elegant delicacy.
- Juve Y Camps Rose Brut Cava
You should thank the grape variety pinot noir for helping the brand to cup up with such exciting cava. Along with it, the palate carries an awesome essence of almond and strawberries with creamy delight while having a little spicy undertone. If you are having cured meat or smoked salmon crostini at dinner, this Cava will adore your appetite completely.
With all these details, you really feel to have one bottle in your freezer. Go for it as the price is also within reach. Cava makes your cocktail parties really rocking.