Everyone has heard of champagne.
However, not a lot of people — at least outside of Spain — know about cava, and even fewer have tried it. So, today, we thought I'd share a few tips.
What actually is cava?
Well, until recently, even here in Spain it was simply known as "Spanish champagne". And that's because it is made using a similar technique.
When Spain joined the EU in 1986, we had to stop calling it that, because under EU law only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region can be marketed as champagne. So we started calling it cava instead, which, in Catalonian, means "cellar". (A lot of folks still call it champaña.)
Although cava has a taste profile that is close to champagne's, there are some important differences, especially with more traditional cava.
Firstly, it uses a different type of grape.
While French champagne is made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, or Chardonnay, traditional Catalonian cava is made from Xarello, Macabeu and Parellada grapes — all of which are grown here in Catalonia.
So, that's our first tip for you: buy traditional Catalonian cava.
And our second tip?
Over the last few years, it has become fashionable to serve sparkling wines in a champagne coupe glass. We recommend you use a champagne flute instead.
For two reasons:
First, because you can toast with your family and friends, without spilling wine over your beautiful Persian rug or immaculate white tablecloth.
Second, because your wine will keep its fizz for longer, which is one of the things that makes cava such a refreshing drink.
Don't yet have a champagne glass?
Then you might want to take a look at the Sagrada Champagne Flue. In our humble (but biased) opinion, there's no better way to serve cava!
Next time you're hosting a dinner party or throwing a celebration, if you'd like to offer your guests something that is subtly different — without making too much of a show about it — then we recommend a bottle of traditional cava.
Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo!