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Your Next Lesson Cava

Your Next Lesson Cava

A refreshing and more affordable alternative to Champagne

Here’s a great article from the New York Times on Cava. By 

 

03WINE-master675

The best have a beautifully light, feathery, subtle texture that makes them perfect summer-weight sparklers.

Cava, like California chardonnay, has suffered from a bad reputation. Not without reason. Millions of bottles of cava, the Catalonian sparkling wine, are sold every year, and much of it is inexpensive and not particularly good. Yet a handful of cava producers, working conscientiously in the vineyards and diligently in the cellar, have demonstrated that it can be among the most distinctive of all sparkling wines.

Even so, cava is one of the few sparkling wines that by law must be made using the same method as Champagne. That means that the cava grapes are first fermented into a still wine, and then a second fermentation is induced in the bottle, which creates the sparkle. Obviously this method is effective on a mass-production level — witness the millions of bottles of Champagne as well as cava produced every year. Yet when done carefully, it offers far greater potential than other methods for mass-producing sparkling wine.

The best cavas have a beautifully light, feathery, subtle texture that I think makes them perfect summer-weight sparklers. I recommend three bottles:Even so, cava is one of the few sparkling wines that by law must be made using the same method as Champagne. That means that the cava grapes are first fermented into a still wine, and then a second fermentation is induced in the bottle, which creates the sparkle. Obviously this method is effective on a mass-production level — witness the millions of bottles of Champagne as well as cava produced every year. Yet when done carefully, it offers far greater potential than other methods for mass-producing sparkling wine.

The best cavas have a beautifully light, feathery, subtle texture that I think makes them perfect summer-weight sparklers. I recommend three bottles: These wines should not be terribly difficult to find. But if you don’t come across them, any other cavas from these producers will be great, as will those from Mestres, Bohigas, Castellroig and a few others.

Not surprisingly, cava is wonderful with jamón Ibérico, or any ham, really, as well as dishes often associated with tapas, like shrimp with garlic sauce, grilled sardines and other light seafood or fried dishes. It’s particularly great with pan con tomate, a ubiquitous dish in Catalonia in which a yeasty local bread is rubbed with half a tomato, doused with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.

Serve the wine cold, but make sure you allow it to warm up a little so you can see how it changes with temperature. Then, drink it as you prefer.

Source: Your Next Lesson: Cava – NYTimes.com


Marc Weisberg is a photographer, educator, chef, former wine buyer, cellar master; and lover of wine. Marc owns and operates a successful Southern California based photography studio, founded in 2001, and is the founder of Wine Photo Workshops. His work is widely published and sought out by luxury brands. Wine Photo Workshops are for photographer-wine-adventurers and image makers. We’ll visit and explore wineries and food destinations throughout the world. Visit with Sommeliers, wine makers, vineyard owners and restauranteurs, with special behind the scenes access. You’ll have the opportunity to learn, make new friends, have fun and raise the bar on your photography skills. Contact Marc by phone 949.494.5084, or email.

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