Unveiling the Secrets of Cava Wine: Understanding its Production, Types, and Flavors
Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Catalonia, Spain, employing a traditional process comparable to Champagne, often known as the famed méthode champenoise. The word “Cava” is legally protected and can only be applied to sparkling wines made in particular regions of Spain using this method.
How is Cava wine made?
The procedure for generating high-quality sparkling wines is always the same. But be careful not to get confused. Sure, it’s a dynamic and sunny wine, but we’re not talking about a Prosecco clone, quite the contrary! It comes from careful craftsmanship and not from an industrial process that can be easily replicated in an assembly line style.
Sometimes when we talk about Cava we fall into a misunderstanding and consider it an inferior cousin of Champagne or a simple wine with no character, but it’s not true.
Sure, production it’s exploding in these years, and many winemakers are trying to find their own style and are learning on the fly, but there is no doubt that it is one of the most interesting and growing wines, still in search of definition in many ways, however, let’s not underestimate this amazing sparkling wine, because its moment is now!
Cava is a sparkling wine made the conventional way, with the wine going through a secondary fermentation in the bottle to generate bubbles. Before fermentation, grapes are hand-harvested and meticulously selected, often a combination of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. The wine is matured in bottles for a period of time after fermentation, during which secondary fermentation occurs.
Cava gets its bubbles via secondary fermentation. Cava is often aged for 9 months to several years, depending on the wine type and the winery’s choice.
What are the different types of Cava wine?
Depending on the amount of sweetness, Cava is classified as Brut Nature, Brut, Extra Brut, or Semi-Seco. Brut Nature is the driest with no added sugar, while Brut is the most popular and considered the driest with a sugar level of fewer than 12 grams per liter. Extra Brut is significantly drier, with fewer than 6 grams of sugar per liter.
Semi-Seco is sweeter, with a sugar level ranging from 12 to 20 grams per liter.
Cava, like any other wine, requires proper storage and serving. To maintain the greatest possible flavor, keep the bottle in a cool, dark area away from light and heat. Cava should be stored at a temperature of 7-10°C. When serving, use a flute glass and serve cold, between 6 and 8°C.
Cava goes nicely with a wide range of dishes. Its distinct blend of bubbles and acidity makes it an excellent companion to shellfish, light meats like chicken or pig, and salads. It also goes well with spicy foods and may be enjoyed with a wide range of cuisines. Cava’s acidity aids in cutting through fat and balancing tastes in foods.
If carefully stored in the refrigerator, an opened bottle of Cava can last for a few days. However, it’s recommended to consume it within the first day or two to ensure the finest possible flavor. Cava is best enjoyed fresh and young, and it should not be aged.
Cava’s alcohol concentration varies, however, it normally ranges between 11 and 13% ABV (alcohol by volume). Depending on the grapes used and the winemaking procedure, certain wines may have a somewhat greater alcohol level.
When it comes to value, several good Cavas are available for less than $20. Segura Viudas Brut Reserva and Juvé y Camps Cava Brut Nature Reserva are two popular possibilities. These bottles provide excellent value for money and are ideal for those new to the world of Cava or seeking a low-cost choice.
Cava VS Champagne
The primary distinction between Cava and Champagne is the place of production, with Cava produced in Catalonia, Spain, and Champagne produced in France’s Champagne region. Furthermore, the grape varietals utilized in the manufacture of Cava differ from those used in the creation of Champagne.
The aging procedure also has an impact on the flavor of Cava. Young Cava is more acidic and has a stronger fruit flavor, whilst aged Cava has a more nuanced flavor profile with notes of bread, nuts, and other secondary components. Cava’s aging ability varies depending on the wine type, with certain Cavas capable of maturing for several years, similar to the greatest Champagne-Franciacorta-Cremant, while others are supposed to be drunk young.
Why should you drink it?
You may pick a wine that precisely suits your taste and occasion if you understand the many varieties and styles.
The most common grape types used in Cava production are Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada, but other grape varieties like Monastrell and Garnacha are also utilized.