Cava hasn’t had a fair crack at the sparkling wine market, when compared to its counterparts. Champagne has all the prestige and pizzazz and Prosecco has become the preferred drink of the year, if not the decade, but Cava is often left languishing or shelves or pushed alongside cheap, tasteless sparkling wines when in reality, it’s a truly enjoyable and flavourful sparkling wine alternative.
Whilst its reputation isn’t as poor as it once was, with dedicated Cava bars opening up in London and other locations across the UK, Cava is a drink that should be appreciated in its own right and not compared to any others.
Experts describe Cava as more like Champagne than Prosecco but essentially it is entirely itself. It is made in the same way as Champagne but is made from different grapes. The main Cava grapes are Macabeu, Parellada, Xarel-lo and they also use Chardonnary, Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Monastrell in some instances.
Macabeu is the primary grape in Cava and it offers a fairly subtle flavour with a faint floral aroma, lemony depth and a slightly bitter end note whilst Xarel-lo, also used blended in with most Cava is bolder, richer and has melon and pear notes. The third standard Cava grape Paralleda is added in because it is zesty with citrus notes and very high in acidity. The combination of the three creates a Spanish sparkling wine which is balanced and fruity and less sweet than Prosecco and less nutty than Champagne. It isn’t a sweet wine but it is one which is wonderful when sipped before or after a meal or combined into sparkling wine cocktails.
Cava has its own unique flavour and doesn’t deserve to be grouped with tasteless and cheap sparkling wines. The producers of Cava are as proud as any other wine grower and they put the same time and effort into each of their vintages, as any other wine grower.
Check out The Drinks Cabinet’s Cava selection next time you’re looking for a wine that sparkles.