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Four things you need to know about Cava
Friday, December 8, 2023 @ 8:01 PM

In both outdoor activities, relaxed summer afternoons and of course, at Christmas, I always find myself picking up a few bottles of Cava to enjoy with company. Cava's approachable acidity and lovely fruity flavours offer great value buys for happy hours and fun occasions!

Cava, like Champagne in France, is made with the Traditional Method of sparkling wine production, however, it can not be called "Champagne". The law prohibits using the term Champagne for sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region in France. While most people are used to calling sparkling wines "champagne", the proper name for all sparkling wines other than Champagne thus is "sparkling wine".


1. Cava Winemaking Method:

The bubbles or sparkles are produced during the Second Fermentation. In the Traditional Method of sparkling winemaking, the Second Fermentation does not take place in the pressure tank but instead occurs in the bottle, the same bottle to be sold eventually.


2. Cava Wine Regions:

In Spain, Cava is produced in DO* Cava, which includes five regions. The grapes for Cava are Macabeo (or called Viura in Rioja), Xarel-lo and Parellada. Some producers now have a proportion of Chardonnay (one of the traditional grapes for Champagne) for its flavours that are familiar to international wine consumers.

*DO, Denominación de Origen, a Spanish quality wine classification.


3. Flavours and Styles of Cava:

Cava is required to age for at least 9 months in the bottle. Such ageing time gives Cava the flavours of the pleasantly yeasty, green apple, cherry, berry, peach, and occasionally almond nut. Its clean finish with mellow acidity is always refreshing and friendly. There are quite a few different styles of Cava. Some are best to pair with appetizers, others seafood dishes, and yet others by themselves as delightful summer picnic wine or aperitif.


4. Sweetness Levels of Cava:

Another style difference is its various levels of sweetness. What's called Brut Nature would have only up to 3 grams of sugar per litre of Cava wine, and when the sugar level increases to Extra Brut, it could include up to 6 grams of sugar per litre. Cava that has between 0 and 15 grams of sugar per litre is called Brut. The rest of the Cava has an increased sweetness level that most palates can detect. From low to high levels of sugar, these are Extra Dry, Dry, Semi-Dry and finally Sweet.

A bottle of beautiful Cava could be about €10. What a bargain to add sparkles to your life!



Written by: Bonny-Morgan Lin

About the author:

Bonny-Morgan Lin is the author of the book, "A Crash Course in Wine - 7 Days to Become a Wino". With WSET Certificate, and French Wine Instructor Certificate. Bonny is a passionate wine educator & personal wine coach through her wine tasting seminars and webinars.

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