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All about Cava wines
Think of Cava wine as a more affordable version of Champagne. This Spanish bubbly nectar undergoes more or less the same production process as its French counterpart. A second fermentation process creates CO2, which are the nice bubbles we see in our glass. After that, Cava ages for a pretty long time, during which the process of autolysis creates the wine's distinctive savory aromas.
There are four Cava styles, based on the length of the aging period. Standard Cava ages for a minimum of nine months while Reserva Cava ages for 15 months or more. To get the designation of Gran Reserva Cava, a wine has to age for at least 30 months. Lastly, vintage wines that aged for 36 months or over get the designation of Cava de Paraje Calificado.
Cava sparkling wines are available both white and rosé. The producers mainly use Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes, but sometimes they spice things up with a bit of chardonnay, pinot noir, garnacha and monastrell.
Like Champagne and many other sparkling wines, Cava features hints of bread and nuts. This Spanish white wine is available in many sweetness levels from extra brut (very dry) to dulce (pretty sweet). Different grape varieties create different flavor notes, from fruits to citrus.
What can you serve with Cava?
Other than being festive, Cava is surprisingly food-friendly. Try Champagne's Spanish alter ego with tortillas, tapas with olives and cheese, paella, risotto or french fries. Virtually any fried food tastes delicious with this sparkling wine. Aged versions pair well with foie gras and aged cheeses like Parmesan, Asiago or manchego.