Cava – everymans favourite tipple
Our recent “research” into one of our favourite Catalan topics (ie a bar tour of Barcelona) was curtailed by a nasty stomach bug, hrrmmpphh! However, it’s fair to say we have put some considerable effort into researching this particular topic over the past couple of months.
What has become abundantly clear is that cava is a drink enjoyed by everyone, at anytime, anywhere. It truly is a drink of the people (like fino/manzanilla sherry in Cadiz province). It is not uncommon to see a bottle being shared by a couple of old boys in a regular bar, to a group of council office types out for their Menu del Dia.
And, I have to say it has been invariably good; from a 2euro glass to a 4.50 glass (pushing the boat out a bit!). So, research has taught me that you don’t have to spend a lot to get great quality (here, anyway)…
We recently went to a vineyard tour at the Perelada estate and learnt a bit more (officially) about it.
So, it turns out that Cava is made via the champagne method; meaning it has a second fermentation in the bottle. In other words, its not fermented in industrial tanks, unlike its Italian cousin and results in a similar quality level to champagne, at a more affordable price. (Win, win!)
I also know now why I favour the Brut Nature variety (I knew it was dry, but wasn’t sure where the Nature bit came in) – turns out it has no sugar added, so its super crisp and fresh. I should add at this point, that it has been difficult to find Brut Nature in the UK (Brut, is not the same) and this could be why it hasn’t gained the same popularity there, as it has in other countries. But I would urge you to be on the lookout for it, as I think you will taste the difference (Lidl recently had a great ecological variety on sale).
What else do I know about cava?; its great paired with Asian food.
You can make a great simple dessert by pouring it over lemon sorbet.
My personal opinion, but I love it most served in the old style “babycham” style glasses as they do at La Xampanyeria/Can Paixano (in Portvell, Barcelona, this place is not to be missed) ….