Every year, the summer months signal that wonderful time of year when many different people decide to make their love for one another public & tie the knot. As with any celebration, sparkling wine is a necessary ingredient in making every fête additionally exceptional (what’s more elegant than a champagne flute filled with bubbly?) Portalis carries quite a few options of outstanding bottles of champagne/sparkling wines, including cava (from Spain).
Wine making has been around in Spain for centuries (it was discovered that the Phonecians introduced winemaking to the Penedès about 7,000 BC). But it wasn’t until around 1870 that cava was developed as a perfect accompaniment to tapas (small plates served throughout Southern Spain). Tapas tend to be cooked using large quantities of garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, olives & salt. “Les bombelles” as ‘bubbles’ are known in the Catalan dialect cut through these strong flavors and refresh the palate [note: this is also why fried foods go so well with champagne].
The best cavas are produced in the region of Penedès (Barcelona is the capitol of this region). This is one of the most well-known regions of Spain not only because of the city of Barcelona itself but also due to some of its famous former residents (Miró, Dalí, Picasso). Today there are about 175 cava producers in the region who combine the native grape varietals of Macabeo, Parellada, & Xarel-lo (plus chardonnay in some instances) in order to create the perfect cava.
The same production method is used for cava as it is for champagne: méthode champenoise or secondary fermentation. Cava is also classified in the same way as champagne depending on sugar content. A cava can be (increasing from bone-dry to sweet) brut nature, extra brut, brut, extra dry, dry, demi-sec, or sweet. One huge way that differentiates cava from champagne is the behavior behind each; cava is meant to be drunk alongside any night’s meal, whereas champagne obviously is a luxury reserved for special occasions. Thus, cavas are generally much more affordable.
Here are a few cavas that are perfect to help you celebrate!
Bodegas Maset NV (nu) Cava Reserva
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.99
Bodegas Maset has been making their delicious Cava for more than 200 years! This NU Reserva has crisp, clean, citrus fruit notes of apple & pear. Fine, elegant & festive! Delicious with smoked salmon, rich cream sauces, or marinated olives.
Bodegas Maset NV Cava Del Lleo Brut
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | Mixed Case: $11.19
The del Lleo Brut has light fruit aromas on the nose with fresh, delicate white fruit notes playing on the palate as gentle bubbles linger through the dusty finish!
¡Salut + Salud!