Cost: Average price $13.99
Where buy now: Surdyk’s $12.99
Grapes: Blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello
Region: Spain, near Barcelona
Vintage: Aged at a minimum 15 months before bottling
I am a Prosecco fiend. I love it! It pairs well with food and cheese or is lovely on its own. So, when the wine tasting began with this Spanish Cava [“Cava” means caves], I was curious how this was going to compare. I typically only drink sparkling wine, mainly Prosecco, during fancy pants occasions so I didn’t know much about other sparkling wines. [That is, other than the efficient manner Champagne can make a right ass out of anyone.]
Let me impart some of the knowledge I learned: First, the Spanish drink more bubbly than the rest of the world. Second, sparkling wine is lighter in alcohol than other wines (but I’ll try not to hold it against them). What does that all mean? It means the Spanish must make a good enough bubbly to sip all day long. If this is the “Kool-Aid” those loco Spaniards are handing out, I might just follow them to Jonestown.
The glittering, pale golden Cava compares a bit in flavor to Prosecco but the bubbles are a little more vigorous. This is something I thought I wasn’t going to like, but they’re nice, agreeable little bubbles –persistent but not annoying. The aroma wasn’t strong, but light and refreshing. The taste wasn’t overwhelming, just mildly citrusy and pleasant. Pick up a bottle along with some manchego cheese, creamy brie and fruit and you’ll have a lovely time. I plan to sip this all summer long aside grilled fish, sautéed mushrooms and mixed greens. Now, if this was $40, I wouldn’t say it was a knock-out, but for around $10, I’d say this is a great buy!
So why don’t we drink more bubbly? We’ve been conditioned to only bring it out on special occasions: toasting the happy new couple, a birth, or to ring in the New Year. But since sparkling wine has a lower alcohol content than most wine [this Cava is around 11%], perhaps we should be sipping this baby more often! No need to wait for some grand promotion (even if you deserve one), or any singular awesome, life-changing event- just pour yourself a glass and celebrate you being you.
This, my friends, has become my New Year’s resolution: drink more sparkling wine.