Travel Guide to Portugal

Spanish Cava: The Anytime, Anywhere, with Anyone, Wine

By Ryan Opaz

Today, we’re going to give you the perfect silver bullet for each and every meal. No more thinking. No more fretting whether or not your X wine pairs with the meal. No more wondering if you can afford a decent wine at an affordable price as a gift. The secret is Cava. With its racy acidity and refreshing finish this is a wine that can pair with appetizers, vegetable side dishes, or even, rich and heavy holiday meals. We realize this last suggestion may throw you into a tailspin wondering how a sparkling wine can cut through a mouth coating meal. But as a result of Cava’s high acidity, it slices through the grease, leaving your palate fresh, clean and ready for seconds. 

Consider Cava your “all in one” wine.

It’s fun to open, pretty to look at, not to heavy in the alcohol department, and adds sparkle to the most mundane evening. Plus, after the relatives have gone home, and the noise level return to normal, Cava makes the wind down seem a bit more glamorous. You can even try to convince your beer adoring uncle that if served from a mug, Cava can even polish up his image to be both worldly and festive.

So what to buy?

Last week we were asked to recommend some wines to CNBC for the holiday meals when lo and behold a few bottles (samples) arrived from Castellroig – great little cavas. I mentioned the Sabaté i Coca Reserva Familiar in the article, but I would have to say the Castellroig Cava Grand Reserva Brut is a stunner with great body, structure, and creamy freshness. If you can find it, grab it. 

We also need to highlight the Espumante’s of Portugal. Made in the same way as Cava and Champange, Epumantes are also stunners though difficult to find – even in Portugal. We enjoyed a bottle of the 1995 Murganheira a few weeks ago, and I’m convinced the finish is still lingering. Aromas of toasted minerals with a lemon mousse and dark honey make this wine both delicious and unforgettable. But if you don’t have the budget for treats like this, look for the criminally cheap Vinho Verde sparkler. Typically showing insanely fresh acidity and a mousse that looks like something you should shave with, it’s a must find!

In short…explore! Try various styles and see what tickles your palate. Otherwise, let us put together a customized Cava Tour just for you!

Feature Tours

Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula
looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Catavino is the best place to learn about travel, food
and wine in Portugal and Spain.