Cava – why wouldn’t you want to drink lots of this Spanish sparkling wine that tastes better than many champagnes? It costs a lot less (supermarket own-label cavas can be got for as little as £5) and the enjoyable flavours can be relied upon year after year.
Only in years with exceptionally hot summers can grapes grown in the northern France region of Champagne ripen as fully as those grown in Catalonia. Catalonia’s long, hot growing season allows grapes to build up the high levels of sugars and acids necessary to produce balanced and complex sparkling wines.
The native grapes Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo are capable of making really fruity tasting cavas with a sweet edge, but they need to be aged for a couple of years to reach their full potential. Cava’s minimum stipulated nine months ageing produces fresh and simple lemon and lime flavoured wines. But age the wine for another year and the flavours mature into lemon-sherbet and well-done toast covered with honey.
PG Wine Reviews
Codorniu Cava Brut
£3.99 Sainsbury’s (down from £6.50 until April 29)
A good choice of table sparkling – so if you want to drink cava everyday then try this.
Morrisons Cava Semi Seco
Semi-sweet but not too sweet to be enjoyable. Mix with fruit juices for an exotic cocktail
Asda Extra Special Mas Miralda Cava 2010
Almond fingers and apple: a simple fizz with an underlying depth of flavour.
Waitrose in Partnership Cava
£6.99 Waitrose (down from £9.39 until May 20)
Castillo Perelada cava with a Waitrose label stuck on. So expect usual citrus and nut flavours.
Freixenet Vintage Especial Cava 2012
£7.49 Tesco (offer price until May 11)
Complex, elegant and nice.
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© Paula Goddard 2014 www.paulagoddard.com