Ringing in the New Year with Cava

Ringing in the New Year with Cava

My wine-loving friends can’t seem to remove themselves from the orbit of French champagne brands when New Year’s Eve rolls in.

When someone hands me a champagne flute of Dom Perignon, Jouet Belle Epoque, Taittinger or Moet, I certainly won’t refuse it. These are all wonderful wines that I’ve tasted in the heart of France’s Champagne region many times since 1981 when I lived in Paris.

When I’m handing out flutes of bubbly on New Year’s Eve, I try to expand the frontiers of my family and guests. Because of this, I often choose Cava. During my time in Barcelona, I developed a definite taste for this wonderful sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Penedes region of Catalonia.

The Macebeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada grape varieties used to make Cava are mostly unknown to Americans. These grapes impart a fresh, zesty flavor with lots of floral notes that pair well with many different foods.

A number of rosé Cavas made with Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Trepat and Monastrell grapes are also delicious. I’m particularly partial to rosé Cavas made with Monastrell grapes because of its color and depth of flavor.

Below are some of my favorite Cavas with links to learn more about them. These are well worth a taste this New Year’s Eve. Even better, they’re easy on your budget.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva – I like this Cava because it’s been aged 30 months and is really smooth and elegant. It’s awesome with sushi, roasted pork or poultry – even caviar!

Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Rosé – I like this Cava because of its fruitiness and color. It’s a definite crowd pleaser with tapas and appetizers that include soft cheese or fruit.

Ramon Reventos Brut Cava – This Cava is made of 70 percent Xarel-lo grapes. I’m a fan of this grape because of its creamy, citrusy and nutty finish.

Castillo Perelada Brut – I saved this one for last because it may be one of the best Cavas of all. Try it with paella, grilled seafood or pasta.

Happy New Year to all! See you in 2021. Mike Reiber, mreiber@axiomcom.com.

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