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Wine Basics: A Spanish Sparkler

Everyday Food, December 2008

Toast friends and family with a glass of Cava, an affordable sparkling white with a refreshing flavor and fizz.

Quality and Value
Produced primarily in the Penedes region (south of Barcelona), in Spain, Cava is made from a blend of grapes that creates balanced body, fruitiness, and a fine aroma. The wine is fermented by the Champagne method, so it boasts similarly complex flavors and tiny delicate bubbles. Because Cava is less familiar, it is a good value at about $10 per bottle.

At the Store, at Home
You will always see Cava DO (Designation of Origin) on the bottle, indicating its quality. The wine is best drunk young; buy it from a merchant whose supply rotates frequently, and enjoy it soon after purchase. As with Prosecco and Champagne, Cava should be served chilled; its reasonable price also makes it an ideal ingredient for mimosas and other cocktails made with sparkling wine.