Affordable decadence defines Spanish Cavas. Bubbles without the trouble; tastiness without the tawdry price. But Spanish Cava can be a mystery. Weird grape names, little hype. If the bottle doesn’t read “Champagne” many people overlook this sparkling segment, even if it costs less than $15. But that’s simply a shame.
By law, Cava is made in the same fashion as French Champagne, using “méthode champenoise” — the second fermentation (which instills the fizz) takes place in the bottle, not in a tank. The grapes are different — Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo — which lend a more rustic flavor to the wine. But in a good way. (More about Spanish Cava)
Segura Viudas, owned by Barcelona’s Ferrer Family, has been a favorite of mine for years. It’s produced in the Penedès region of Spain, where most Spanish sparkling wine production occurs. Every holiday season, I taste the Aria Brut (the best of their labels, in my opinion), thinking it might change but it never does. For merely $11, it’s consistently fabulous and dry, citrusy with pear and toasted bread. You just can’t beat it for the price. And the pretty bottle doesn’t hurt either. (Tampa Bay folks: Find it at Vintage Wine Cellars)
Read more about sparkling wines and the best ways to serve them.