Although for many of us a holiday in Spain may still be but a dream for yet another year, bring a little taste of Spanish summer to your garden, terrace or balcony with pink cava.
The sparkling wines of Spain from the DO Cava region are coming back in fashion after a few years of being overshadowed by sparklers from other countries, notably Italy.
With a recent boost in terms of quality and a new classification system, cava represents great value for money. Unlike prosecco, all cava is made by the traditional method, that is with the secondary fermentation in the bottle.
This secondary fermentation gives the fizz, but also creates a yeasty deposit called the ‘lees’ which imparts greater flavour and complexity in the wine. Coming principally from the Catalan region of Spain near Barcelona, the traditional grapes used are the local varieties of macabeo, parellada and xarel-lo. The origins of cava lie in the winemaking area of Penedés, especially in the town of San Sadurní d’Anoia and its surroundings, which has earned the title of cava capital. However, for historical reasons, cava can also be made in certain other towns and regions.
Along with the crémant wines from France, cava represents some of the best value sparkling wines in the world. Cava is fun and affordable, and the pink, or rosado, versions are just made for summer drinks with friends.
Founded in 1914, the family business of Freixenet is the largest producer of cava and the largest exporter of sparkling wine from Spain, sometimes referred to as the ‘king of cava’. The company philosophy and mission is ‘help the world celebrate all of life’s moments, whether big or small’. With what we have all gone through in the past two years, we need all the help we can get!
Freixenet Cordon Rosado Cava is made from the red grape varieties garnacha and trepat, producing a vibrant, fresh and fruity sparkler with a delicate pink colour. Just off-dry, it is aromatic and fruity, with hints of strawberry, blackberry and herbs. Around £11 from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Morrisons.
Vilarnau Rosé Reserva Organic Cava has a fabulous presentation, inspired by the Spanish artist Gaudí. The reserve designation means the wine is aged for a little longer, giving extra flavour and complexity to the wine. Packed full of succulent summer fruit flavours, this elegant pink fizz is stylish and vibrant and at the heart of good times. £12 from Ocado and Amazon.
Richard Esling is a wine consultant, agent, writer and educator. He runs agency and consultancy WineWyse, is founder and principal of Sussex Wine Academy and is chairman of Arundel Wine Society