Meet the Sparkling: Cava

jwalker_ss_kila_cava

Have you heard of cava? It is, essentially, Spain’s answer to Champagne. More often than not it is made in the Champagne Method but since that, too, is limited to a particular region of France, a bottle of cava will usually denote “Método Tradicional” or Traditional Method.

In the case of the bottle I tasted for this post, it actually says none of these things, going for the more explanatory:

Sparkling wine fermented in this bottle.

Straightforward, yes?

As it was once in the glass.

This week’s wine guy pointed me in the direction of Kila Cava, stating that while it was still a Brut it was slightly sweeter than his favorite cava and he thought I would prefer it better. (I’m guessing he inferred this from my recent order of a case each of sweet red and sparkling moscato for my wedding next month.) It was not nearly as sharp as some brut-style sparklers I’ve tried, yet still very dry but not unpleasantly so.

The crisp, fruity nose gives way to matching flavors on the palate along with a slightly yeasty flavor. An apple tart or pear croissant. Very delicious, either way you slice it. Kila is a blend of the three most popular grapes for cava: macabeo, parellada, and xarel-lo. It has a very pale yellow color and a very delicate effervescence.

Cava offers a definite bonus in that it’s usually much lower-priced than a French Champagne and even some Italian Proseccos. The Kila was less than $10 and would make a wonderful celebration tipple if you’re looking for a lot of bubbly bang on a budget.

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