Join us on a journey round the world’s different cuisines as we introduce you to the art of pairing Cava with food.
Pairing wine with your food is nothing new but there is a skill to getting it right.
Not everyone knows how versatile sparkling wine can be with food, and that it is not just an ideal aperitif. Here’s our guide to getting it right, every time.
There are very few people who wouldn’t accept a glass of Cava when offered and there is no doubt that the different styles of Cava – from non-vintage, Reserva, Gran Reserva or the top classification Cava de Paraje – offer a plethora of food pairing opportunities.
Non-Vintage Cava is usually served on its own as an aperitif – sparkling, fresh and full of acidity it really gets the taste buds tingling. But this style of can also go down a treat at a barbecue – try with grilled fish or seafood – or to go with salads and starter dishes which mayonnaise, good olive oil or creamy elements. The high levels of acidity complementing the richness of the dish. If you don’t just want to go for a straight white fizz, try a Rosé Cava – the extra punch of fruit will stand up to salad dressings using vinegar and bring out the sweetness in crab, prawns, poached mussels or clams
More complex styles of Cava such as a Reserva and Gran Reserva are perfectly able to match up to chicken or game. Try a spatch-cocked quail or guinea fowl on the grill with a glass of Reserva from any good producer and your taste buds will be set alight. A good Grand Reserva will pair well with a crumbly mature cheese or with egg dishes too. Although it’s fabulous on its own too – or with a touch of caviar if you are feeling flush!
Cava de Paraje – the new top classification from the DO Cava – is all about single estate production, these wines have a very particular character and one to be savoured. Obviously, because of the high price, you might just want to contemplate the exquisite aromas and flavours alone. However, depending on the producer, you could enjoy it with some really great jamón or a piece of grilled, meaty, rich fish (monk fish, halibut or turbot) to set off the complecity of the wine.
Whatever your choice of Cava style or price bracket there’s certainly a Cava to match with every dish and occasion. Salud!
Salads, light canapes or cooked seafood are wonderful accompaniments to Cava, especially traditional Brut Cava. More robust appetisers like jamon and cold cuts, pâtés pair well with Reserva Brut Cava and Brut Nature.
From the sea
With seafood there is a variety of Cava wines to select depending on the fish. Smoked salmon for example pairs with Rosé Cava, whilst meaty white fish should be paired with Reserva and Brut Nature
Big, punchy spicy dishes can overpower the delicateness found in Cava but don’t shy away completely from pairing these wines with very flavourful dishes. When the spicing is well balanced and light choose a Reserva wine with dryness and acidity to compliment the dish.
When your meal presents bolder flavours, earthiness and meatiness you should reach for a complex Cava, with great ageing and structure. One of the Cava de Paraje Calificado wines that are unique expressions of terrior will be able to handle the richness of red meats, reductions and stews.
Towards the end of a meal, when your palate craves a little sweetness, you should pick a sweet or demi sec Cava. These wines provide warm sensations due to the sweetness and are denser with a slow fizz, perfect for chocolate, pastries and desserts.
For more information about Cava visit http://www.docava.es