We’ve already talked about the fact that not all sparkling wines are Champagne. While France’s iconic bubbly is no doubt one of the best in the world – their traditional methodology is practiced in pretty much every winemaking country – you’ve got options. Here at Plum Deluxe HQ, one of our favorite sparkling wines is Cava.
Cava is Spain’s answer to the need for a luxurious beverage, and the sparklers coming out of Spain’s vineyards right now are phenomenal. Treat yourself and someone special to one of these 5 Cavas this weekend.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée ($10)
If you’re preparing a brunch party, then you can’t go wrong with Freixenet. One of the most popular Cavas in the United States, Freixenet not only looks fantastic in the famous black bottle, but also pairs amazingly with food (more on that in a second).
My vote for the best Freixenet goes to the Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée – it’s like peaches and cream in a bottle, but it’s not too sweet to be unenjoyable.
Segura Viudas Rosé Brut ($10)
I love rosé, so why not throw in some bubbles? Segura Viudas has one of the best pink Cavas on the market. The flavors in this bottle are many – red currants, strawberries, maybe even a touch of grenadine. Despite being a dry brut, the acidity is light – and I can’t deny, you will look tres chic while sipping.
Gramona III Lustros Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava ($31)
Widely considered one of the top wines produced in Spain, the Gramona brand graces the wine lists of many top restaurants across the country. It’s worth the cost upgrade for the very elegant, crisp wine that to the uninitiated, tastes almost exactly like a traditional Champagne. Gramona’s wines age very well in a cellar, if you want to pick up a couple now in preparation for just the right moment.
Llopart Imperial Brut Gran Reserva ($26)
Llopart is another well-regarded winemaker by most Spainards, and a Cava I think you’ll find delightful. It’s quite a creamy sparkler, with a pleasing bright golden color. Out of the wide variety of vintages available, I think the Imperial Brut is the most balanced for flavors, making it a great pre-meal sipper that can easily transition to a pairing with any of your dinner courses.
NV CastellRoig Cava Brut ($15)
Last, but not least, is CastellRoig’s Cava Brut, a crisp clean sparkler that has strong hints of orange and tangerine as you take that first sip. (I have to admit to having first tried this Cava solely because of the label.) Another good value wine, it is an excellent summary to our roundup: CastellRoig is sweet up front but has a tight finish that you and your guests will swoon over.
Bonus Tip: Cava Food Pairings
You’ll get plenty of advice on Cava food pairings, but I’ll weigh in with my own personal favorites.
For cheese, nothing is better with Cava than a chunk of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. The salty-sweet is such a fun combo; if you’d prefer keeping it all in Spanish territory, then by all means serve up a well-aged Manchego (such as Villajos Manchego). It’s Spain’s most famous cheese, and when aged it has similar flavors of Parmesan.
For foods, if you’re sampling one of the drier Cavas featured here, I have just the pairing for you: a chocolate chip cookie. Yes, I just gave you permission to have a cookie and drink sparkling wine. ‘Cause you deserve it.
Lead photo & Segura Viudas photo by author; all others courtesy of brand represented.