Skip to main content

Spanish Sparkling Wines…the road to Cava

Many of us call any wine with bubbles champagne. Indeed ,it is just as we call cling film Saran Wrap and tissues Kleenex.  In the world of wine, only wines produced in the Champagne region of France and following the rules of méthode champenoise may be called “Champagne.”


Fort Lauderdale Personal Chef - Spanish Sparkling Wines…the road to CavaIn Spain, there is Cava.  Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine made using the traditional méthode champenoise. The process and quality of Cava is defined by the  Vino Espumoso de Calidad Producido en una Región Determinada (VECPRD). First known “Champaña,” it originated in the Catalonia region at the Codorníu Winery in the late 19th century. The term “Cava” was adopted in 1970 in reference to the underground cellars or “Cava” in which the wines ferment and age in the bottle. The phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century, which caused the destruction and uprooting of vineyards planted with red grape varieties, kick started the cava industry. The success of Codorníu encouraged vineyard owners to replant with white grape varieties such as Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello to use for sparkling wine production. These grapes are still the primary grapes of Cava today. You will also find some which use the traditional Champagne grapes of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

So how do the bubbles get there? The grapes are harvested and a white wine is produced. Several types of wine may be blended. Three grape varieties native to Spain are Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada.

Tirajo is the second step - The bottle is filled with the blended wine, then a syrupy mixture of yeast and sugars is added, called licor de tirajo. The yeast causes a  second fermentation to occur in the bottle. The bottled wine is then transferred to the cellar with a temporary stopper.


During the secondary fermentation, yeasts convert the sugar to carbon dioxide (which creates the bubbles). This second fermentation and bottle aging lasts for nine months at a temperature between 55 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit/ 13 to 15 Celsius.


During the second fermentation, the bottles are turned occasionally. This process is called remuage. In many wineries this is still done by hand. The turning of the bottles causes the residue to collect in the neck of the wine bottle. Only the neck of the bottle is frozen, which forces the sediment out. The bottle is re-corked immediately.


In 1991, the European Union specifications were implemented to make sure that there was a consistent quality standard for Cava. A star with four-points is printed on the base of the cork of any true cava.  


Like Champagne, the sugar content varies from sweeter to drier. They are labeled with six official names as follows:



  • Extra Brut – 0-6 grams of sugar per liter, the driest 
  • Brut – 0-15 grams of sugar per liter
  • Extra Seco – 12-20 grams of sugar per liter
  • Seco – 17-35 grams of sugar per liter
  • Semi-Seco – 33-50 grams of sugar per liter
  • Dulce – More than 50 grams of sugar per liter, the sweetest
Cava should be served at temperatures between 46°F and 48°F to best enhance the flavor and bubbles.

As always, experiment and drink responsibly.  A su salud.

Popular posts from this blog

The Insulin Resistance Diet Protocol

NORMAN SCHMIDT DIABETES Insulin is a major issue for many individuals. While insulin is a natural part of a healthy system, when the body isn’t working perfectly then insulin can become a problem that results in pre-diabetes, diabetes, and weight loss, among many other issues. The rate of diabetes could easily become an epidemic that overwhelms the medical industry, especially as some numbers predict the rate of cases doubling from 190 million to 380 million over the next two and a half decades [1]. The good news is that in most cases insulin production in the body, and the body’s ability to properly handle it, is most often a dietary issue. This means that a proper eating plan that is carefully followed can be enough for most people to overcome their insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a warning flag for diabetes and can make weight loss extremely difficult even for individuals who shouldn’t have a problem dropping pounds. This is where  the Insulin Resistance Die

16 Best Benefits Of Corn (Bhutta) For Skin, Hair And Health

Corn, also known as maize or our good old ( Bhutta/Makkai/Challi ) in Hindi, ‘ Mokka Jonnalu ‘ in Telugu, ‘ Makkacholam ‘ in Tamil, ‘ Cholam ‘ in Malayalam, ‘ Musukina Jol a’ in Kannada, ‘ Makkai ‘ in Gujarati, ‘ Makai ‘ in Marathi and Punjabi and ‘ Butta ‘ in Bengali. Corn is a large grain plant which is said to have originated in Mexico and Central America. Though viewed as a vegetable, it is actually a food grain. The leafy stalk of the plant produces ears, which contain the grains known as kernels. For every kernel on the cob, there is a strand of silk. The white and yellow kernels are most popular, but today, corn is available in red, brown, blue and purple also. The white and yellow hybrids are known as butter and sugar corn which contain both kinds of kernels. This cereal is known for its pleasant taste and its versatility. Baby corn is available in cans or jars in the supermarkets and is used in Asian cooking. This grain is generally available in summer and can be

Braised Lettuce (Laitues Braises): A Take On Julia Child’s Recipe

You can use almost any lettuce, such as chicory, or frisee, or Boston Bib if you are busing large heads, cut them in half. We made these pescartarian because of the shrimp stock, but vegan is easy with vegetable stock, or if serving with beef, a  beef stock and bacon. Braised lettuce is a delicious garnish for poultry, white meats such as veal or pork, or steamed white fish. It can be the main accompanied by a warm sweet potato salad. Serves 4 4 heads Romaine lettuce hearts  4 thick slices of bacon (if making not vegetarian or vegan), cut into lardon strips 1 small onion , diced 2 carrots, diced 1 tablespoon/15g plus 1/2 tablespoon/7 butter divided  1 teaspoon/5ml olive oil 1/2 cup/125ml shrimp or seafood stock (see notes above) 1/2 cup/125ml cup white wine or dry white vermouth bouquet garni: 1 parsley branch, 1 branch of thyme,1  bay leaf tied to a cheesecloth ½ tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon parsley Trim stems of lettuce and remove wilted leave