The famous sparkling wine from Spain just keeps getting better with bottle fermentation and Korean food!
The wine featured in this post was provided as a media sample for my review. All opinions are my own.
The Champagne of Spain
What separates cava apart from other sparkling wines is that it made in the methode champenoise where second fermentation takes place in the bottle.
The result is a sparkling wine with a fine bead similar to Champagne from France but made with native Spanish grapes such as Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada.
This is far more cumbersome and time consuming that the charmat method where the bubbles are trapped in tanks prior to bottling.
I had the fortunate opportunity to sample a bottle of Macasero Brut Nature Cava Reserva, and it introduced me to a bottle of Cava I had not seen before.
In order to be designated as a Reserva by the DO Board, the wine must be aged for a minimum of 18 months.
In addition, the amount of sugar is noted in 7 levels from brut nature (0-3g/l), extra brut (0-6 g/l), brut (max 12 g/l), extra seco (12-17 g/l), seco (32-50 g/l), semi-secco (32-50 g/l), and dulce (+50 g/l).
Macasero Brut Nature Cava Reserva
The Macasero family has been tending to vines since 1946. For this cava, the grapes are pressed without destemming and is aged for a minimum of 2 years. The grapes are hand harvested and brought to pressing in small boxes to protect their quality.
Visual: soft hay, aged gold, lots of luscious foam, lively fine bubbles
Aroma: wildflower honey, freesias, vanilla custard, guava
Taste: golden baked apples, light, refreshing, could taste the age since it wasn't so pungent or overly acidic. Could probably drink the whole bottle by myself
Pairing: Since Cava pairs with almost everything, I decided to try it with a home cooked Korean meal.
Pescatarian Korean Menu @ Home
Salted Seaweed Crisps
Sesame Bean Sprouts with Toasted Sesame Seeds
Pickled Armenian Cucumbers
Gluten Free Garlic Chive Pancakes with Soy-Coconut Vinegar Dipping Sauce
Giant Oyster and Kimchi Soft Tofu Casserole
Gaba Brown Rice
Honeyed Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Figs
This Cava showed her many faces and ability to accentuate flavors of the foods next to her.
Phenomenal with the seaweed crisps; brought out lime, citrus, and apple pie flavors.
The sesame sprouts highlighted some latent bitterness.
The pickled cucumbers brought out watermelon notes.
The garlic chive pancakes and soy dipping sauce made the Cava more pronounced, with a ripeness that lingered on the tongue.
The kimchi stew was probably too strong for the aged wine, but the giant oysters in them were so good with the sparkly.
All around, I have to say this wine made the menu so much more enjoyable.
The Last Drop
I look forward to trying more elevated, unusual cavas, off the beaten path. I have two more bottle to sample for Cava week for the annual Cava week in October.
Even though these are bottle aged and high quality, their price still remains affordable (under $25), and I look forward to always having a bottle on hand.