I have been on a Spanish wine kick lately. It seems that Spain has an abundance of delicious, quality wines that are quite reasonably priced, especially when you compare them to higher-end French and Italian wines. This week, let’s talk about a delicious sparkler from Pere Ventura winery. First, a little translation: “Cava” means cave or cellar, and “Tresor” means treasure. Cava is basically Spain’s version of Champagne.
The Pere Ventura wine tradition dates back to the 19th century, and they’ve been perfecting it ever since. Grapes for this Cava (Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada) come from old vines grown on chalky, high elevation soils. They are hand picked and de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel, and then fermented again in the traditional style. The result is one of the more distinctive, complex sparkling white wines I have tried.
The process for making this Cava is basically the same as the traditional French method for making champagne, including aging the wine “on the lees,” the residual particles of yeast left over from the fermentation process. This is a delicate process which smooths out the wine and results in more complex flavors than you’d expect from a sparkling white wine.
While a simpler Brut may smell like apples or grapefruit, this Cava adds baked bread and nutty aromas. Unlike inexpensive sparkling wines which often taste too sweet, or are one-note flavors, this Cava has a beautiful menage of flavors: ripe apple, lemon, almond, and toasty flavors of brioche. It’s crisp, balanced, and best of all, you can find it for less than $15 a bottle. Consider that you’d be paying around $50 for a bottle of similar quality French Champagne!
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, I give the Tresor Cava Reserva from Pere Ventura 4 corks! A delicious sparkler like this goes with almost everything, but would pair especially well with Chinese or Thai food.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at The Party Source! I host a wine dinner there every month with sommelier Steve Tartaglia, and we feature several interesting wines, paired with a delicious catered dinner from Kate’s Catering and Personal Chef Services. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!