Cava Craze!

3e9c257a6f0f11e2ae8022000a9e2946_7The weather is finally warm, so you know what that means, right? Time to bust out the bubbly! Ok, who we kidding? Red, White, Pink, Sparkling, or in a cocktail…it’s always wine time! However, we have been living up to one of our New Year’s resolutions…learning more about Sparkling Wine.


What started with some Proseccos at the beginning of the year (read post here), led to explore the wonderful world of Spanish Sparkling wine…Cava. Thanks to Pasternak Wine Imports we’ve been sampling the Paul Cheneau line this past month. We have to say we were a little surprised at just how different each one really is. We had some favorites, a “will not drink again” and a “meh…better in a cocktail”.  Here’s the breakdown…

Cava Paul Cheneau

Appellation: D.O. Cava (Penédes)

Average price of each: $10-15

First up…

Brut Rosé
Grape Varieties: 85% Trepat, 15% Pinot Noir
Finished Alcohol: 11.5%
Winemaker’s Notes: Very bright, attractive, cherry–pink color with well-developed small and constant bubbles forming a gently rosary. Intense notes of fresh red fruits and hints of fine lees and dried berries, together with subtle, yet very attractive fragrances of fresh strawberries. On the palate this cava explodes with juicy red fruit flavors. Rich, lively and well-balanced. Lingering and pleasant after taste with elegant carbonic finish.
Our Thoughts and Pairings: We actually tried this one first expecting it to be the best. Didn’t happen. While it tasted good and the crisp and fruit were there, it was just a little stronger and drier than we would have liked. We took this to a BYOB and paired it with some fresh and delicious Mediterranean food. We ended up feeling very full, very fast. While the flavors seemed to go well together, we just think the Rosé would have worked better for us in a Mimosa or other mixed drink. A little too much bubble for us.


Grape Varieties: 45% Macabeo, 40% Xarel·lo, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Parellada
Finished Alcohol: 12%


Winemaker’s Notes: Crystal-clear greenish color with golden highlights. Fine and constant bubbles forming a great rosary on the top of the glass. Nose -Wild meadow flowers fusing into pleasant fruit aromas and subtle ageing undertones. Palate -Fresh with good acidity and balanced with very subtle floral undertones and flavors of creamy pastries. Nice carbonic finish, lingering on the palate.
Our Thoughts & Pairings: At first sip we were overwhelmed with bubbles. A little too floral for our liking though it was very clean and crisp. W e took this bottle to a BYOB and paired it with some Moroccan food. While the pairing was great, we couldn’t even finish our food from the carbonation. 😦


Demi Sec
Grape Varieties: 45% Macabeo, 40% Xarello, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Parellada
Finished Alcohol: 11.5%


Winemaker’s Notes: Straw yellow color with green hues. Fine bubbles, well chained and persistent. Very clean and elegant aroma. Ripe fruit notes and pastry hints. Palate Inviting, well structuraded and alive. Sweet on the palate, with toasty notes and light touches of ripe fruit. Wide and persistent.

Our Thoughts & Parings: We opened this baby up for Easter and have to say it was a winner! One of the favorites of the bunch. The bubbles were there, but not overwhelming. The cava had some sweetness to it that was just right and it wasn’t too dry. We mixed it in a  Mimosa and a Passion Mimosa cocktail but actually preferred this Cava all by itself. Ok, also went great with our Easter tray of desserts. 😉


Reserva Brut Blanc de Blancs
Grape Varieties: 45% Macabeo, 40% Xarello and 15% Parellada
Finished Alcohol: 12.0%
photo 3
Winemaker’s Notes: Straw-colored with greenish tints, and with a steady effervescence and a formation of small bubbles which generate a gentle crown.Subtle and delicate, floral, with light toasty notes and recall of dry fruits. Touch of dried herbs. It is appetizing, fruity, well structured, rich and mature in the mouth. A slightly toasted background flavor with pleasant traces of lees. Altogether elegant. Lingering and strong.
photo 4 (1)
Our Thoughts & Pairings: This brut cava was also on the strong side with a lot going on in terms of taste. Not bad by itself, but once we added some pomegranate juice and berries it made for a delicious sparkling cocktail.  We paired this with some olives, cheeses and grilled veggies. Amazing. Perfect for a hot summer day celebration.          
photo 4

Fifth and Final…

Lady of Spain Brut
Grape Varieties: 45% Macabeo, 40% Xarello and 15% Parellada
Finished Alcohol: 12.0%


Winemaker’s Notes: Pale color, translucent, with greenish tints, and with a steady effervescence and a formation of small bubbles which generate a gentle crown. Fine, delicate and very clean, with lightly toasted pastry notes and syrupy fruits. Fresh and fruity, well structured, crispy, balanced carbonic and good persistence. Light recall to pastry and fresh fruits. Altogether elegant and lively. Perfect harmony alcohol/acidity. Long after taste.

Our Thoughts & Pairings: This is the Cava we were probably most excited about…yes, because of the pretty bottle. 😉 However, we wouldn’t call it delicate. The Lady of Spain was another strong cava. Clean and crisp, bubbly. By adding some raspberries and orange juice, we got a really great Mimosa. We definitely recommend it. We also paired it with a cheese, nut, veggie and fruit platter.



photo 5

***Final Thoughts: We’d like to thank Pasternak Wine again for allowing us the opportunity to sample and review these sparkling wines. While we definitely enjoyed the Cavas and highly recommend the Paul Cheneau line, so far we have to say we’ll stick with Prosecco. Check out the Valdo Superiore Oro Puro Prosecco, also from Pasternak.  Dare we move on to Champagne? 😉

PicsArt_1362260199057The End.

2 comments on “Cava Craze!

  1. Great post! I think I am going to have to try Demi Sec…sounds really fresh (couldn’t think of a cool, descriptive word so I went with fresh lol).

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