There is nothing more perfect and refreshing than popping open that soothing, sparkling goodness known as Cava. Whether at the beach, after work in NYC or following a great hike with my wife, sipping Cava is kick back relaxation in a glass. If you aren’t familiar with it, then yes, you are missing out on something good.
To clarify, Cava is the Spanish cousin to France’s Champagne and Italy’s Prosecco. It is made in the champenoise traditional method closer to the way Champagne is made. Cava comes in two styles white and rosé. It’s taste ranges from dry to tangy to sweet in more or less this order: brut nature, brut reserve, seco, semiseco, dulce. It’s an anytime libation that makes any occasion seem, well…better! Cava’s acidity and bubbles complement almost every dish. Enjoying a spicy chicken curry? A good bottle of Cava is your go to. Also Cava has less residual sugars and tends to be less sweet thereby having less calories than most other wines. What’s not to love?
I admit I was practically weaned on Cava, thanks to my dad who kept an enviable stock at our house. I’m from Spain and that’s what we drink. But here in the states it’s a different story and Cavas still have to make their mark.
Champagne, and now more than ever Prosecco, have strong brand recognition. In fact, Prosecco has skyrocketed to become the fastest growing sparkling varietal in the US, according to the industry pub Beverage Dynamics. Prosecco sales volume was up 34.3% last year. This helped lift the entire sparkling wine category to 11.7% growth. Even though Prosecco has the upper hand, there is still a lot of opportunity for Cava to enchant new consumers.
According to a report by Wine Folly, Cava Reserva and Cava Gran Reserva wines have grown by over 50% since 2014. But proportionately in the market they still have quite some ground to catch up. The value and affordability of a great Cava compared to a Champagne puts Cava in a great space to be tried by new consumers, but it’s up to Cava to ramp up awareness and take advantage of this sparkling wine category that is primed and ready to go. Cava is a lesser known gem in the wine industry that deserves more people to discover it. Only time will tell.