Tasting Wine · World Tour of Wine

Cava, The Penedes Region of Spain and Birthday Cake

I am back on my global wine trail.  After many, many weeks of battling colds at my house, I finally feel re-energized (and can smell and taste) and ready to continue my journey through Spain.

Last weekend was also my birthday – but I figured I would just make this whole month a celebration!  And what better way to celebrate than with bubbly!

birthday cake
Birthday Cake

Spain’s sparkling wine is called Cava and is mostly produced in the Penedes region of Spain.  I read about the Penedes region in my trusty Wine Bible (by Karen MacNeil) and found that this was one area of Spain I could live in.

For one, Cava is considered more of a comfort wine contrary to say, Champagne.  In fact, often Spaniards will eat pan con tomate (thick pieces of grilled bread that have been rubbed with tomato and drizzled with olive oil) with their Cava.  Score!  Not to mention my Grandmother’s favorite sandwich is just a tomato sandwich.  So the minute I read about pan con tomate, I automatically thought of her.

Second, they dip their babies’ pacifiers in Cava to keep them quiet during church – nice! Maybe I should try that on myself 🙂

I found two different bottles of Cava to try:

Cava and Cake
Cava and Cake

The first was the ever present Freixenet Cordon Negro.  The funny part is that I actually drank this at my very first stop on my world tour, not even realizing what I was drinking.  The Freixenet was light yellow, almost clear in color.  It had a slightly yeasty, citrus nose, with a citrus and ginger palette. I guess you could call it a dry sparkling wine.

The second Cava I tried was Codorniu. I was super excited to try this one since it was listed as a “Cava to know” in my Wine Bible.  This wine is apparently the first chardonnay-based Cava.  It was a nice contrast to the Freixenet; a touch fuller, fruitier with notes of honey.  It was just right, not too sweet and not too dry.  Yummmmmmy!

I really enjoyed the Codorniu, even though I tend to lean more towards the Brut and Extra Brut champagnes and sparkling wines. The fruity flavors were not overwhelming and it was a very smooth drink.

Being that it was my birthday and all, I paired my Cavas with my birthday cake.

Happy Birthday to me! And cheers to Spain – thank you for your lovely Cavas.


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