Saturday, May 1, 2010


And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
'I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine'.
G.K. Chesterton(1874–1936)
Wine and Water

My brother is celebrating a 44th birthday this week. It's important to me to help him celebrate this year as his last year before he's officially one half way to ninety. To mix things up I thought I would toast him with some Cava.

Cava is the name of a type of Spanish white or pink sparkling wine, produced in different areas of Catalonia, Navarra, Rioja, Andalucia, Valencia and Extremadura but mainly in the Penedes region in Catalonia, 40 km to the south west of Barcelona. Cava is a Greek term that was used to refer to a "high end" table wine or wine cellar, and comes from the Latin word "cava" which means cave in English. Caves were used in the early days of Cava production for the preservation or aging of wine. The sparkling wine of Cava was created in 1872 by Josep Raventós. The vineyards of Penedès were devastated by the phylloxera plague, and the predominantly red vines were being replaced by large numbers of vines producing white grapes. After seeing the success of the Champagne region, Raventós decided to create the dry sparkling wine that has become the reason for the region's continued success. In the past the wine was referred to as Spanish Champagne (no longer permitted under EU law), or colloquially as champaña or xampany. You can purchase Cava in varying levels of dryness.

  • Extra Brut – 0-6 grams of sugar per liter, the driest of the cava

  • Brut – 0-15 grams of sugar per liter

  • Extra Seco – 12-20 grams of sugar per liter

  • Seco – 17-35 grams of sugar per liter

  • Semi-Seco – 33-50 grams of sugar per liter

  • Dulce – More than 50 grams of sugar per liter, the sweetest of the cava
I'm celebrating this weekend with Dibon Demi-Sec (Semi Seco)
Blend of three typical varieties of the Penedes, 45% Macabeo, 25% Xarel-lo and 30% Parellada. This wine is usually available for $9.99. It's a nice way to celebrate any occasion without breaking the bank.