You may think of Cava is merely an aperitif, to be had before a meal or when making a toast. Perhaps it will surprise you to learn that Cava is in fact a highly versatile wine when it comes to food pairing. Cava can be light and refreshing, all the way up to rich and full-bodied. In any event, its strong acidity and tingling effervescence will compliment a whole range of different dishes. Here, we’ll discuss a few of the best food pairing ideas for Cava that you can try!
1. Cava with mixed charcuterie
Mixed plates of cured and smoked meats are incredibly popular in Spain, as well as in France, Italy and elsewhere throughout Europe. They are perfect for informal parties, ideal for friends coming together to share a range of different flavours and textures: the spiced, smoky characteristics of some meats and the delicacy of others. Combine this with a bone-dry Cava, such as Bertha Brut Nature Reserva, and allow the fresh acidity and yeasty bready notes provide a palate-cleansing and mouthwatering effect in between bites!
2. Cava with fish and other seafood
Fish and white wine is a tried and tested pairing, and for good reason. To pair a white sparkling wine such as a Cava with fish is not exactly reinventing the wheel, but it’s surprisingly satisfying! Particularly oily or greasy fish work great with really crisp Cava as the clean bubbles will cut right through the oily layer and leave you with a world of flavour. Try sardines or mackerel with something like the Agusti Torello Mata Brut Reserva 2012 to see for yourself. Remember also that Cava can provide a viable – and affordable – alternative to Champagne, so for your next plate of oysters or mussels, why not sub in a premium Cava such as Roger Goulart Gran Cuvée.
3. Cava with cheese
Cheese and wine seem to just go together, and it can be a shame to have one without the other. It seems that most of us will opt for a red wine with cheese, or perhaps a Port or – if we’re really feeling adventurous – a sweet Sauternes. These are all perfectly valid choices, but we urge you to serve a Cava with your next cheese plate and see for yourself just how versatile it can be. Older Cavas that have had substantial ageing on lees can display a level of complexity usually associated with Champagne, showing notes of yeast, toasted bread, brioche, nuts and more. All of this means that an aged Cava, such as Freixenet Cuvée D.S. 2007 has the requisite complexity and depth of character to stand up to older and more substantial cheeses that have undergone considerable ageing themselves, such as an aged cheddar, manchego or gruyere.
Don’t forget that Cava can also come in rosé styles. A fresh pink Cava, such as Castillo Perelada Brut Rosé, will pair very well with creamier and softer cheeses. The young zippy fruit flavours are a great match for goat’s cheeses, mozzarellas and burratas!
Learn about pairing between Cava and nougat.