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Cava Discovery Week at Gary's!

Fri, Sep 16, 22

It's Cava Discovery Week at Gary's!

Unlock the Excitement Behind This Exceptional Sparkler

Some say that Cava is Spain’s answer to France’s Champagne. But it’s not that simple. When delving into the delicious world of Cava, many factors – from how it’s made to how it tastes set it apart from other sparkling wines. Combined, it’s these reasons make that Cava one of the smartest buys out there for wine lovers


And the numbers back it up!


Despite the economic challenges, 2021 was a record-setting year for Cava, cementing its growing popularity on a global scale. The year saw a new level of shipments, 17.33% growth and a volume of 252 million bottles, the highest figure in the history of Cava. That’s a lot of bubbly! 


Need some Cava to stock up on? We’ve got you covered. Here at Gary’s we are celebrating Cava Discovery Week from September 16-25, 2022 showcasing all the Cavas we have to offer 


Want to learn more about this fascinating sparkling wine? We’ve got you covered there too! Below is an overview of all-things Cava from grapes to winemaking to cheese pairings and more. Cheers!

Cava's Quality Factor

Seeing “Cava” on a wine label, one can be assured that several standards of quality have been met, and it all begins with the land. The origins of Cava lie in the winemaking area of Penedés in Catalunya, particularly in the town of San Sadurní d’Anoia and its surroundings, which has earned the title of Cava capital. If fact, 95% of Cava is still made here. However, Cava can also be made in certain other towns and regions.


One of the most unique characteristics of Cava is the grapes. A blend of indigenous grapes Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada, which are well suited for the area’s Mediterranean climate, make up Cava’s traditional blend. Each grape brings unique characteristics to Cava: Macabeo for its refinement, Xarel-lo for its acidity and Parellada for its aromas and ageing potential.  


Today, more grape varieties, local and international, have been approved for Cava production. These include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Malvasia, Garnacha Tinta, Monastrell and Trepat.

But what truly makes Cava stand out from other sparkling wines is how it is made. The process follows the traditional method, or “méthode champenoise” where second fermentation occurs in the same bottle. This method, which is highly labor intensive, both guarantees and defines the high quality of Cava.  


One of the final steps of this winemaking process is disgorgement, where the sugar content, or “dosage”, is added to the wine. This determines the final profile of the Cava. In general terms, this liqueur is a mix of base wine and sugar. Here, a multitude of possible variations exists.  


This dosage determines the style or type of Cava, from the driest (without added sugar), Brut Nature, to Dulce, the sweetest. Plus, all the other styles (listed from driest to sweetest: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Seco, Seco, Semi Seco), which add versatility and wider gastronomic potential in terms of food pairing.

Cava Classifications

When reading the label on a bottle of Cava, it’s important to be familiar with the four levels of classification and what the standards for each entail: 


Cava de Guarda: a wine that must be aged on the lees for a minimum of nine months. These young wines show lots of freshness and fruity flavors. For those new to Cava, this category is a great place to start 


Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva: a step up, these wines are aged on the lees for a minimum of 18 months and show more complexity and richness on both the palate and nose  


Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva: With a minimum of 30 months ageing on the lees, these Cavas offer distinctive personality and lots of complexity 


Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado: the highest level of Cava, the grapes used to make these sparklers come from either a specific vineyard or estate and are aged for a minimum of 36 months on the lees. These are the most terroir-driven Cavas that showcase a unique sense of place 


And don’t forget about Cava Rosado (aka Rose Cava)!  In terms of quality, this pink sparkling wine is no different from other types of Cava; the distinguishing feature is its color along with added flavors of red berries.

Cheese Pairings Galore!

Who doesn’t love a perfect wine and cheese pairing? Cava is an ideal accompaniment to a plethora of cheeses, which you can also find at Gary’s. Here are some pairings to explore: 


● Manchego Cheese with Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva 


● Parmesan Cheese with Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva and Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado 


● Comté Cheese with Cava de Guarda and Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva 


● Brie Cheese with Cava de Guarda and Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva 


● Roquefort Cheese with Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado