Food & Drink Magazine

Cava & Prosecco 101 at Choo Choo’s

By Foodie Cravings @foodiecravings

So with my newfound time, I’ve been spending more time learning about wine amongst other things. Usually I just drink and I know what I like or don’t like but without really knowing why. And when there’s a special occasion, I usually go straight for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Mainly because I tend to associate champagne with celebrations and because my first glass of Veuve was after greeting over 200 guests at burger boy and I’s wedding ceremony (years ago) so there’s also that emotional connection too.

Up until last month, I hadn’t really heard of cava or prosecco but Rob Crawford of Fine Wine Wholesalers and Stacey Sheppard of Untapped Fine Wines certainly made sure I did by the end of our tasting at Choo Choo’s. This is some of the cava and prosecco we tasted (how cool is Choo Choo’s wall art?)…

Cava & Prosecco 101 at Choo Choo’s
Cava & Prosecco 101 at Choo Choo’s
Cava & Prosecco 101 at Choo Choo’s
Cava & Prosecco 101 at Choo Choo’s

Rob of Fine Wine Wholesalers also later gave me a Cava 101 sess, which I thought was well worth sharing…

I’m pretty new to Cava and until our tasting. I wouldn’t have known the different between cava and champagne. How would you describe the difference to the regular champagne drinker?

Different grape = different flavor

However cava is probably the most similar sparkling wine to champagne due to its production method so represents a ‘not too scary’ move to something new. In a simple way I’d say similar mouth feel to champagne. Usually it tastes a little more “apple-y” than “limey” and often doesn’t have that really “bready, yeasty” flavor. That being said, Cava and champagne are both hugely variable so you can find expressions of both which go against this statement.

What’s your favorite cava?

Too many to list! I’m really enjoying Castillo de Perelada’s range at the moment.

In particular the Castillo de Perelada Brut Reserva NV, which represents everything, that’s good about ‘fizzy wine’ at quite literally a third of the price.

I’ve started to see cava pop up in more Perth bars of late, do you think drinking cava will soon be as popular as champagne?

It’s hard to say. Prosecco is the key growth sparkling in the world currently. Have a read of The Guardian article - if cava goes along the same kind of path then it looks likely. I think the key message to take away from the whole piece is that great sparkling wine doesn’t necessarily need to be from France. That being said, there’s still a romantic notion of using champagne for special occasions. I’d be shot by the bride if I tried to celebrate our anniversary with Prosecco or Cava!

Furthermore, the absolute top end of sparkling wine is still owned by the French. The likes of Krug, Dom Perignon, Salon and Armand de Brignac do not have well known and readily available Italian or Spanish competitors in the WA market.

Kudos to fellow Perth food blogger The Skinny for organising our tasting, Rob & Stacey for the wine education and Choo Choo’s for letting us have our own cava and prosecco tasting in their very funky small bar.

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