10 foods you wouldn’t expect to pair with Cava
Advertising feature: Let’s face it, we’re creatures of habit. If it’s sparkling wine we think party time - and party nibbles. But the beauty of Cava is that you can partner it with almost any kind of meal from classic Spanish tapas to …. well, look below for some dishes you probably wouldn’t have thought of.
Cava inesperado - unexpected Cava!
Maybe your automatic go-to is coffee but you really should know how well a chilled glass of Cava goes with a crisp, buttery croissant, or any breakfast pastries come to that. Sound like the perfect weekend treat? It is!
Not traditional, I grant you, but if you’re enjoying sushi with a glass of wine rather than a cup of green tea, make that wine a light, creamy Cava
Tuna tataki - or other seared tuna
Still in Japanese mode - you know how seared tuna goes with still rosé? Well it’s great with a sparkling Cava rosado too. Try it with tuna tataki.
Pretty well anything deep-fried is good with sparkling wine so why not fried chicken - even a KFC! Of course there are other fancier versions these days such as Korean fried chicken but a bit of spice never did Cava any harm.
Talking of spicy chicken why not crack open a bottle with a katsu curry which as I’m sure you know (‘cos it’s EVERYWHERE) is fried chicken - or veggies - in a curry sauce. (You can find the hugely popular Wagamama version here) The sauce is actually quite mild and, as we’ve established, fried chicken is great with Cava. Bring it on!
Egg and chips (preferably with truffles!)
I don’t want to sound like I’m stuck in a deep-fried groove here but I HAVE to mention this as it’s one of the best dishes I’ve had with Cava - and a gran reserva at that. It’s a dish I had at Boca Grande in Barcelona called huevos rotos (broken eggs) where the eggs are basically pulled apart over the chips and topped, in this case, with black truffles. Sound good to you? Trust me, it was!
A local dish from the Penedes region I would definitely have thought was FAR too heavy and rich for a sparkling wine but which worked magnificently with an oak-aged Cava from the top Cava de Paraje Calificado classification. The secret I think was the prunes in the casserole but I suspect it would work with figs, dates or chestnuts too. Just gorgeous.
Here's a similar recipe with pears.
Christmas (or Thanksgiving) turkey
Now that I’ve emboldened you how about drinking a rich, toasty gran reserva Cava or Cava de Paraje Cava with your Christmas - or Thanksgiving - turkey. OK, there are family members who are going to insist on a red but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit, does it? I bet they’ll be eyeing your glass enviously!
Vacherin Mont d’Or (or Torta del Casar)
If you’re a fan of the gorgeous gooey French cheese Vacherin you may have struggled to find a wine to go with it but Cava actually works surprisingly well, cutting through the richness. As it would with Spain’s own king of gooey cheeses, Torta del Casar.
White chocolate (with strawberry or raspberry)
Last but not least here’s another great match for rosé or rosado cava. White chocolate with crunchy little bits of raspberry or strawberry in it which the Cava will pick up on and enhance. You can buy it from chocolatiers like Hotel Chocolat or make your own.
Coming mainly from the south of Spain the D.O. Cava is much warmer than that of champagne which means there’s a ripeness and richness in the wines that can cope with big flavours. Added to that the depth and complexity that comes with bottle ageing (all wines are a cava de guarda and have a minimum of nine months ageing) and you can even pair it with spicy meats and marinades.
Which bottle you choose depends on what you're eating. Younger, more inexpensive cavas will be better with lighter foods like simply cooked fish and vegetables , reservas which have to be aged for 18 months can handle more robust flavours while a gran reserva which is aged for at least 30 months or a top end cava de paraje (minimum 36 months ageing) would be a treat with a whole fish or a lobster. If you see a vintage date on the label that's an indication of a more complex style.
This is an advertising feature in association with D.O. Cava
Top photo © By Portgas D. Add, Tuna tataki by Hans Geel, Roast turkey by Bochkarev Photography all at shutterstock.com
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