Cava Food Pairings
19th July 2022
Like many other sparkling wines, Cava is great for a variety of food pairings. The famous fizz from Spain has somewhat fallen away in popularity within the UK sparkling wine market in recent years especially thanks to the emergence of Prosecco (DOC especially) and Champagne’s consistent popularity.
What is Cava? A sparkling wine (white or rosé) produced in the traditional method grown within the Denominación de Origen (DO) status from Spain. Cava is made mostly from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo grape varieties. Each year approximately 250 million bottles are produced.
What types of Cava are there? You will be able to enjoy Cava holding different levels of sweetness:
- Brut Nature: 0-3 grams of residual sugar per litre (g/l).
- Extra Brut: 3-6 g/l.
- Brut: 6-12 g/l.
- Extra-Seco: 12-17 g/l.
- Seco: 17-32 g/l.
- Semi-Seco: g/l.
- Dulce: 50+ g/l.
You can enjoy Cava as standard white or also the rosé version!
What are the best foods to pair with Cava? The great thing about Cava is its versatility in what foods it can pair with. From dry foods to creamy, fried foods to salads! Below is a list of foods that you can pair with different Cava (ideally Brut / Extra Brut) styles.
Paella: Well why not indeed, let’s match up two famous gems of Spain and how these two pair together wonderfully! The great savoury, meaty flavours from paella along with the oily palate texture allows the Cava to come into its element by cleansing and highlighting flavours. The Cava will brush aside any greasy / oily food textures on the palate and leave the meaty / savoury flavours with spikes of fruits from the wine towards the close.
Cheese: Like many sparkling wines, cheese is always calling. Younger Cava will go nicely with lighter, milky cheese whereas for aged and drier cheese it is better to pair alongside some older vintage labels.
“Try Cava with Manchego, the most famous cheese from Spain which is produced in the La Mancha region with milk from the Manchega sheep.”
Salads: With lighter dishes such as salad we can still enjoy pairings with Cava. Full vegetarian options including added egg / avocado along with Grozette Cheese Sprinkles Classic sprinkled on top.
Seafood: Another great pairing for traditional method sparkling wines is fish dishes from cooked to raw. Ideally, look at fried fish and those with peppery / spiced sauces along with white fish stews.
“During one of my visits to the region of Catalonia I remember an afternoon of enjoying a few bottles of vintage Cava paired with pan fried king prawns and spicy grilled salmon.”
Dessert: Cava copes well with certain sweeter dishes and especially with fresh fruits and cream.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.