Cava Masterclass with Copa de Cava

Considering how much I love food, everyone (including me) is often amazed at my lack of appreciation, and actually even dislike, of wine. I like to think my palate simply hasn’t adjusted to the nuances of wine (yet), but has realised it loves cava. It all started when I lived in Barcelona and ventured outside the city for the ‘dia de cava’ (day of cava) with my Spanish flatmates, when we spent the entire day drinking the bubbly spirit and getting rather merry. Since then, I’ve nursed a fondness for this lightly coloured version of wine, and far prefer it to any other alcoholic beverage.

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After sampling Copa de Cava’s wares at Drink Feast in Shoreditch last year, I was invited to attend one of their Cava masterclasses this year – a luxurious experience that I enjoyed to the utmost. Our host Ashika (of London Love Wine) was supremely knowledgeable, and she made us all rather jealous of her job, which involves travelling around Spain, sampling thousands of cavas! We were also provided with some tasty tapas nibbles, including delicately fried calamari with creamy aioli.

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I would highly encourage you to attend one of Copa de Cava’s masterclasses. Their venue in Blackfriars was beautiful, as it is entirely furnished and decorated with articles directly imported from Spain! I learned a lot about how cava is produced and drunk, drank a lot of it in the process, and just had a solidly fun evening! I won’t bore you with the details but did you know that…

  • … there are three ways to make sparkling wine? The champagne or traditional method is the most complex (and is the only way that cava is made), followed by the tank method and finally what is called ‘sodastream’ – a method that was somewhat frowned upon by Ashika!
  • … buying a good cava will give you far better value for money than a bad champagne, despite setting you back the same amount?
  • … Rose wine is NOT a mixture of red and white wine, but that the colour is actually bled from red grapes? Having said that, rose champagne is the only instance where one is allowed to mix red and white wines (although it can also be made with a mix of the two grape colours)
  • … my palate is not as refined as I like to think, since I actually preferred the sodastream methods and love sweetness in bubbles?

The cavas we tasted were the following:

  • Codorníu Ecológica
  • Vilarnau Semi-Seco
  • Anna de Codorníu Brut (my favourite!)
  • Anna de Codorníu Rosé Brut
  • Codorníu Reina Maria Cristina Reserva Blanc de Noirs 2010 (made of 100% Pinot noir grapes)
  • Gramona Argent Gran Reserva 2008

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There was a quiz at the end of the evening and all the attendees got fiercely competitive. Unfortunately, I just missed out on the prize (2nd place by 2 points!), but everyone also received a goodie bag and so I left feeling very satisfied.

Find out more about Copa de Cava or sign up to one of their masterclasses here.

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