Home > Uncategorized > Elvi Adar Cava (non-vintage)

Elvi Adar Cava (non-vintage)

Cava is Spain’s answer to Champagne. While the grapes are very different from Cava to Champagne (Champagne can only be made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and/or Chardonnay, while Cava can be made from a wide variety of indigenous grapes such as Xarel-Lo and Maccabeo), the production method is very similar.

Both start out the way any other wine would be made: take grape juice and ferment with yeast until all the sugars are converted into alcohol. From there the wine is bottled and then what’s called secondary fermentation happens. Wine makers will put in some fresh yeast into the bottle along with some more sugar and then cap the bottles. This secondary fermentation does produce some more alcohol, but more importantly, it also produces carbon dioxide gas, which makes our bubbly, well, bubbly. (There’s carbon dioxide in the original fermentation as well but since that happens in tanks or barrels, the CO2 escapes into the air. In secondary fermentation the bottle cap prevents the gas from escaping).

After the secondary fermentation, the bottles go through a process called riddling, whereby all the now-dead yeast has settled on the bottom of the bottle and is slowly moved to the top. The top of the bottle, with a huge plug of yeast, is frozen and the cap is removed. The pressure from the CO2 forces the frozen yeast plug out of the bottle and the wine is quickly filled with some syrup (called dosage) and then capped with the famed Champagne cork and cage.

Incidentally, most of the bottles that are sold today have the word “brut” on them (there are others that have “sec” or “demi-sec”  or “extra dry” on them). This refers to the amount of dosage that was added to the bottle. Brut has the least amount of dosage and demi-doux (can be hard to find outside of Russia) has the most.

So that’s Champagne, Cava and any other sparkling wine that has the phrase “methode champenoise” on the label. Now, a little bit of legalese. THE ONLY SPARKLING WINE THAT CAN LEGALLY BE CALLED CHAMPAGNE ARE WINES FROM THE CHAMPAGNE REGION OF FRANCE! There are a couple of labels that were grandfathered in as exceptions to this law but it has been internationally recognized that any bottle that says “Champagne” on the label MUST come from that region in France. It is otherwise illegal.These wines are called “sparkling wine” as a general category. Spain has Cava, Italy has Prosecco, etc.

The Cava we’re talking about today comes from the Elvi company. I was reluctant to review this wine initially. I had tasted it the first time right after it was released in the US about a year and a half ago, and it was not good. Looking back, I don’t know whether it was just a bad few bottles I tasted or maybe a bad shipment, but in any case, it was not so good at the very beginning.

I tasted this wine again about two weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised. The first things I noticed were the zippy acidity (it makes your mouth water after having some) and the refreshing mineral notes on the palate. The citrusy notes came after and had a long lingering finish.

This wine would pair well with light fish (salmon steer clear of this wine!) or with a light pasta sauce such as primavera.

Or you know what? Drink it on its own. If you are having a party and want something to get everyone started, this is a great option. Or to sit back and relax in the tub with your favorite book.


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