What does sparkling wine taste like? In this video WineScribble tells us all about Cava, Prosecco and Champagne as she shops for a Valentine’s Day gift for a friend. Cosmea Gardens in Larnaca come to the rescue. Flowers, chocolates and sparkling wine all in the same location. Win-Win, as Annabelle would say! Enjoy the video with facts about sparkling wine.
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It’s Valentine’s Day today, tasters, and my friends Yiannis and Eleni are celebrating their one-year anniversary. Yes, he asked her out on Valentine’s Day last year. How cute is he?
He’s currently stuck in a meeting and he’s panicking because he hasn’t got to the shops yet. He keeps sending me frantic text messages. I know what it’s like to have a crazy week at work derail your plans. So, I’m going to step in and help.
Sparkling wine for Valentine’s Day
You can try to be original on Valentine’s Day but why? Who doesn’t love chocolate, flowers and bubbly wine? And I know that this place can tick all three boxes with a bit of luck.
Right, tasters! We’re on a Valentine’s Day rescue mission.
Three types of sparkling wine
When it comes to bubbly wine, three types dominate the international market: cava, prosecco and champagne. But what are the differences between cava, prosecco and champagne?
Well they’re all sparkling wines but they are different in origin and character. For starters cava is Spanish, prosecco is Italian and champagne is French.
But, that’s not all there is to it. In fact these three types of sparkling wine differ significantly in how they’re made and what they taste like.
Occasions for cava, prosecco and champagne
As a result, they are far from interchangeable. this is why cava, prosecco and champagne are best served on different occasions and pair best with different dishes.
Different grapes for cava, prosecco and champagne
One important difference between all these sparklers are the grapes. Champagne is made primarily with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Cava wines can also be made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but very often also include Spanish grapes such as Xarello and Parrellada. Prosecco on the other hand is made using an Italian grape variety known as Glera.
Cava, prosecco and champagne production methods
Another important difference is the production method. In other words the way the bubbles are created makes a huge difference to the final outcome in terms of mouth feel and ageing potential and taste.
Cava and champagne are both made using the traditional method. This method creates the most dense bubbles. The traditional method involves mixing the finished wine with some active yeast and some sugar. This results in a second fermentation of the wine which takes place inside the bottle. The carbon dioxide created has nowhere to go so the bubbles make the wine frothy or sparkling. And boy, do they build up pressure, did you know that the cork of a sparking wine made using the traditional method can fly off at the speed of about 55 miles per hour. Point that bottle away from your face the goldfish bowl and your grandmother’s Riedel crystal glasses.
Prosecco on the other hand is made using the Charmat method. This method involves a large volume of wine undergoing the second fermentation in a large tank rather than a bottle. Once fizzy the sparkling wine is then bottled under pressure.
Because the grapes used to make champagne and cava are more acidic and because the traditional method creates more carbon dioxide, which has preservative qualities, cava and champagne can age in the bottle for a few years. In contrast prosecco is designed to be enjoyed young.
Sparkling wine taste
So how do cava, prosecco and champagne taste different? And does this affect when to serve them?
Obviously if you have a favourite sparkling wine you should just enjoy that at every opportunity. And on a day like today definitely share your favourite bubbles with your favourite person.
However if you’re in an exploratory mood it’s useful to bear in mind the following.
You can expect cava to display citrus aromas, marked minerality, and sharp acidity. Cavas aged on the lees may also display aromas of baked apple and a distinct nuttiness. Yes this character makes cava ideal for a range of dishes and flavours. So if you’re looking for a sparkling wine that will work well with a meze or a tapas style menu, or even a picnic, cava will probably work best.
Champagne on the other hand shares many similarities with cava but slightly sweeter fruit aromas tend to dominate such as apple and pear. It often has a creamy buttery finish and a very unmistakable toasty, yeasty, nutty aftertaste. This makes champagne easier to pair with milder tasting food, such as shrimp, egg dishes, and desserts, as well as creamy cheese’s like Brie.
Prosecco is the lightest and the most easygoing of the three. It tastes of pears and flowers and it’s almost always made with a touch of sweetness. You can serve this to a large crowd at a drinks party without worrying too much about pairing it with food and without breaking the bank. Party nibbles such as a creamy quiche or prosciutto wrapped melon work really well. Aromatic sweet nibbles such as macaroons and a slice of panettone are dream pairs too.
Personally, I’m getting my friends this prosecco for tonight. This is almost sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Just perfect to set the mood for a romantic evening. It tastes of spring flowers, citrus, apple and pear, and it has an elegant mousse. And I will have a tray of Italian appetizers delivered to Yiannis house as a surprise. Let’s reassure him shall we? I’ve got you covered.
Do you deliver? Yeah, we do deliver, all over Cyprus. Win-win Guys, if you’re in Cyprus call Cosmia Gardens, and they’ll take the stress out of anniversaries and birthdays for you I’ll leave the details in the description below.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, Tasters! if you haven’t already, leave me a thumbs up, subscribe, comment, and I’ll see you on the next video.
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