Cava, the Spanish Champagne Sparkling wine

March 31, 2011


A toast, in Spain, is practically always drunk with cava, the Spanish sparkling wine made by the champagne method. This is especially true when the New Year is brought in with the twelve grapes swallowed in time to the chimes of the clock in the town square or in the Puerta del Sol,  Madrid.


Cava, made by the Champagne method, is a very acceptable alternative to French champagne and, it should be said, much better value for money. Almost all cava is produced in Catalonia, especially the Penedés region, although eight different provinces are included in the production area.


Literary references show that wine with a certain amount of effervescence has been made in Catalonia since at least the fourteenth century. But it was not until the 1850s that serious attempts began to produce a wine with the same characteristics as champagne and production did not begin until the 1870s. Since then, cava has become tremendously popular and vast amounts, over two hundred million bottles, are now made for both domestic consumption and export. The best-known makes, Codorniu and Freixenet, have been involved in a full-scale trade war for years.


Cava is not the only sparkling wine made in Spain and sometimes consumers are fooled into accepting something inferior. You can distinguish cava by the cork, which should be marked with a four-pointed star.


Like champagne, cava comes in different degrees of sweetness. The following are the categories according to sugar content, although the characteristics of different wines may mean one manufacturer’s seco tastes as sweet as another’s semi-seco:


Brut Nature – (no added sugar) up to 3 g per litre


Extra Brut – up to 6 g per litre


Brut – up to 15 g per litre


Extra seco – between 12 and 20 g per litre


Seco – between 17 and 35 g per litre


Semi-seco – between 33 and 50 g per litre


Dulce – more than 50 g per litre


You will also see terms like Brut de Brut (very dry), Brut Gran Reserva Vintage… It is often thought that brut cava is somehow superior to the others, which is not true, although it may be more versatile. Because of the custom of saving the cava for the toast at weddings and other social occasions, it is also thought that cava is only suitable for the end of the meal, which is emphatically not the case. Cava, according to the wine critic Carlos Delgado, is “one of the few wines which can be drunk throughout a meal, simply by moving from brut to dulce, as long as there is no strong-flavoured meat dish.” Delgado, somewhat snobbishly, also considers that “cava is always preferable towards the beginning of the meal,” an elitist opinion perhaps related with the association between cava and (expensive) seafood.


Cava is usually made by the coupage method, whereby must (grape juice) from different varieties of grape is subjected to the first fermentation, then mixed until the blend is consistent with the wine to be produced. The advantage of this is that a particular brand of cava will taste the same every year. It also means that most cava does not carry a year on the bottle, as must from different years is often used.  Some are always made using the same grape variety, in which case the year will be indicated on the bottle: these are superior and evidently more expensive cavas. After the coupage, the wine is put into bottles and yeast and sugar added. It is then left for the second fermentation and aging. This lasts a minimum of nine months and may be up to three or four years, for a very special cava. A process called “riddling and disgorging” is then carried out. The bottles are stored nearly upside down so that the sediment settles on the corks and riddled, turned, for a period of thirty days. “Disgorging” is when the corks are removed, together with the sediment (usually with the help of a freezing process). Expedición, “passing liquor,” a blend of the same wine as that in the bottle and others, together with the required amount of sugar, is then added in order to replace the lost wine and make the final flavour. Evidently, this process needs to be carried out very quickly. New corks are then put in and fastened on with the wire clasp before the bottles are labelled.


Cava is sold ready for drinking and the “riddling and disgorging” process means that the fermentation process is halted. Cava does not improve with being kept, indeed it deteriorates with age: buy it, store upright in a cool, not cold, place, for as little time as possible, and drink it, preferably in the same week. Remember that the sweeter the cava, the cooler it needs to be served: a brut nature can be served practically at room temperature, but a semi-seco should be well chilled.



Wine lover’s choice – Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar – for the most impressive and practical wine list in the Philippines, over 2700 selections, enough to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseurs.  Wine lovers and gourmand foodies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia dine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar when they visit Philippines and bring home some rare vintage wines too.


An excellent wine list is not just about 1st growth and cult Cabernet but a seemingly unending selection of affordable aged vintage wines that are not available anywhere else, not even in the best wine shops around town.  Yats Restaurant has just that.


Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine.  Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport


Clark Philippines lists Top Three Restaurants in the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City areas of Philippines Pampanga province.  Clark Freeport is a bustling new cosmopolitan city complete with its own Clark International Airport.

Topping the list is the famous fine-dining Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar located inside Mimosa Leisure Estate of Philippines Clark Freeport.



This restaurant in Pampanga Philippines is highly recommended by food critics and frequent diners in Manila as a place to wine and dine in Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone.  Although it is a famous fine dining restaurant with an award winning 3000-line restaurant wine list, Yats Restaurant is also a popular restaurant for family with children.  Aside from French Mediterranean haute cuisine, this restaurant also serves healthy food and the best vegetarian cuisines in the Philippines.



For comments, inquiries and reservations click on <a href=””>Click here for inquiry and reservations</a>


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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines

How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines?  Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa.  After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left.  Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.



Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar

Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa Leisure Estate,

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