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Pop the Cava and Your Meal Will Sparkle

by Team Fathom
All photos courtesy of D.O. CAVA.

Produced in partnership with D.O. Cava.

Could there be a better year to drink sparkling wine? A popping cork, the universal signal of celebration, feels like the most appropriate soundtrack for a summer of gathering together again — at long last.

And which sparkling should it be? Cava, which has a production method like champagne but a vibe that’s more lighthearted and less pretentious, is one of the most versatile drinks in the world. Its headline grapes — Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Parellada — and its growing regions — spanning four main zones (and various sub-zones) throughout Spain — make it wholly unique.

But it’s the aromatic particles and affordable price tags that make it possible to deploy Cava as a kitchen staple for experimentation. With varying flavors, textures, richness, and depth, you may surprise and delight yourself by pairing an effervescent glass (or two) with homemade Japanese meals, festive brunching items, and even Mexican and Peruvian foods.

Get to know these bubbly beverages and you can make the most of your next meal, your next toast, and your next day off.

Cava De Guarda

Personality Traits: Young, fresh, and eager to please, this traditional Cava (aged 9+ months) makes magic with aromatic herbs and seafood. Loves to be served very cold.

Friends With: Ginger, soy, cilantro, mint.

Menu Ideas: For something simple and celebratory, dab fresh oysters with a mignonette made with Cava, shallots, vinegar, and freshly ground pepper. If you’re feeling more ambitious, assemble a poke bowl, marinate Peruvian ceviche, or make a Japanese meal with gyoza, nori rolls, and ponzu sauce.

Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva

Personality Traits: Deep, sweet, and spicy, this Cava (aged 18+ months) is ready for a commitment — to more substantial meat and seafood dishes. It’s also a fab base for cocktails.

Friends With: Popcorn, almonds, fat.

Menu Ideas: Lightly batter shrimp tempura, source fresh ingredients for tacos al pastor, and whip up New England-style crab cakes. Serve this Cava at brunch with sophisticated egg-and-salmon sandwiches.

Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva

Personality Traits: Ultimately complex, this Cava (aged 30+ months) loves to mingle. It’s the last one to leave the party.

Friends With: Miso, mushroom, dark chocolate, coffee, salt.

Menu Ideas: Dress up a charcuterie board (hello, Spanish ham), carve a roasted turkey, saute chicken fajitas, or test your culinary skills by making squid ink bao in your kitchen. Salty, crunchy plantain chips, or Peruvian chifles, are great hot or cold with a glass of bubbles.

Cava de Guarda Superior Paraje Calificado

Personality Traits: Silky and high-caliber, thanks to its distinguished roots. This Cava (aged 36+ months) is ready to be savored slowly.

Friends With: Truffles, ripe fruit, roasted sesame, blue cheese.

Menu Ideas: Stuffed topside of beef, throwback Lobster Newberg, saucy chicken mole poblano.

Cava Rosado

Personality Traits: This rose-hued Cava is all about persistent bubbles. Last seen: christening a boat.

Friends With: Forest fruits, days off from work.

Menu Ideas: Serve before, after, or between meals with light salty snacks or bitter desserts.

Bottles to Try: Anna de Codorniu Brut Rosé, Agustí Torelló Mata Cava Rosat Trepat Brut Reserva, Heretat Mastinell Brut Rosé, and Gran Barón Rosé.

Where to Find Cava

Your favorite wine shop should carry a good range (and if they don’t, ask them to!), and you can also find a good selection online at wine.comGary's Wine, and Stirling Fine Wines

Learn more about Cava’s origins and production methods, wineries to visit, and recipes to make at cava.wine.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.