Tag: cava

3 Delicious and refreshing champagne cocktails

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When it comes to cocktails we first think in very traditional ones such as rum or vodka drinks, however, a trend that has been popular in Spain is to prepare delicious cocktails based on champagne or sparkling wine. Of course, these drinks are better enjoyed with the company of friends and family. Here we list 3 easy-to-make beverages with champagne that you can prepare and share:

Champagne and strawberries cocktail

Ingredients (for 4 glasses)

  • 4 shots of orange liqueur
  • 4 teaspoons of honey
  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 bottle of chilled champagne

Preparation:

  1. Mix in a mixer or food processor orange liqueur, honey and strawberries for a while until you have a smooth and homogeneous liquid.
  2. Take the glasses, previously cooled, and serve the strawberry mixture to half in each one.
  3. Fill the other half with cold champagne or sparkling wine and enjoy!

 

Agua de Valencia Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 40 ml of semi-dry champagne
  • 80 ml of orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 15 ml of Vodka
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

Preparation:

  1. Just take the 4 cold ingredients and mix until dissolved each other.

Note that this is a very strong drink and you should be careful with it. Vodka is the strongest of the spirits and to mix it with a little champagne can be disastrous for some if you do not have any precaution.

 

Sparkling apple cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 unit of apple juice
  • 1/2 unit cognac
  • 1/2 unit of syrup
  • 4-5 apple slices
  • 3 units of champagne 
  • Ice to taste

Preparation:

  1. Place in a mixer or shaker the apple juice, the cognac, the syrup, the apple slices and the ice needed. Shake well until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Take a pre-cooled glass, serve the mixture and add the cold champagne to enjoy.

You can also prepare a nonalcoholic version of this drink: just suppress cognac for pear juice and champagne for nonalcoholic cider.

 TAGS:Bollinger Spécial Cuvée BrutBollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut

Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut: a sparkling wine from Champagne based on pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay and has an alcoholic strength of 12%. Dishes like white meat and seafood make for an ideal match for the Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut.

 

 

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial: a sparkling wine from Champagne that is based on pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes and has an alcoholic strength of 12,5%. 

 

The best wines for desserts

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Sweet but with some taste of fruit. Wines suitable for desserts can actually be quite varied. We propose some ideas for dessert wine.

Sparkling wines like Spanish cava or champagnes go well with any dessert: they are very suitable for cakes, pastries, frozen cakes, and chocolate … at any big celebration, sparkling wine plays an important role at the end of the evening, accompanying the desserts.

White wine is always preferred with a slightly lighter dessert. Some desserts such as creams are perfectly accompanied with a rather fresh, sweeter, fruity young wine. A good choice may be a Riesling or Monastrell that go well with desserts like vanilla-based puddings and fruit tarts.

And what about red wine? More and more, red wine finds itself specifically made for desserts to combine very well with savory desserts like cheeses, curds, nuts or pancakes of various flavors. But, undoubtedly, red wine becomes the star when there is chocolate in the center. The flavors are sublime and enhanced when you combine cocoa and red wine. It goes also well with desserts like pies with berries, ice cream or coffee … always including a hint of cocoa.

A good Pinot Noir, a Porto and a variety of Rioja Somontano  are perfect for desserts where chocolate makes an appearance. At the same time, the Pedro Ximenez is another alternative which offers a wide range to choose from and combines well with chocolate sweets. As for sweet reds, some types such as Garnacha and Monastrell go perfectly with creams, pastries, cakes or other less heavy dessert.

As always, we offer some suggestions so you can enjoy the sweet life. Cheers!

 TAGS:Vista Alegre Reserva Ruby DecanterVista Alegre Reserva Ruby Decanter

Vista Alegre Reserva Ruby Decanter: a fortified wine of the Port DO

 

 

 TAGS:Dow's Fine TawnyDow’s Fine Tawny

Dow’s Fine Tawny: a fortified wine Port is made with port and 19º of alcohol content.

 

 

Wineries and wines from Penedès

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The Penedès wine region is probably one of the most characteristic and recognized of Catalunya, especially as the main place of production of cava, Catalan sparkling wine par excellence.

But in this Designation of Origin we can find more than cava, since in its over 27,000 hectares of vineyards there are produced grapes intended for the elaboration of white, rosé and, in a lesser extent, red wines. The extension of vineyards of Penedès includes 47 municipalities in the province of Barcelona and 16 in the province of Tarragona, with its headquarters located in Vilafranca del Penedès, and is remarkable for its great variety of microclimates, which makes this grape production to present countless distinctive features, depending on the environment.

The cultivated varieties include the more international Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but we can also find more specific grapes of the Iberian Peninsula, as Cariñena, Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta, and some local (Monastrell, Samsó, Xarel·lo and Macabeu).

Among the most prominent cellars in the region, we can find firms as recognized as Agusti Torelló i Mata, Blancher, Caves Hill, Gramona, Jaume Serra, Juvé y Camps, Pinord, Raventós i Blanc, René Barbier, Sumarroca, in addition to many small producers which, however, are able to offer real jewels thanks to a know-how that comes from their experience of generations of grape growers and oenologists.

Internationally acclaimed wines

If we look at the results of the last Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, one of the most prestigious awards in the international world of wine, among its winners we find several references from the DO Penedès, like Cossetània Tinto Reserva 2009 (Bodega Castell d’Or), Gran Clot dels Oms Negre 2011 and Xarel·lo 2013 (Bodegues Ca N’Estella), Parató Passió 2006 (Parató) and Vino Pata Negra 2014 (Jaume Serra – J. García Carrión).

A small sample of what the tradition of the Penedès wine can get and that we recommend you try if you have not already done so.

 TAGS:Iohannes Reserva 2006Iohannes Reserva 2006

Iohannes Reserva 2006: a red wine with Penedes DO from Juvé y Camps cellar

 

 

 TAGS:Rocaplana 2013Rocaplana 2013

Rocaplana 2013: a red wine from Penedes DO of Oriol Rossell cellar is made with syrah 

 

 

Types of champagne glasses

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New Year’s Eve is here, and with it come family gatherings, celebrations and many moments that allow us to uncork our favourite champagne and toast the future. While it is true that at this time of the year the role of sparkling wine is particularly special, we should not forget that their bubbles also may accompany us during the rest of the year at any time, and if we want to taste it properly, it is important to know what glasses are best.

The truth is that we can find plenty of different shapes at the market, but we advise choosing transparent and thin crystal sparkling wine glasses, without decorations or colours, since they must allow assessing the general appearance of cava or champagne, the quality of its bubbles, its transparency and colour shades. The aim to achieve is a glass that allows the bubbles to rise naturally keeping the temperature as low as possible and to promote appreciating the aromas and flavours of wine.

There are basically four types of shapes that we have seen on countless occasions:

  • Pompadour: It has a wide opening and its bowl is short in height, features that don’t make it ideal for tasting sparkling wine, as the gas escapes very quickly and its shape favours the liquid to warm up.
  • Flute: This glass is tall and narrow, something useful to keep the bubbles and the temperature of cava, but negative to appreciate its aromas.
  • Trumpet: A very popular type of glass, which allows you to appreciate the aroma, but because of its overly narrow base, may not be ideal for the correct release of the bubbles.
  • Tulip: Probably the best choice since its broadest shape from the base and flared rim allow a proper release of bubbles and, at the same time, appreciating the aroma and correctly tasting the sparkling wine, keeping the temperature low.
  • Wine glass: Experts recommend using normal wine glasses to taste exceptional sparkling wines, as they are specifically designed to favour the tasting.

 TAGS:Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé BrutLaurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut

Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut:  a great classic. An excellent and elegant champagne with a complex, fine perlage

 

 

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial: is an emblematic cuvée . The world’s best-selling champagne brand. The harmony of its three grape varieties gives this champagne its elegance, which is rarely to find: fine bubbles, fruity, fresh, intense and glamorous.

 

 

Champagne will no longer be a secret for you

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When we drink sparkling wines and champagne, we look at some of the details shown on the labels, as well as at the bubbles we see inside the bottles. Some terms may be unknown in some way, but thanks to the data provided below, champagne will no longer be a secret for you.

The sweet taste of champagne

There are a number of terms used to describe the sugar content on champagne bubbles. Virtually all are of French origin. For example, Brut means dry, while Sec in French can mean remarkably sweet, and Doux is very sweet.

The ratings

In these flavour ratings, which determine the more or less sweet taste of champagne, we have to consider some European regulations, which state:

  • 0-3 grams is Brut Nature or Brut Zéro, 0-6 grams is Extra Brut, and when it is labelled as 0-12 grams, is Brut.
  • While in Sec ratings, 12 to 17 grams is Extra Sec, Extra Dry or Extra Seco, 17-32 grams is Sec, Seco or Dry, and 32-50 grams is Demi-Sec or Semi-Seco. In Doux ratings, over 50 grams is classified Doux, Sweet or Dulce.

Bubbles and their names

In addition, each country has its own way to describe sparkling wine, champagne or cava. For example, in Italy, sparkling wines have two distinct categories: lightly sparkling, that is called frizzante and fully sparkling, called spumante.

While in Germany, the sparkling wines are called Sekt, the cheapest wines are Schaumwein and those wines slightly sparkling are called Perlwein.

In Spain, the concept of sparkling wine is different and it is called cava, with its specific regulation. In France, champagne is the name of the sparkling wine that comes only from the region with the same name; Crémant is made under a specific method, the méthode champenoise; and mousseux comes from the French term for foam.

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger Brut Réserve is a sparkling wine Champagne a based on pinot noir and pinot meunier and with an alcohol content of 12.5º.

 

 

 TAGS:Mumm Cordon Rouge JeroboamMumm Cordon Rouge Jeroboam

Mumm Cordon Rouge Jeroboam: a wine sparkling with DO Champagne from the pinot noir and pinot meunier varieties and with an alcohol content of 13º. 

 

What makes different champagne and prosecco?

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When we talk about sparkling wines, the first that come to mind are of course champagne, cava and prosecco, from Italy, specifically from the Veneto region. But, what makes different this Italian wine and its French counterpart? What is the reason because its price and reputation are lower? Here are some of these differences.

Origin, elaboration and price

While champagne is produced in the homonymous French region (in the north-east of France and around the city of Reims), prosecco is produced in Veneto, near the city of Treviso and north of Venice.

The grapes used in the production of champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and in order to obtain the final product they use the traditional method or champenoise (the same used in cava, American sparkling wines and Italian Franciacorta), the costlier system among the ones used to add bubbles to wine.

As for the Italian sparkling wine, it is made from Prosecco grapes, also known as glera, and following the Charmat or Italian method, in which the second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, which makes its production cheaper.

Is this because champagne is more expensive? Partly yes, although the processing method alone does not explain why a good “inexpensive” champagne can cost about 40 Euros and a prosecco in the same category costs only 12-15 Euros. The higher price of champagne is also explained by the perception of luxury product that it has been able to generate over its history in consumers worldwide.

Taste

Champagne is aged longer, so it presents typical notes from a longer contact with the yeast, which can range from cheese rind to cake. The bubble is finer and more persistent and we can also find tastes of almonds, orange zest and white cherry.

In prosecco we can find more fruity and floral aromas, due to the grape variety, with thicker and less persistent bubbles and tastes of tropical fruit, hazelnut or vanilla.

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger produces Pol Roger Brut Réserve, a sparkling wine of the Champagne DO which blend contains pinot Noir and chardonnay and with an alcoholic strength of 12.5º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra DryVigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry

Vigna Dogarina is the maker of this Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry.

 

 

Why drink a glass of sparkling wine? 8 reasons to drink one

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Whether in special dates or for specific occasions, sparkling wine or cava fills the tables of any celebration. Its bubbles, its unique flavor and many more features are some of the reasons to enjoy a glass of sparkling. We give you eight reasons to drink one… Do you fancy a toast?

A reason for celebration. Whenever we make a toast with sparkling wine is cause for celebration. It’s usually the drink par excellence in family, personal and even company events.

Health benefits. The cava and sparkling wine, whenever you drink it in moderation, offers a number of health benefits, being included in the Mediterranean diet. For example, a glass of sparkling wine is natural, is good for the heart and prevents from different diseases.

Source of youth and beauty. Some of the reasons of why to drink a glass of sparkling wine is that it contains antioxidants, which benefits the skin in general to make it silkier, smoother and younger. Sparkling wine moisturizes the skin and generates the well known hyaluronic acid, useful to get more beauty.

Perfect for pairing. Sparkling wine can be drunk throughout the meal, not only with desserts when it’s traditional. The result of the combination of quality grapes, chosen for its elaboration, combines perfectly with different foods, always depending on the variety.

Sweet flavors. Those who are not accustomed to drinking wine, will find in the sparkling wines softer, fruity, sweetish flavors so that they become substitutes for traditional wine.

Different varieties. Like the rest of wines, sparkling wines also have diversity of categories and varieties. We have the Brut, Reserve, Semi-dry… so you can choose according to taste, preferences and meals.

Appellations of Origin. This type of wine and cava comes from places with renowned quality and designation of origin, which provides a full guarantee of elaboration, always classified by region.

Elegance and romance. A glass of sparkling is synonymous with celebration, but also of elegance and romance, being associated to a somewhat snobbish life, having formerly an elevated price.

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

 

 

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Mercier Demi Sec

 

 

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

What cava or champagne would you drink if you won the lottery?

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Still without your Christmas Draw ticket? Do not tempt the fate and buy your ticket for Christmas Lottery, one of the draws with more tradition and history, and more millions to be distributed each year. It is clear that we can not ensure that you will win… but we can recommend the best sparkling wines in case this year is up to you to uncork the bottle.

Here are some some options for you to choose whichever is to your liking.

Moët Chandon. If you win the big prize, surely you’ll be able to afford it. This champagne firm is one of the most prestigious in the world and each bottle is often worth a lot, thanks to the quality of its flavor, always superior.

Cavas Ferret. One of the most famous cavas of this brand is Gran Reserva Ezequiel Ferret Brut Nature, a cava that can taste for this great celebration, which has DO Cava and is made with xarel·lo and parellada.

Veuve Clicquot. If we continue with champagnes, Veuve Clicquot has a long history since its birth in France in 1772. It is part of the prestigious Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy brand, with all kinds of luxury goods.

Gran Claustro. The cellars of Castell de Peralada in Girona, produce prestigious Catalan cavas, such as Gran Claustro, made with chardonnay, macabeo, parellada and xarel·lo varieties. To toast with Catalan cava is always a good motivation, whether we won the Lottery or not, because there is always something to celebrate.

Freixenet. It is one of the classic cava brands. For Christmas, Freixenet is a very demanded firm and it is present at the tables of a lot of people. The firm’s greatest quality cavas -that you can buy to celebrate- are Freixenet Reserva Real and Reserva XXI.

Good luck and… even if you do not win the big prize, sure you will find many reasons to toast 🙂

 

 TAGS:Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004

 

 

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

 

 

 TAGS:Offenbach Blanc de Blancs 2011Offenbach Blanc de Blancs 2011

Offenbach Blanc de Blancs 2011

What are the most powerful sparkling wine brands?

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Always cool and for special occasions, there are several categories of champagne and sparkling wines. Those most powerful are usually the most expensive and delicious. They are for rare occasions, though, if you can afford it, you can drink them at your leisure.

Today we will show you what are the most powerful sparkling wine brands in the world according to The Drinks Business. If you are one of those who drink sparkling wine beyond a toast at Christmas, you’ll probably know them all. But if not, and you want to give yourself a whim, try any of this sparkling wine, you will never say again ?I only drink sparkling wine for toast?…

  • Möet & Chandon. It remains one of the most powerful brands in this market. Although it has lost some sales volume in recent years, is still one of the best and offers good prices for a gourmet market.
  • Taittinger. This French brand is always among the top sales and cumulative turnover. It was the official champagne brand of the FIFA World Cup this year and this gave it additional points.
  • Nicolas Feuillatte. It is one of the most powerful beverage brands in the world. It increases sales by 13.5% compared to last year and the sales of its champagne bottles reached a record compared to other years.
  • Mumm. Meanwhile, Mumm brand is positioning, but falls compared to previous years. The brand, owned by Pernod Ricard, has been the official sponsor of Formula 1 since 2000 and has released some limited edition bottles.
  • Martini. The Sparkling Wine division of Martini brand, holds its position but slightly lower its sales. It is a powerful brand that competes with the big brands of French champagne.
  • Laurent Perrier. Compete for the same sales position with Martini, and it was able to sign this year several collaborations with associations and organizations to be their reference brand.
  • Freixenet. The Catalan Freixenet manufactures and sells cava. It maintains its position in the sales leaders list, especially because of its export level.
  • Dom Perignon. Remains among the top three in terms of turnover and sales.

Today we suggest you a pair of them:

 TAGS:Dom Pérignon 2004Dom Pérignon 2004

Dom Pérignon 2004

 

 

 TAGS:Freixenet Casa Sala Nature 2005Freixenet Casa Sala Nature 2005

Freixenet Casa Sala Nature 2005

When a vintage sparkling wine should be produced?

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When we say ?vintage? sparkling wine, namely, made from grapes grown entirely from the same crop or year, as opposed to ?non-vintage? type, in which grapes from different years are used, the important thing is to reflect the personality of the grape, the terroir, and the producer of the wine itself, as well as the particularities that climate may develop in the product of the vine in that particular year.

A fact which allows managers of wineries unleash their creativity without being subject to the rigidity required when it comes to making a product by mixing various vintages, which traditionally seeks to obtain consistent results for a demanding market such as the quality sparkling wine.

The point is that the challenge of a vintage sparkling wine is always different, depending on the specific characteristics of the crop. First, not all years are good to develop a ?vintage?. The type of grape is also influential, of course, and that complicates the issue, since in order to be worthwhile to invest the effort necessary to develop a sparkling wine of this kind, good crops in different varieties should be combined, if it is decided to develop a multivarietal vintage…

In fact, some of the most exclusive cellars produce vintage sparkling wines only a handful of times each decade, coinciding with the most spectacular vintages for experts, who seem to agree in pointing -in recent years- that coincided with warm or even moderately warm years, not so much with the colder ones, though of course there are exceptions, as in any activity dependent on the vagaries of the weather and nature, making a true art the development of a vintage sparkling wine.

 TAGS:Faustino Extra BrutFaustino Extra Brut

Faustino Extra Brut

 

 

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve