Made in the same method as Champagne, cava takes the stage as Spain's sparkling wine gem. Hailing from the Penedès region of northeast Catalonia (just west of Barcelona), cava is based on three local grapes: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Cava's claim to sparkling wine fame lies in its remarkable quality-to-price ratio. Top-notch cava is widely available for under $20 (and often under $15) with many regional producers showcasing the best of their bubbly in sophisticated bottles and leaning heavily on family-owned, tradition-inspired values.
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Freixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut Cava (Spain) $12
One of the best-selling cavas on the market, Freixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut Cava offers up exceptional citrus and toasted almond notes on the nose. Built on the region's three dominant cava grapes (Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada), this medium-bodied sparkling wine carries a fresh factor, lively acidity, and unmistakable balance on the palate.
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Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut (Spain) $14
Crafted from a 70/30 split of chardonnay and Parellada grapes, the Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut shows a lovely bouquet of ripe apple, plush tropical fruit, and the yeasty appeal of fresh-baked bread. The palate reveals a continuation of fresh-fruit themes, centered around green apple, d'Anjou pear, quince, and lemon-lime citrus. Crisp and clean, this cava kicks out a memorable finish lined with suggestions of key lime pie.
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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (Spain) $9
Bringing some serious value—not to mention bubbles—to the table, Spain's Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava showcases an engaging blend of nutty nuances and a dash of citrus on the nose.
The palate profile is fresh, with zippy acidity, bright lemon-lime fruit, and apple undertones. A remarkable sparkling wine for the price, this cava is made with a blend of regional grapes: Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.
Perfect for parties, keep the Segura Viudas Brut Cava in mind for appetizers, shellfish themes, tapas, and a variety of poultry picks.
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Juve y Camps Rose Brut Cava (Spain) $18
Vivid salmon color (thanks to Pinot Noir) and bright berry fruit with an engaging florality on the nose make up this cava's first impressions. The palate doesn't disappoint, carrying almond essence and strawberries with cream, bright acidity, and an underlying elegance from attack to a spicy finish. This Juve y Camps Rose Brut Cava is perfect for cured meat and smoked salmon crostini.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava (Spain) $23
From the heart of Penedès, Spain's sparkling wine center, this Reserve Cava is crafted from all estate-grown fruit (Macabeo and Parellada). Thirty months aging on lees explains the toasted brioche and smoky aromatic apple on the nose and gives this cava a creamy elegance and fuller-body on the palate. The fruit is well integrated with apple, quince, and some citrus weighing in alongside a mineral-driven finish. Rich, expressive, and focused, the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava is made for caviar, sushi, roasted poultry, or pork. It has a really nice pewter bottle to boot!
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Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Cava (Spain) $18
A top-notch cava pick, this lovely sparkling Rosado is brimming with the ripe aromas of raspberry and cherry fruit. On the palate, red fruit steals the limelight buffered by bubbles and balanced with optimized acidity. There is plenty of class in this glass and at only $18 a bottle, this Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Cava is perfect for celebrations, picnics, appetizers, and tapas.
Whether it's a specific celebration calling for bubbles or merely looking for a food-friendly, well-priced, extremely versatile out-of-the-box wine find, Cava has plenty to interest both beginners and enthusiasts alike.