Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (2023)

Cava is a food-friendly Spanish sparkling wine. It is made the same way as Champagne and can be paired with similar foods. Cava food pairing includes a variety of foods - from seafood and fish to ham, and different types of tapas. It is also possible to pair Cava with desserts, fruits and cheese. Find out the best food pairings for Cava in this wine guide!

Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (1)

Last updated March 7th 2023

What kind of food goes well with Cava - one of the most famous sparkling wines in the world? Due its the bubbles, fresh acidity and mild fruity aromas, Cava is an excellent wine for many types of food. It is often served with different types oftapas, which can contain ham, eggs, seafood and vegetables.

Most Cava wines are made in the dry style, but there are also a few sweet versions that pair well with desserts and fruit. This wine guide will help you better understand how to pair different styles of Cava with food.

    What is Cava?

    Cava is the most famous Spanish sparkling wine, and it is made using the same method as Champagne. This method is called Méthode traditionnelle and consists of two steps of fermentation. The second fermentation, which takes place in the bottle, is the most important part of this method, because this is when the bubbles are created and the wine is transformed from a still to a sparkling wine.

    AlthoughCatalonia is the most famous region for Cava, this wine is not restricted to a particular wine region in Spain. Cava is also made in Valencia, Rioja and Extremadura. About 95% of all Cava is made in the Penedès area in Catalonia.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (2)

    Cava is made of three main grape varieties:

    • Macabeu
    • Parellada
    • Xarel-lo

    Other grapes varieties that are often used to make Cava:

    • Chardonnay
    • Pinot Noir
    • Garnacha
    • Monastrell
    • Trepat

    What does Cava taste like?

    Cava is a dry and zesty sparkling wine. It has characteristic flavors of peach, yellow apple, almond, pear and orange. It is a light-bodied and fresh sparkling wine with high acidity and medium to low alcohol. Its typical aromas of green almonds come from the main grape Macabeu. Sometimes this gives the wine a slightly bitter finish.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (3)

    Different styles of Cava

    There are different styles of Cava. Most Cavas are simple, dry sparkling wines with little ageing.

    • Cava - the most common and simple style is aged a minimum of 9 months in lees.
    • Cava Reserva - aged a minimum of 15 months.
    • Gran Reserva - aged a minimum of 30 months. The vintage is always indicated on the label.
    • Cava Paraje Calificado - same requirements as for Gran Reserva, but this style can only be produced in qualified vineyards with vines older than 10 years.
    • Cava Rosé is a dry and zesty sparkling rosé with characteristic flavors of red cherry, orange peel and red berries.

    The ageing process is in lees, which gives the wine flavors of brioche, almond, toast and sometimes smoke.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (4)

    Rule of thumb: The longer the ageing, the more nutty and bready the wine will taste.

    Sweetness levels of Cava

    Just like any other sparkling wine, Cava can have different levels of sweetness. Most Cavas are dry wines, indicated as Brut on the label. You can also find even dryer styles with the indication Extra Brut or even Brut Nature. There are also Cavas with more sweetness.

    There are six sweetness levels of Cava:

    • Brut Nature is very dry, often described as bone dry
    • Extra Brut is also a very dry style
    • Brut is dry
    • Extra Dry, sometimes called Extra Seco, has a hint of sweetness
    • Dry, also called Seco, has a notable sweetness
    • Demi-sec, also called Semi-Sec or Semi-Seco, is the sweetest style

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (5)

    Cava vs Prosecco

    Cava is often compared withProsecco due to their similar price level. There are, however, several important differences between the Spanish Cava and the Italian Prosecco:

    • Cava is more dry and less fruity. Prosecco is general slightly sweeter than Cava and has more distinct fruit aromas.
    • Cava is made by the Méthode traditionnelle where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, while Prosecco is made using the Charmat method, which means that the second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.
    • Cava has smaller and more delicate bubbles due to the different production method.

    Both are budget-friendly, light-bodied sparkling wines with medium-high acidity.

    Tips! If you want to learn more about the best food for Prosecco we recommend our popular Prosecco Food Pairing guide.

    Cava vs Champagne

    Cava is close to Prosecco in price, but in terms of taste and structure it is closer toChampagne. Cava and Champagne are made the same way, using the Méthode traditionnelle, which gives them many similarities. If you are looking for a budget-friendly sparkling wine similar to Champagne, Cava is usually the best choice.

    There are some differences between Cava and Champagne:

    • Cava is more affordable than Champagne.
    • Cava is less nutty and toasty than Champagne.
    • Cava is usually less complex than Champagne.
    • Cava has slightly lower acidity than Champagne because the Champagne wine region has a colder climate.

    Tips! If you want to learn more about Champagne and food we recommend our Champagne Food Pairing guide.

    About Cava Food Pairing

    Cava is a food-friendly wine that you can pair with many different dishes. It is often served together with tapas. Tapas are a wide variety of snacks and small dishes from Spain.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (6)

    In order to find the best food for your bottle of Cava, you need to take into consideration the following characteristics of the wine:

    • Light body - possible to pair with light and delicate dishes, such as seafood and vegetables.
    • Medium-high acidity & bubbles - the refreshing bubbles make it possible to match with food that has high fat content and/or acidity.
    • Low alcohol - makes it possible to pair with delicate and light dishes.
    • Fruity aromas - possible to pair it with aromatic food.

    Cava should always be served cold. The best serving temperature for Cava is 5-9°C (41-48°F).

    Cava with shellfish

    Cava is an excellent choice for delicate seafood dishes. It is considered one of the best wines to pair with scallops and oysters, but you can drink it with almost any type of seafood.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (7)

    Good Cava and seafood pairings are:

    • Oysters
    • Scallops
    • Shrimps - even with garlic and/or spices
    • Deep-fried seafood

    Cava with Fish

    Cava goes well with different fish dishes, especially with fatty fishes. It is a great sparkling wine pairing with salmon because the bubbles in the wine will cut through the fat in the fish. The acidity and bubbles in the wine also make it a good pairing with deep-fried and fried dish.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (8)Good fish pairings with Cava are:

    • Salmon
    • Boiled fish with vegetables
    • Anchovies
    • Fish and chips
    • Other deep-fried/fried fish

    Cava with Chicken

    A classic sparkling wine pairing is Cava with chicken, especiallydeep-fried chicken. Due to its aromatic profile, Cava also pairs well with mildly spicy chicken dishes, such as Korean fried chicken or similar. Even though Cava is a light-bodied wine, it can pair beautifully with poultry.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (9)Great chicken dishes together with Cava:

    • Fried chicken
    • Chicken salad, such as Caesar Salad
    • Chicken pasta
    • Mildly spicy chicken dishes

    Cava with Vegetables

    Are you eating a salad for dinner or lunch? Pair it with a glass of Cava! This refreshing sparkling wine will match with almost any salad, including salads with fruit. Just stay away from dressings that have too much acidity, such as vinaigrette. Cava also pairs well with grilled or fried vegetables.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (10)Good vegetable-based dishes to pair with Cava:

    • All kinds of salads, including salads with shrimp, chicken or fresh cheese
    • Salads with nuts and fruit, such as apples, peach and oranges
    • Grilled vegetables
    • Vegetable tempura
    • Vegetarian tapas

    Cava with Tapas

    Cava with tapas is a match made in heaven! As previously mentioned, Cava is a food-friendly wine that pairs with a large variety of tapas. Tapas are a wide variety of snacks and small dishes from Spain. Tapas are fundamental to Spanish cuisine and why not serve them with a glass of Cava - the most famous Spanish sparkling wine.

    Cava can be paired with all types of tapas, including meaty tapas containing ham. One of the sparkling wines that pair best with ham is Cava Rosé, which is a sparkling wine with more body and stronger aromas.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (11)You can also pair various cheeses with Cava. Many tapas include cheeses such as the famous Manchego, which are a great pairing with Cava.

    Cava snack pairing also includes nuts, olives and different types of vegetables. Last but not least, Cava is one of the few wines that pair well with eggs, making it a good pairing for Spanish tortilla.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (12)

    Cava Cheese Pairing

    Cava is, just like Champagne, a very good wine pairing to cheese. When pairing cheese with Cava it is important to keep in mind that Cava is a delicate wine. Too strong cheeses will overpower the aromas of the wine. Mild or semi-mild cheeses, such as Manchego, will pair perfectly with this sparkling wine.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (13)

    Good cheese pairings with Cava:

    • Manchego
    • Other sheep milk cheeses
    • Parmesan
    • Cheddar
    • Gruyère or Comté
    • Asiago

    Cava Fruit Pairing

    The best fruit pairings for Cava include berries, kiwiand stonefruit (nectarine, peach, apricot), as well as citrus fruits (orange and grapefruit). Try Cava together with a fruit bowl! Make sure to choose a Cava with a hint of sweetness such as Cava Seco, to balance the fruit's sugar.

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (14)

    Tips! Avoid Brut Nature or Extra Brut if you are drinking Cava with fruit or other sweet foods.

    Cava Dessert Pairing

    Sparkling wine pairing with chocolate cake is always tricky, but you can try a sweet Cava Semi-seco with white chocolate and red berries. Why not try a slightly sweet Cava Rosé with white chocolate with strawberry or raspberry?

    Cava Food Pairing (new wine guide 2023) | VinYang (15)Enjoy your Cava with food!

    Latest guides

    Sémillon Food Pairing
    Fondue Wine Pairing
    Carménère Food Pairing
    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

    Last Updated: 11/21/2022

    Views: 5663

    Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

    Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

    Birthday: 1993-07-01

    Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

    Phone: +22014484519944

    Job: Banking Officer

    Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

    Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.