kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

A Cava worthy of the name Champagne

Cava is Spain's answer to Champagne. Made in the traditional methode champenoise style, where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, Cava has some of the yeasty, bready complexity that Champagne does, at a fraction of the cost. Made from local Spanish grapes like Parellada (which gives some apple flavor), Xarel-lo and Maccabeo, along with Chardonnay, it's a wine worth seeking out that won't break the bank.

Segura Viudas NV Cava is absolutely delightful. With small bubbles, a hint of apple, medium acidity, and yeasty notes, it's a $9 bottle that tastes like it costs a lot more. Sparkling wines are great to pair with food because of the bubbles and refreshing acidity, and this Cava would match with anything from sushi, to potato chips, to smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for brunch.

Make sure all sparkling wines are well-chilled before you attempt to open them, and remember: turn the bottle, not the cork.