In association with Cava DO.Cava is very versatile with food. Fiona Beckett picks some of her favourite pairings...
In association with Cava DO.
Cava and food pairing
Artichokes and asparagus
Notoriously tricky vegetables to pair with wine, but no problem for Cava (though I’d go for white rather than green asparagus).
‘In winter in Catalunya we grow a small seasonal artichoke, and Cal Xim, one of my favourite restaurants in Sant Pau d’Ordal near Vilafranca del Penedès, cooks them on charcoal and they are dressed with olive oil. This is a heavenly match with a fresh Cava, preferably one that is aged on its lees,’ says Christophe Brunet.
Especially sheep milk cheeses. Older gran reserva Cavas are good with aged cheeses like Manchego, but also with crumbly cheeses, such as aged Parmesan or Asiago.
Cava is perfect as it cuts through the richness (it’s particularly delicious with a fish pie). Richer, aged Cavas are a good counterpoint to creamy foie gras, too.
Anything that is crisp and crunchy is great with bubbles – even a simple cheese straw.
Paella and risotto, obviously, but also think of Iranian dishes, in particular, jewelled rice.
Because of its relative dryness, Cava doesn’t jar with vinaigrette. It’s particularly good with salads that contain fruit, such as grapes, apples and oranges.
From anchovies to zarzuela (seafood stew), taking in hake and turbot along the way. José Pizarro reckons the perfect match is gambas al ajillo – prawns with hot peppers and lashings of garlic, while Ferran Centelles recalls the ‘oysters with solid Cava’ dish at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona – an oyster topped with Cava to which xanthan gum was added during the winemaking process. ‘The Cava was semi-solid and sparkled, and was served over a delicate oyster. What a memory!’
Nuts, cheese and olives being the most obvious ones. And, of course, with jamón. Sparkling wine also works particularly well with eggs, which makes it a good match for tortilla.