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New London Camino bar aims to boost Cava’s reputation

Richard Bigg of London’s Camino chain of Spanish restaurants is aiming to boost the image of Cava with a new bar specialising in the Spanish sparkling wine.

‘We have chosen very carefully’: Richard Bigg

Camino St Paul’s opens on 20 May, with a bar called Copa de Cava in the vaults, serving 28 Cavas by the bottle.

Copa de Cava is modelled on the bodegas of Penedés’ Sant Sadurnî, the centre of Spanish Cava production.

It will be a sister bar to Camino in London’s Kings Cross – whose neighbouring sherry bar, Bar Pepito, won Time Out magazine’s Best New Bar 2010 – Camino Canary Wharf and Camino Monument.

At Copa de Cava, bottles range from £23 for ‘for a really good brut’, up to £95 for a Recaredo Reserva Particular 2002, ‘astonishing – biodynamic and aged for a ridiculous time’, Bigg said.

With 161m bottles exported in 2012, Cava is one of the world’s most successful sparkling wines, but it suffers from a poor reputation amongst the wine cognoscenti. Indeed, nine leading Penedes Cava producers, including Raventos I Blanc, left the Cava DO last year, citing the ‘poor image and low standards’ of the appellation.

Now Bigg is confident he will be able to do for Cava what Pepito did for Sherry.

‘We had an amazing response to the world’s most uncool drink,’ he said of Bar Pepito. ‘It certainly wasn’t trendy, but it’s a magnificent drink.

‘With Cava there’s some truly dreadful wine. But if you look further afield to the different styles you will be well rewarded. We have chosen very, very carefully.

‘Cava just tastes different. There are some amazing Champagnes and some magnificent Cavas, but I think you get more for your money with Cava.’

Written by Laura Ivill

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