Tag Archives: Spanish wine

Cava For My Valentine

Just because it is Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on bubbly. Spainish cava can be white or rosé and it is made with the same method as champagne “Méthode Traditionnelle “. This method requires a
second fermantation of the wine that takes place in the individual bottles which will later be sold. Cava is a refreshing aperitif or a lovely pairing with Valentine’s dinner.

Codorniu Anna Cava Brut
Rosé

I recently tasted several cavas that are available on-line and locally in Roanoke, Virginia. My favorite of the five was Codorniu Anna Cava Brut
Rosé. It was offered on our hotel breakfast buffet in Sevilla, Spain along with freshly squeezed orange juice to make mimosas. They had little orange trees on the tables in the outdoor courtyard.

Anna Cava was my favorite of the bunch. This pretty rose color bubbly would be a very nice aperitif or dessert wine for Valentine’s Day. Pair it with a white or milk chocolate dessert with strawberries since its flavor is predominantly strawberry. $14 range. Available locally at Earth Fare.


Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava

One of my all time favorite cavas is Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava. With the pewter base and family crest on the bottle…so pretty in a gift basket.  And now I’ve made the connection…the producer, Segura Viudas, is part of the Freixenet family of wines that includes Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma which is one of my favorite California sparkling wines.  The non-vintage Reserva Heredad is the label’s top offering, made only from 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada grapes.  Aromas of smoke and honey and flavors of apples, dried fruit, and nuts. Creamy and crisp, it finishes clean and bright. Perfect pairing with almonds and walnuts to begin the meal. $30 range. Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

One of the cavas I tasted was Dibon. It is commonly found in grocery stores. This cava has grassy undertones with stone fruit flavors and mild minerality. It is crisp and light-bodied on the palate but in my opinion it is not the best sipping cava. I would serve this cava in mimosas or other sparkling wine cocktails. $10 – $12 range.


My favorite white cava of the cavas I tasted was the
Avinyó Reserva 2015. Fresh and vibrant with lemony brioche notes. A fun sipping bubbly. Available locally at Rock Fish Restaurant. $20 range

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Celebrating Cava at Parés Baltà Winery in Spain

It is a pleasure to co-host Fiesta Friday with my co-host Catherine today.  FiestaFriday.net. Please visit Catherine’s blog: https://kunstkitchen.wordpress.com. I’ll be sharing interesting tidbits from the Fiesta Friday link-up throughout the day on Pinterest, Instagram (bubblybeeboop), Facebook (bubblybee) and Twitter.  

“Bacchus opens the gate of the heart.” … Homer

While visiting the Catalonia region in Spain I couldn’t wait to visit the wineries that make Cava. One of my favorites is Freixenet.

The first bottle of Freixenet was released in 1914, the creation of a couple named Pedro Ferrer & Dolores Sala who were both from winemaking families.
In 1889, Pedro Ferrer married Dolores Sala, whose family had been making wine at their Casa Sala property since 1861. Pedro’s nickname was “El Freixenet”, named after his family’s ranch “La Freixeneda”, which means ash tree grove in Catalan. Dolores’ keen interest in the winemaking process was easily complemented by Pedro’s business savvy and sense of community.
Their marriage coincided with the arrival of the Phylloxera plague in Spain, which wiped out most of Europe’s vineyards. Far from being deterred, the couple replanted their decimated land with white varietals to make sparkling wine. In 1914, the first bottles were released with Pedro’s childhood nickname on the label. Freixenet had been born.
The Ferrer family continues to own and manage Freixenet today. Salut!

Motorcycle made in the shape of a Freixenet Cava bottle!

Driving towards Cava Heaven…Parés Baltà Winery

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns to wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.”  … P.J. O’Rourke

Parés Baltà Winery, Pacs del Penedes, Catalonia, Spain.

Since 2000 the winery has been managed by two grandsons of the original owner Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol.

The wives of Joan and Josep, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas are the winemakers and oenologists.  Parés Baltà has been certified organic since 2004.

All of their wines are certified as organic and their vineyards as biodynamic. They do not use herbicides, pesticides or any chemical fertilizer. They have sheep that fertilize the vines after the harvest and bees that pollinate the vines during the flowering season.

They use organic manure and special herbs in their compost (as well as cattle horns) but they also plant, and trim vines and harvest according to the phases of the moon.

“The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.” … Thomas Love Peacock

Cava is the Catalan word for “cellar.”

We asked about these moldy bottles in the wine cave. Our guide told us that they no longer use those bottles. They are just for show. They call them “cemetery bottles”. I call them creepy!

cava caves

Our guide explained about the “Mother” in the Cava:  This sparkling wine is made with the traditional method, an aging system similar to that of “Methode Champenoise” which is used when making champagne. As the bottle is turned upside-down and rotated, the “Mother” of the Cava, in small filaments, slides to the neck of the bottle. The “Mother” is expelled from the bottle at very high pressure, in a process known as “Desgorche”.

Rosa cava

Our winery tour included a chocolate and wine tasting. The first taste was Rosa Cusine (the last name of the winery owners is Cusiné!) (100% Garnatxa)  2013 with white chocolate with tiny bits of strawberry in it. The smooth creaminess of the white chocolate was perfect with the bubbles and the strawberry flavor made the rosé pop!

Our next taste was Hisenda Miret Garnatxa 2015. 100% Garnacha grapes. On the palate, there are flavors of cherries and blueberries with an accompaniment of spicy toast. It is a silky smooth wine with a lingering finish.

cava vineyard and olive oil

And for “dessert”…dark chocolate on baguette drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Served with  Gratavinum Dolç d’en Piqué. This wine is deep ruby in color,  soft and velvety. Intense aroma of dry fruits combined with vanilla and toasty notes from the barrel.

https://www.gratavinum.com/

b cava

When I returned home I purchased Parés Baltà b Brut Cava at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op.  $15 range.  Blend of 62% Parellada, 22% Macabeu, 16% Xarel·lo grapes. Creamy and elegant, with a bright mineral finish. Notes of fresh green apple with a hint of almond. Crisp and refreshing.

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Carrabba’s Sausage And Lentil Soup Recipe For Father’s Day

Potatoes Picante, Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches, Charred Corn Burrata Salad…find fabulous tapas recipes on the Roanoker Magazine blog. Here’s the link:

https://theroanoker.com/blogs/behind/it%E2%80%99s-time-for-tapas/

Did someone say SOUP?!

Here’s the most delicious soup you can serve Dad on his special day.  Tastes like a yummy chili with the spicy addition of Italian sausage.  Our bubbly friends Judy and Bill served this to us for an Italian themed dinner and I loved it so much I made it for dinner the very next evening!  Bill found the recipe on Copykat.com:

Carrabba’s Sausage and Lentil Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 48 ounce package low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used Cavender’s Greek Seasoning)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown lentils (I used red lentils)

Directions

In a large pot add onions, carrots, garlic, and celery and either butter or vegetable oil. Saute until the onions are transparent. Add sausage, and cook until browned. If the sausage is fairly lean drain the excess oil.

Add chicken broth, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes and brown lentils. Cover with lid. And simmer for about 1 hour. You may want to add some additional water if too much water cooks out during the cooking process.

We found this 2016 Izadi Blanco Rioja to be an excellent pairing with the sausage and lentil soup. A blend of 80% Viura and 20% Malvasía grapes. Creamy texture with a fruit-driven freshness that balances well with the spicy flavors in the soup. Available on-line or locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

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A Toast To Summer…Fresh Green Pea With Radish And Lemon Zest Toast + CAVA

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pea toasts and lemon

Fresh Green Pea With Radish And Lemon Zest Toast

toast

Bakery fresh baguette slices toasted.

pea toasts

Cook fresh green peas until almost mushy.  Add butter, sea salt and a dash of fresh cream.  Mash peas. Top baguette slices with mashed peas.  Top peas with mandoline thin slices of radish, lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.

pea toast

Serve with a lovely Spanish Cava…

Cava F

Freixenet Brut Blanc de Blanc

This bubbly Cava is produced by the same winery that gives us Gloria Ferrer, one of my favorite sparkling wines:  https://www.gloriaferrer.com/carneros-winery

The perfect casual summer sipper…from Catalonia, Spain. 100% Chardonnay grapes.  A sparkling value…$10 range.  Lots of fun bubbles. Notes of baked apple with just a touch of lemon. Available on-line. I also found this Cava locally at Tinnell’s in Roanoke, Virginia. http://tinnells.com

over-the-moon-link-party-600x600virginiabloggers

fiesta-friday-2016

 

Chilled Jumbo Lump Crab And Corn Bisque Paired With Uriondo Txakoli Bizkaiko Txakolina

soup

Jumbo Lumb Crab and Corn Bisque

6 servings

Place shallow soup bowls and soup spoons in freezer to chill.

3 tablespoons butter

1 small shallot, chopped

2 tablespoons Italian parsley

1 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed from the cob (save kernels from 1/2 ear of corn for garnish)

2 Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled until tender and chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Jumb lump crabmeat and chopped chives for garnish

Fresh peas, cooked with a little butter, for garnish (if available)

Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add shallot and saute over medium heat until the shallots are translucent.  Remove from heat and add the parsley, Old Bay Seasoning, pepper, corn and potatoes. Stir to combine all ingredients.

Place mixture in a food processor or blender. Add vegetable stock, cream and salt to the mixture.  Process/blend until the mixture is pureed.  Pour pureed soup through a fine sieve, pressing the soup through the sieve with a large spoon. Discard any bits that are left in the sieve.  Chill soup until ready for service.

To serve, place approximately 1/4 cup of soup into each chilled shallow soup bowl. Garnish each bowl of soup with 2 heaping tablespoons jumbo lump crab meat, 2 heaping tablespoons corn kernels, chopped fresh chives and fresh peas. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.

soupwine

Uriondo Txakoli Bizkaiko Txakolina
Fresh green apple notes.  The flavors on the palate are refreshing and almost salty which makes this wine a perfect pairing for crab.
Txakoli Uriondo is a small family winery founded in 1987 located in the Basque Region of Spain.

$19 range.   This light and crisp wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and bottled with residual carbon to give it its signature natural spritz.  70% Hondarribi Zuri, 20% Mune Mahatsa, and 10% Txori Mahatsa grapes.

virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600

fiesta-friday-2016

 

 

River And Rail’s Spanish Wine Dinner Featuring Pares Balta Winery And CAVA!

River and rail sign

Spanish Dinner…Deliciousa!

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

shirt river and rail

A very nice gentleman let me take a photo of his Veuve Clicquot Champagne Shirt!

champagne river and rail

We began our lovely Spanish dinner experience with a glass of Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné.

https://paresbalta.com/

Parés Baltà is a family owned traditional winery that goes back to 1790.  We produce high quality wines and cavas with grapes from our 5 estates, situated around the winery and in the mountains of Penedès. The altitude varies from 170 to 750m and offers a diverse mixture of soils and microclimates. That gives a special personality to our wines by bringing the essence of the Mediterranean ecosystem to our grapes.  At Parés Baltà, the winemaking is in the hands of Mª Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas, oenologists and wives of Joan and Josep. Two skilled young women whose efforts are reflected in the quality of the wines, showing fine character and concentration yet with elegance and balance.

Cava Blanca Cusiné ~ Xarel·lo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir grapes.  Light golden color with fine consistent bubbles.  Delicate notes of almonds, hazelnuts, and honey.  Long and complex finish.

Served with artfully created passed hors d’ oeuvresountry Ham & VA Ramp C

Country Ham and VA Ramp Croquettes appetizer river and rail
try Ham & VA Ramp Croquettes
BBQ Octopus Skewers & Espelette Glazeoctopus
 Manchango Cheese Crispscrackers

 

Sneads Ferry Clam Linguine, Fingerling Potatoes, Lamb Prosciutto, English Peas, Paddlefish Roe & Breadcrumb

Paired with 2016 Calcari White Blend

river and rail linguine

So happy to see Black Garlic incorporated into this dish…

Duck Morcilla Sausage/Red Beets, Yellow Corn Grits, Cherry Marmalade

Paired with Balta Rose de Pacs 2016

Beef River and Rail

Aged Rib Eye/Ferro Verde, Charred Onion, Morel Mushrooms, Black Garlic

Paired with Gratavinum Priorat 2piR 2011

River and Rail Beefriver and rail wine

And for dessert…NC Goat Cheese Cake/Virginia Raspberries, Port Wine, Black Sesame Seed

dessert

Spanish wine chocolate

Txakoli Mokoroa Cosecha 2015

 

At home later, we continued the Spanish theme through the weekend…  Hondarrabi Zuri  is by far the dominant white grape variety of Spain’s Basque Country, making the region’s slightly spritzy Txacoli wines. These are crisp, light citrus-tinged wines, meant to be enjoyed while young and fresh, with a tiny bit of carbonation.  I’ve heard that in order to really appreciate this wine, it needs to be poured from a certain height into a flat bottom glass It needs air to express itself.  A delicious accompaniment to seafood, fish and poultry.  $15 range.

 

cava

LLOPART LEOPARDI GRVA BRUT NATURE

A very special Cava in a decorative box, perfect for a gift for a friend…or yourself! Delicate bubbles dancing in the glass. Dry with elegant spicy notes and a creamy mousse.  $25 range.

cava

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad

My favorite Cava!  With the pewter base and family crest on the bottle…so pretty in a gift basket.  And now I’ve made the connection…the producer, Segura Viudas, is part of the Freixenet family of wines that includes Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma which is one of my favorite California sparkling wines.  The non-vintage Reserva Heredad is the label’s top offering, made only from 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada grapes.  Aromas of smoke and honey and flavors of apples, dried fruit, and nuts. Creamy and crisp, it finishes clean and bright. Perfect pairing with almonds and walnuts to begin the meal. $30 range.  http://www.seguraviudas.es/en/producte_en/reserva-heredad

tomato

My first tomato this year….thank you Gwen and Mike!

Friday

living in a bubble

signd

s Ferry Clam Linquini, virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600fiesta-friday-2016

 

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