KETO or LCHF? - Brut Nature cava is the answer!

About one year ago I started to cut down on carbs to get rid of those last signs of having had two babies in two years. What I found out when I did cut out most of the carbs was that my always returning urine infections disappeared! Nothing could have made me happier since I was terrified of becoming resistant to antibiotics. 
I have since then tried to cut out as many carbs I can, failing and picking myself up again. 

During this time I have also gone really in to the brut nature cavas. I have of course always loved them but now I have really actively chosen them over others. 

If you are into KETO or LCHF for strict weight loss, you should of course cut out also alcohol. But if you like me, love a glass of bubbly and can't really see the point in cutting this out just for the sake of that extra kilo, then Brut Nature cava is the perfect wine!

Brut Nature Cava does not contain any sugar! (Almost...)

The rule for Brut Nature cava is at the producer is not allowed to add any sugar. But the neat thing is that due to the fermentation process within the bottle that goes on for a minimum of 9 months, the yeast has plenty of time to consume basically ALL sugars, only leaving maybe 1 gram perhaps 2 grams of sugar per litre!

Antioxidants

There are of course other bubbles that have no added sugar, like zero dosage champagne. But what is preferable with Cava is the fact that most cava blends contain the grape Xarel-lo. This Catalonian grape is the commercial grape that contains the highest levels of antioxidants that we currently know of. And we all read about how great antioxidants are, right!?

So next time you want to treat yourself to a glass of wine, maybe a cava brut nature wont interfere too much with your diet? I know it doesn’t with mine! 

CHEERS and happy brut nature hunting!

Here are just some sugestions on what to try!

Cava de Paraje Calificado - Tasting at the Winery Hotel Stockholm

On Saturday the 26th of May I was invited to attend a tasting arranged by Vinguiden, a swedish company that helps customers to find good wines, through information and education. 

I was extra happy since this tasting was focused on quality cava and the new category Cava de Paraje Calificado which is the real top among cavas. 


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Cava de Paraje Calificado

Or CPC for short, is a new classification that stipulates high set standards both on the vines, the harvest, yields and vinification, everything to create a truly unique cava that represents the soul and heart of the land from which it originates. (If you'd like to know more about the hard facts you can follow the Blue link above.) 
 

Even though CPC was presented and introduced the summer of 2017, there are cavas that already carry the seal of the classification. This is because it is applied retroactivly on all wines that can show that they have met all the criteria that are stipulated for the clarification. 


The tasting was as mentioned focused on both quality cava without the CPC-classification and CPC-cavas. This is what we tried with facts and my comments. 

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Jaume de Codornìu Gran Reserva 2012

Vintage: 2012
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Xarel-lo
Harvest: Manual
Type: Gran Reserva
Style: Brut
Ageing: >40 months
Vineyard: Sagrià/Chardonnay
Conca de Barberà/Pinot noir
Penedès/Xarel-lo
Dosage: 10 gr/L

Comment: I think this cava is very elegant and crisp. Well balanced with the fruity notes of apple, pears and citrus, together with the aged notes of delicate bread. This cava is for those who likes a fruity style but still very crisp and elegant. 


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Heredad (Segura Viudas)

Vintage: NV
Grapes: Macabeu 67%, Parellada 33%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Reserva
Style: Brut
Ageing: >24 months
Vineyard: Alt Penedès
Dosage: 11 gr/L

Comment: It was a long time since I had the Heredad, and I must admit that I like it very much. It has personality, and among the fruit and delicate aged notes there is a homly taste of rubber that I really like. If you like your cavas a bit more rounded off and full, you might like this one. 


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Agustí Torelló Mata
Gran Reserva Barrica

Vintage: 2012
Grapes: Macabeu 100%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Gran Reserva
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >30 months
Vineyard: Depresión Penedès
Dosage: 0,5 gr/L

Comment: I fell a bit in love with this cava when I first tried it many years ago. The wonderful fruit coming from the macaque with pears and goseberries together with the subtil taste coming from the oak, on which 40% of the base wine has been for eight months. This is a cava to love if your are fond of a bit of those gentle vanilla and roasted cookie flavors. 


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225 (Torelló)


Vintage: 2013
Grapes: Xarel-lo 50%, Macabeu 29%, Parellada 21%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >36 months
Vineyard: Can Martí
Dosage: 0 gr/L

Comment: This is a truly fantastic cava with tiny bubbles, a fantastic acidity and a fruit that balances great with the extra dimension that the oak gives. This is a bit more power behind the wood than the Agustí Torelló Mata Barrica and hence suites you who likes your cavas powerful and strong. I know I do. 


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Can Sala (Freixenet)

Vintage: 2007
Grapes: Parellada, Xarel-lo
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >108 months (9 years)
Vineyard: Sant Quinti de Medonia
Dosage: 3 gr/L

Comment: This cava is amazing! Sorry to say I think this vintage is out of stock now. It is powerful and stil very vital with fruit but of course lots of aged notes like toast, brioche, marzipan, nuts honey and funny enough a bit of gunpowder. I love love love it!


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La Capella (Juvé y Camps)

Vintage: 2010
Grapes: Xarel-lo 100%
Harvest: Manual
Type: Cava de Paraje Calificado
Style: Brut Nature
Ageing: >87 months
Vineyard: La Capella
Dosage: 2 gr/L

Comment: La Capella is a truly unique creation. Tasting it you can't really believe it being so old as a 2010. It has youth and vibrance in both fruit and acidity and delicate but clear aged notes like toast, mild biscuits like english shortbread and nuts. This cava is a queen in its own sense clearly!


The book is on the way to print!

My goodness!Even though it was less than two years ago we did the first book I had forgotten how much back and forth mailing it was at the end. Now the second book is finally ready it seems, and is sent to print. We are so excited both me and Andréas. Especially about the fact that we have been able to write about the things we love about Barcelona and Penedès.

We have also had the great opportunity to present 19 producers, and we hope that this will make consumers in Sweden more interested in the area, cavas and the people who make them.

As always we have tried to be as personal as possible. :-)

I cant give you the entire inside of the book but this below is the intro to the chapter about the producers. I'll let you know when it is available in the stores.

Sunny and bubbly regards!

producers

Another year has passed

It is amazing how fast a year can pass. On the 13th of December we had some friends over for dinner and the subject of 2013 came up. We could all agree that it has passed by us while we have been thinking about other things. Well maybe not entirely true, because we have been extremely busy as usual, but somehow we now stand here at the end of the year and remember very little of what we have actually done. So I thought I’d share some pictures with you so you can see what we have been up to, and maybe some pieces of the puzzle will fall in the right places for me too, memory  wise.

And I also want to take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year’s Eve and a marvelous 2014!

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Nominated "Best Europena wine book" at Gourmand Awards in Paris.

Photographer Credit : Ed Reeve   pighuset 1

Found new Cava bars/restaurants in London (Copa de Cava) and on the island of Gotland (Pighuset)

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Got a visit from one of the big swedish newspapers who wrote a great article. You can find it here if you read Swedish. :-) Anna was also in a cooking show talking about Cava. You can see it here.

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Fantastic updates on how the spring was developing at Juvé y Camps from our friend Antonio, who also turnd out to be a great photographer. And you migth find some of his pictures in the new book if we are lucky.

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Investigating the Cava supply in Stockholm's archipelago, and bringing some of our own as well.

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Hosting some tastings on one of the crusing ships in Sweden. Happy people!

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 Visiting our fantastic friends in Penedès, which is our favorite thing!

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Receiving the Confraria de merit, which was a great night an honor!

 

Of course more things ave happend, but these are the major things. :-)

 

 

At Agustí Torelló Mata

statyThe first winery here in the Penedés we ever visited was Agustí Torelló Mata, and since then we have been fans of their Cavas and always try to have some bottles in the cellar. Even tough our cellar is extremely empty right now.... need to do something about that! soil

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This time we have the pleasure to meet both Agustí senior and his son Alex, as well at Antonio who is in charge of all the export. Together we go to the Agustí Torello Mata museum in Can Rosell, where we have not been before. The whole house and cellar breaths history, and with Agustí seniors fantastic collection of glasses, art and musical instruments, it has more than a life time of history within its walls. Here we can see the first glass oven where the bottles for Kripta was first made and also the first model to make the bottles. Here everything is about Kripta, and rightly so.

manbottleAgustí Torelló Mata is a producer that wants their cavas and wine to reflect their unique terroir. But it stands quite clear that macabeu is their signature grape, that acts as backbone in their cavas. Fresh and elegant all through the portfolio, also when it comes to the very complex and long aged Kripta. "Kripta is a Cava only for the people that understands and love Cava, it is not for everyone...", Agustí senior says. And I cant help to think for a while that, I hope he includes me and Andréas in this group. And luckily he seems to do that, since we soon have the opportunity to try Kripta together with its creator in the museum's "courtyard".

There are many stories that could be told, but I will just leave you with the comment that we love Kripta and the rest of the products of ATM, and if you have the chance to visit the winery, you should!

maskin

tavla

kork

 

 

I'm on a boat!

_MG_7500Yesterday we packed our bags and went on a trip with "realationsbåten" The networking boat, which is a yearly event for the entrepreneurs and companies of Uppsala, to make new connections and find new interesting people and companies to work with.We were invited to host four Cava tastings, sponsored by the law firm Ahlford, which we were of course delighted to do.

It is quite different to host tastings on a large cruise ship I must admit, but lots of fun! To our help we had the wonderful staff of the boat's wine bar who were really amazing.

Coming from Sweden and the monopoly, it is always nice to find other Cavas on the menu, like the case here on the boat. This time we had the opportunity to talk about the houses Agustí Torelló Mata, Pere Ventura and Gramona, which was great. Starting with Agustí Torelló Mata reserva 2009, then Pere Ventura Cupatge d´Honor 2010 and finishing off with Gramona´s III Lustros, we had a nice line up and the hundred guests seemed to be very happy indeed.

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After talking about the houses and cavas, I ended with asking which of the once they liked the best, and to my delight the crowd split on 1/3 on each cava. Me and Andréas love them all and was happy of course to see that the guests shared our opinion.

It has been a fantastic trip and we have has the chance to talk about Cava with wonderful people. We are also happy to report that the Taxfree shop on the boat ran out of Cava, so now when they make port they will have to stock up!

Before I finish I just have to leave you with the lonely Islands fantastic video that I just cant get out of my head! Enjoy and hope you will all have a good remaining  week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=avaSdC0QOUM

PS: Next time you read anything on this blog it will be direct reporting from Penedes! Finally!

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Still time to buy bubbles for New Year's Eve

Here in Sweden we have a monopoly as many of you all ready know. This makes it a bit more difficult for us to buy bubbles for New Years. One reason is that we don't have a very wide selection if we have not planed in advanced and ordered especially. The other reason is the opening times at the monopoly shops around Christmas. But still there is time to go and buy some bottles so we all have something we like, when we are to celebrate the coming of the new year. Since I'm out in last minute again, I will give you Swedes some tips on what you can find in the shelf selection at Systembolaget. And then some suggestions for the rest of you who might not be restricted by a monopoly. Ok Sweden first:

Raventós i Blanc Brut Nature, is a great classical Cava, and a lot of nice bubbles for your money. 99:- at the monopoly. I love Raventos, and have my self ordered their DeNit that is available in the special ordering section. A very pale rosé that looks like diamonds in the glass. If you are in Penedés any time soon I recommend that you visit the bodega. Raventos is a great place.

For the people who like a crisp citrusy tone like my friend Kajsa does, I recommend Freixenet's classic, Cordon Negro. The first Cava that came in at Systembolaget, and that has stayed on ever since. A classic for 72:-.

 

A third suggestion is a classic from Codorníu. Their Anna de Codorníu is a Chardonnay based Cava and very fresh and fruity with a slight bready finish. I have heard that "Anna" is Spain's most sold Cava around Christmas and new years, and here in Sweden it has also grown very popular. 99:- at the monopoly.

 

For the rest of you not effected by a monopoly:

Anything from the winery Mestres. A very small and high end producer. My favourit at the moment is their Brut nature Vi Sol. A fantastic cava with bready and crisp notes. These Cavas are not the cheapest, but they are well worth the price. Hopefully we will soon find at least one of their products in Sweden, but we'll see towards the spring and see how things go.

My friend Kajsa is also a fan. :-)

Juvé y Camps makes a lot of very nice Cava but right now (and for a while) I have had their Milesimé as a favorite. 100% Chardonnay and very fruity and with a nice bread tone. I have personally allready shared two bottles with the extended family this christmas. It reminds me of sunny days in the Penedès.

 

Last but not least I would suggest Parés Baltà's Blanca Cusiné, that I my self will have as a part of our New Year's dinner.  It is made of  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a great flavor of bread, hazelnut, and fruit. And of top of it all it is biologically made.

A very nice family that have found the code of making great wine and cava. And I really look forward to popping the cork on our Blanca Cusiné magnum in a few days.

 

I would of course like to give you so many more suggestions from my favorite producers, but it would be to much. But if you find something from Gramona, Torelló, Llopart, Giro i Giro, Sant Antoni, Collomer, Recaredo, Nadal, Agustí Torelló Mata, Pere Ventura, Mascaró, Vilarnau or Valformosa for example, they have wonderful Cavas and you will never be disappointed. There are so much Cava to try and I can not remember all the Cava. But I miss them all and hope that May will come soon so I can see all my friends in Penedès soon again.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Agusti Torello Mata loves Macabeu!

I miss Penedès so much! It is again minus degrees here in Sweden and even though the sun is shining I get a bit irritated by the fact that the spring seems to take its time to arrive. So in the mean time I sit here and look back on all my trips to "Cava Country" with the warmth, lovely Cava and fantastic People. And I came to think about the first Cava producer I visited during my trip in September, Agusti Torello Mata. ATM is situated just outside Sant Sadurní and is run by the family with he same name. We were lucky to meet almost everyone in the family, and were shown around by Lali one of the daughters. ATM is a fantastic producer with top quality Cavas all through their range. They age their Cavas for a long time and are especially fond of the grape Macabeu. Of course they use other grapes too, but they keep Macabeu closest to their hearts. Their Cava Barrica is made from 100% Macabeu and is partly fermented in oak barrels.

The house of Agusti Torello Mata is probably most famous for their Cava Kripta that has become a real "cult Cava". Kripta is a Brut Nature made from Macabeu 45%, Xarel·lo 20% and Parellada 35% and aged for a minimum of 48 months with a cork. Every thing is made by hand, when it comes to handling. Kripta is also very easy to recognize since the design is quite special when it comes to the bottle shape and the fantastic artwork on the label (see picture here on the left). If you have the chance to try this Cava (or any of the Torello Mata family Cavas) I highly recommend you to do that. If you want to have a look at their total portfolio and get some more information about the company I suggest you have a look at their web site that you find HERE.

Here comes some pictures from my visit with the family.