We are running very low on cava...

The problem with loving cava in Sweden, is that the diversity available is not what it should...Luckily we have a friend in Denmark, who imports some really great cavas, but unfortunately we have been bit short on time to go visit and stock up, due to the children. Yes I blame the children. ;-)

But for you living in Denmark or who happens to be close to Århus, I can very much recommend to check out Lars website! http://www.vildmedcava.com

Among other houses he has available you will find: -Bertha -Castel d'Age -Torelló -Muscándia -Jaume Giró i Giró -Castel Sant Antoni

 

I love diversity, that’s why I love cava

The diversity within the DO Cava is both a blessing and a curse, and many people working with cava would agree on this. I choose to see the positive side. So what is actually so great about it? Well let me explain…

xarello grapesThe biggest reason for the great diversity among cava is the fact that nine grape verities that can be used, more to choose form right there. Xarel.lo, macabeu and parellada are the most common verities and make up the backbone in traditional blends. Many people would say that this trio is the soul of cava and what makes it so special. But you also have chardonnay and malvasia among the white grapes allowed. When it comes to the red verities there are trepat, garnacha, monastrell and of course the very popular pinot noir. Since it is now allowed to make blanc de noire also in the DO Cava, with trepat as only exception, the possibilities are many. In my opinion all these red grapes make a great spread of rosé cavas, from the elegant salmon pink to the fruity bright raspberry coloured, that can be enjoyed and used in combination to endless types of food.

Bottles in rimaThe three age classes from the minimum ageing of nine months, to the reserva at a minimum of fifteen months and the gran reserva at thirty months or more, are also one aspect that widens the range of choice. Unfortunately many people only know the very young products and think that this is the only way to have cava. Numerous times I have met wine people and even fellow sommeliers that think that cava cannot be aged, and nothing could be further from the truth. Some even say that the local grapes don’t have the structure to age in a good way, and to those I can very much recommend a trip to the cava houses of Gramona, Recaredo, Juvé y Camps or Castell San Antoni, just to mention a few.

Vine yards at RecaredoOne other aspect that contributes to the wide spread of choice with in the cava family is the price range, and this is a very debated subject. Mass produced or high end, the choice is yours. I’m not saying that this wide spread is all good. But if you exclude the very cheapest bottles from the discussion, I do think it is great that you can find a cava that suits your taste, the occasion and your wallet. Because to be honest, most of us are not made of money and can’t drink 50 Euro bubbles every day, at least I can’t. And one thing that you can be sure of is that you very often get extremely good value for your money, since the land prices and production costs are so much lower in Penedès then say Champagne.

So my dear friends, if you have not already dived in to the sea of great cavas out there and enjoyed the diversity. I highly recommend you to do that as soon as possible and I’m absolutely positive you will find some favourites.

Cheers and happy hunting!

Anna and cava

TGIF med Glimten i grytan/ TGIF with our food blogging friends

  Yesterday we were invited to have dinner with our foodblogging friends www.glimtenigrytan.se.

We loaded up the baby in the car, took a bottle of cold Castel Sant Antoni, Cami Del Sot, and a copy of the new book, and were off! Karin lives just outside Uppsala in a lovely house that just made me want to go home and start decorating at home. I just got so many good ideas! Anyhow...

 

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...Karin was cooking veggie chilly, and we were nine happy people in all who gathered in the kitchen with a glass of cava before dinner. The cava we brought was much appreciated and we got the chance to talk about all the fantastic things with Penedès.

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Our friends that write at Glimten i Grytan are really good food bloggers and very active in all that is food. Last weekend Karin had the Apple boys at home, taking care of all the apples in her garden, making wonderful juice, that we had to the chilly. Apparently it worked great, and the juice turned out fantastic. If you are a customer at ICA, and get the member’s magazine "Buffé", you can see  Karin and Glimten i Grytan in this September issue.

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Just before we left Karin shared some of her sourdough culture with me, so now I can bake Levain bread too!

Thanks a million for a great evening!

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!

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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. :-)

 

 

Castell Sant Antoni is like coming home!

oldcavaWe have met Pere at Castell Sant Antoni only once before, but it still feels like seeing an old friend when he drives up to meet us, outside his office in Sant Sadurní.

Castell Sant Antoni is probably the youngest Cava house here in the Penedès. But it definitely has a bright future, because when we see Pere this time he is practically glowing! His son has declared that he wants to go in his fathers footsteps and has started to study to become an enolog. It is fantastic news and we are looking forward to seeing what son and father will come up with together in the future! One thing that is sure is that we will be able to find Castell Sant Antoni's Cavas in many countries in the future, because Pere is flying back and forth and already he is exporting to several states in the US, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico and soon Sweden. It would make us so happy to find Pere's cavas in Sweden! thecoupleThe family company only makes about 80 000 bottles a year and are slowly expanding. In 2015 they will have 15 hectars of their own, but will still have a close collaboration with some of their friends that grow parts of the grapes they need. Macabeu, Xarel.lo, Parellada and Chardonnay are what they use mostly in the cupage, and Pere admits that Xarel.lo is his favourite grape.

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Sitting in the family´s little "wine house" up among the vine yards together with Pere and his wonderful wife Ángels is truly amazing, and while the sun sets over Penedés we talk about Peres cavas and eat great tapas that Àngels has put together and we never want to leave!

Thank you so much Pere and Àngels for a wonderful time! See you on Friday in Cavatast!

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Search for Cava in the archipelago a.k.a vacation

We have been off line for a while... well not really, because I have occasionally done some tweeting and face-booking. But on the blog from there has been quiet.The once of you who follow me on a regular basis knows that the blogging always goes in to high gear during our trips to Penedés, but on a boat it is a bit more tricky.

Anyway. We have had a lovely time ans although we stuffed the small boat with as much cava as we could, we looked for our favourite bubbles in every port where they had a restaurant or bar. And I must say that we did pretty good. So I though I'd tell you what we brought and where you can find cava in Stockholm's archipelago if you don't want to bring your own. IMG_0001

One evening we brought Vilarnau's special barrica Cava Glop! to our dear Friends S and N, and had a wonderful dinner with old friends of the family L and H. We all love bubbles and L loved Vilarnau's barrica so much that she refused to drink any other bubbles for the rest of the eventing. :-)IMG_0011

At Arhoma, the north most island in Stockholm's archipelago, we found more Vilarnau, but this time at the local harbour restaurant. So we had a glass for lunch of course.

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IMG_0004After some days of sailing is is nice to come a shore in the afternoon and enjoy some cava and relax before cooking dinner, and so we did quite often. Here with Castell Sant Antoni's barricca. I'm sure that you have realised that I'm a big barrica fan. Castell Sant Antoni produces only about 40 000 bottles a year and their Cavas are absolute superb. Try them if you have a chance.

IMG_0023We of course also brought one of our long time favourites, Milesimé from Juvé y Camps. And I'm sad to say that it was our last bottle from the cellar, and it breaks my heart. We did get the bright idea to saber it on the boat, and so I did with our only knife on board.

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When we had turned towards Stockholm again, we came in to post one afternoon, at Grinda. The sun was shining from a clear sky and it was 28 C. And to our happy surprise we found that the harbour restaurant had Mont Marcal to offer! It was last year we saw our friends at Mont Marcall, so it was great to try their bubbles again. And of course they were as good and crisp as we remember.

In general we had a absolutely wonderful vacation and it was great to see that even the outposts in the archipelago have realised that Cava is the way to go. Here and there they pop up, and these I have presented are only two places. I'm sure there are more, you just have to go and have a look yourself.