Provning och tips till nyår och jul

Bättre sent än aldrig kommer nu faktan bakom provningen i förra veckan. Första tipset om bubbel på 12-slaget är Cavas Hill 1887 Brut. En väldigt trevlig cava med en något rundare och fuktigare stil, Trevlig syra, med tydlig "traditionell" framtoning. Den höga sockerhalten (för en brut) hjälper till att göra den avrundad och lättdrucken.

Pris: 79:- Beställningsnummer: 79656 Druvor: 50% Xarel-lo, 35% Macabeu, 15% Parellada Lagring: >12månader Dosage: 12 gr/liter

 

Mitt andra tips för 12slaget är Aretey. Också denna en traditionell cava men friskare och något elegantare i sin stil. Självklart fortfarande fruktig, men kanske något för den som gillar cavor med lite mindre frukt och

Pris: 85:- Beställningsnummer: 76056 Druvor:  Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Parellada Lagring: >15 månader Dosage: 10 gr/liter

 

Till julmaten passar Jaume Giró i Giró's Grandalla utmärkt. Mycket god till bland annat osten. Grandallla har självfallet en del lagrade toner, men är fortfarande fruktig med blommiga inslag och mycket elegant. Grandalla är en mycket välgjord Gran Reserva, gjord i liten skala av Ramón Giró i Gramona som äger och driver ett mycket litet cava hus i centrum av Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.

Pris: 240:- Beställningsnummer: 79533 Druvor:  38% Xarel.lo, 17% Parellada, 17% Macabeo 13% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir Lagring: >50 månader Dosage: 8 gr/liter

Sist men inte minst måste jag tipsa om den fantastiskt speciella dessertcavan, Malvasia 2009, från Freixenet. Underbar till allt julgodis och lite märkligt nog skumtomtar. Den innehåller ett "reservvin" som ger cavan en stil av söt sherry. Torkad frukt med dadlar, fikon, kola och kanderade mandlar, Underbar!

Pris: 154:- Beställningsnummer: 74222 Druvor:  Malvasia Lagring: >66 månader Dosage: 52 gr/liter

 

Hoppas att ni testar dessa om inte i jul så vid senare tillfälle.

 

1 wedding, 12 arrests and 2 thunderstorms.

We are back after a busy week in Penedes. I just cant believe we got so much done while having kids and the family to consider all the time.  But with a constant focus on the wedding ahead and all the cava, food guests and other logistics I guess it is easy to just loose track. It turned out great though as you can see form the pictures. But we were lucky...  

At midday on Friday when rehearsal dinner was planed for 6 pm and all things started to get set up, the Penedes thunderstorm was upon us. If you have experienced them you know what I mean. Heavy rain and thunder for about one hour, and then gone. There is always a risk the storm brings his brother after a while, but ont this time! The weather cleared and we got an amazing starry sky to accompany  us al evening. History repeats itself on the wedding day morning, and the bride askes me if I think that this morning rain was "it"... I happily reply "Of course! There is normally only one shower a day here, if it rains at all.". She was happy and calmed by my answer and I prayed to the weather Gods that they would give us a break at least during ceremony and dinner. They did! Another amazing night sky with blazing starrs, and the Penedes that me and Andreas have learned to love so much, really showed her best side.

But nothing can be really just joyful and happy can it? After the arrest in Barcelona of 12 Catalan politicians on the Wednesday and following protests, my mind was constantly jumping back to my friends in the area and their situation. The amounts of flaggs showing the support for Catalan independence, grew in quantity from Thursday on. Driving through the villages and on the countryside they were now numerous, hanging from houses and light poles. I don't want to worry for the situation Catalonia vs. Madrid and I haven't so far, but now the game seems to change and  I'm not so sure anymore.

I sit here in Sweden surrounded by the cava made by my friends in Catalonia and my heart is with them.

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…

The 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.

The 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.

One 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!

 

The first guided cava and Penedès group.

Our first guided group have today reached their fourth and last day of the trip. It has really been wonderful and we have been able to show them some of our favourite places here in the Penedès. We have enjoyed local food cooked with elegance and care, paired with some of the really great wines and cavas from the small producers of the region. To give you a glimse of what we have been up to you have a look at the below pictures and I can also recommend you to have a look at CavaTV posted this week, where Ramón shows us how to disgorge a bottle of cava by hand.

Everything has been going so well and we have received so much positive feedback so we are actually already planning our next tour for cavaTast (the cava festival), the first weekend of October. So if you are interested, keep an eye out here on the blog and also on the Facebook page and Instagram for more information. Or if you have questions you can always e-mail me at anna.m.wallner@gmail.com.IMG_2088

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Visit at Giró i Giró. Great cava and fantastisc caps!

Grandalla getting their lables by hand.

Tasting a newly degorged bottle of cava, is not every day!

Tasting with Ramón, going through his wonderfull portfolio.

Wonderful dinner with tapas to start and Paella for main.

The second paella of the night, chicken and butifarra. Really great!

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This last day we have done a walk through the vineyards ending up at Parés Baltà, driving up in the montain vineyards with papa Cusiné. A really wonderful stay and tasting!

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Picknick half way with wonderful sandwiches, fruit and soup! About one hours rest before the next "leg" towards Parés Baltà.

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Reaching Parés Baltà and going on a wonderful tour and tasting, with Mr Joan Cusiné and Silvia!

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Happy vines give good wines and happy people! Everyone was really happy so the vines must have been too.

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Thank you so much to our first group  for coming! It has really been a pleasure to show you the area, and these four days has really just flown by! We hope to see you all back here in the Penedès soon again!

 

 

 

 

 

London weekend and finally a visit at Camino

I'm back now. Back in Sweden. Back at home with Baby E and Andréas and all is as it should be.It has been a great weekend with the girls and we have had both great food and wine, a fair deal of shopping but also great walks in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We were lucky with the weather too and had sunny warm days. The best thing though all categories was the fact that I could finally visit Camino and Copa de Cava and also meet Richard who runs them and his amazing staff.

IMG_2616We met up with Richard at Camino Blackfriars, where Copa de Cava is in the basement. Unfortunately we got a bit lost on the way there and were twenty minutes late. But Richard did not seem to mind and welcomed us with open arms. Camino is really a very nice place. Its that type of restaurant where you can feel at home and where the team really makes you feel comfortable. I just love that, when you feel right at home and welcome, and we sure did. Since it was Friday they had a DJ and the feeling was very much one of "here comes the weekend". Down at Copa de Cava there was a private party, but we tip toed down and took small part of the bar in use, since Richard wanted to treat us to some cava. The wonderful Gramona Gran Reserva made us all in an even better mood and I had the chance to ask Richard about the restaurants and all the ideas he has. It is just so nice to meet other people who are passionate about what they do and especially when it involves cava. IMG_2620IMG_2628After a visit at Copa, we went upstairs and had a wonderful dinner and more Cava before we took the subway home to the hotel while chitchatting away about all the wonderful food and bubbles we had enjoyed. Luckily for me, I'll be back in London the first weekend in July with Andréas, since we are attending a wedding, so then we will make time to visit Camino again! Until then I just want to give my warmest hugs to the team at Camino, who took so great care of us! Hope to see you all soon again!

Unfortunately I could not interview Richard this time for CavaTV, since it was alit too noisy. But I promise to try in July!

If you want to read more about Camino or Copa de cava you will find them on Twitter: @CaminoLondon @CopadeCava or Instagram CopadeCava or Camino. And you will of course find a lot of info on their website Camino.co.uk or at cava.co.uk. If you are planing a trip to London this is just a HAVE-TO-GO-TO-PLACE!

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Cava Cupcakes!

It is not easy to do all the filming for CavaTV and taking care of a eight months old baby, that is for sure. So please excuse the not very logical cupcake clip of this week. And seriously I do not know what to do with my shaky hands. I just have to work something out since I can't rely on Andréas being at home to help me. Well well! Skärmavbild 2015-03-19 kl. 13.04.55

This week it is cava cupcakes on the menu, and I am so very happy with how they turned out! Cupcake Jemma was my inspiration but it is actually Leila Lindholm  who is the person behind the recipe I have used today. If you can read Swedish I recommend that you just click Leila's name here above fore the original recipe. For you who don't I have translated it here below. The only change I have done is that I have replaced the lemon juice  with Vilarnau's demo-sec cava.

bild-3Cava Cupcakes (about 48 small) 3 egg's 2,5 dl sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar 100 gr butter 1 dl milk 3,5 dl flower 2 teaspoons bakingsoda a pinch of salt 0,5 dl semi-sweet cava

Cream cheese frosting 60 gr soft butter 5 dl icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar 1 tablespoon lemonjuice 100 gr cream cheese food coloring (optional)

Put the oven on 175 C. Then mix sugar, melted butter and vanilla sugar. When it is fluffy, ad the milk and then the flower and baking soda. When all is mixed, ad the cava and mix gently. Fill the cups alit more then half and then bake in in the oven for about 15 minutes. 

Mix the ingredients for the frosting and don't forget to ad the icing sugar through a sieve (spelling??) so you don't get lumps in the frosting. Then go crazy with the frosting and decorate away!

If yo want to see how I made mine with a baby on the side, just check out out Cava TV clip! CavaTV14_thumbnail

 

Semlor and Cava - A visit to Karin and the foodblog "Glimten i grytan"

This passed Sunday we were at my friend Karins house to do a little test. How well does sweet cava and the classical Swedish pastry "Semlor" go together? Since I have the cava and Karin is a great baker and cook (hence the foodblog I guess ;-) ) it seems like we are a great combo. You can see for your self on this weeks CavaTV episode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6HNC6opBcY

I did promise to give you the background on the cavas we tried and to link to Karins recipe of other semlor. So here are the amazing semmel recipe first:

Bluberry semlor with Baileys

blåbär och bailys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine semmlor

valentin semla

Petit-chou semmlor

petit semla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cava we tried was Freixenets Carta Nevada, a real classic, then Ambrosia from Mascaró and Nectar Terrenal from Llopart. They were all good combinations to be honest. The sweetness i the cavas met the sweet pastry and made it a bit less sweet which was a nice balance. The bubbles really lightens up the fatty cream and makes the heavy taste much easier. My favorite combination was with the Mascaró and Karin preferred the Llopart. But here comes some more technical information about the three.

carta-nevadaCarta Nevada semi seco Made from equal parts of xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada and aged for between 12-18 months. A dosage of 34 grams of sugar per liter. It is fruity and alit flowery in its character, easy and uncomplicated. Usually available "everywhere" since it is Freixenets bigest products.

cava-ambrosiaMascaró Ambrosia Made of parellada (60%), macabeo (30%) and xarel-lo (10%) and aged for a minimum of two years, this cava is a well made reserva. It is very fruity and full-bodied with some nice aging notes.

 

llopartLlopart Nectar Terrenal Made from xarel-lo and parellada (50/50) and aged for a minimum of 18 months actually makes it a gran reserva. It contains 38 grams of sugar which makes it a Semi seco (NOT a dulce as I said in the  video. I'm sorry for that mistake!). The liquor expedition is aged in oak barrels which gives this cava a special character with toasty toffee notes. But it is also very fruity.

 

 

 

Food on Youtube, but where is the wine?

I have during some time wondered why the chefs and professional food bloggers are so successful on Youtube, while the wine people, sommeliers and enthusiast are nowhere to be seen. Well the channels I have found, talking about wine are at least not half as good, funny and professional as all these foodies. Just look at Jamie Oliver for example, with his “FoodTube” community… Absolutely fantastic! I love Cupcake Jemma, French guy cooking, Donal Skehan, and many others that all talk about food. Luckily I love food and cooking and the best thing is when I can enjoy it with wine. Well there is also the DrinksTube… which is great, but there is to few who are talking about wine! So now I have decided to take matters in to my own hands, at least the cava part and before x-mas I’m launching CavaTV. But I have one problem… How do I make a “well made/filmed”, fun to watch and good content youtube channel?? The answer to that is still unknown to me I’m afraid, so when I get started I will definitely need your constructive comments and ideas. I have done what I can though and involved Andreas for the technical part, my brother for designing a logo/banner (since he is in that line of work) and all those “look and feel” things, but I’m not sure about one thing… me. I don’t think I’m that photogenic on filmed media, I know I’m not in normal pictures. But maybe I will grow with the task? The only way to find out is to get started.

So the plan is to release the first episode before x-mas and then produce one episode a week, which will be interesting with a four month old baby to take care of…

Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

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