Now that we’ve all had our fill of family, fun and enough food to make us feel like we should get on the treadmill, it’s time for the next round. So whether you’re planning a night on the town, a house party or a quiet night in, nothing says “Happy New Year” like a glass of bubbly.
There are lots of options out there from the budget basics to price popping high-end Champagnes. But with sparkling wines being produced around the world only those made in the Champagne region of France may truly call themselves by that name, a protection originally granted by the Treaty of Madrid in 1891.
But besides sparkling wine and Champagne there’s another name you may or may not be familiar with, one I recently learned about from Chris McDonald the chef and owner of a restaurant named in its honour, Cava located in Toronto. Recently Chris shared his knowledge of all things related to the foods and holiday traditions of Spain and presented me with a bottle of Agusti Torello Kripta. I haven’t actually tasted it yet (saving it for our New Year’s toast) but I fell in love with the bottle the moment I saw it.
Call me inquisitive or nosy but nothing makes me want to find out the facts more than something I’ve never seen before and I’ve never seen a bottle shaped like this. I don’t know if this is fact or fiction but Chris’ charming explanation made me laugh out loud. He says the bottle’s torpedo like shape is intended so you can’t put it down making it good to the last drop.
This particular cava was created in 1979 by Agusti Torello Mata a man who has dedicated his life to making great cava. The grapes come exclusively from old vineyards (over 50 years) in the Penedes area in the Catalonia region of Spain. It’s a long aging cava (minimum 4 years with the yeast) made up of 3 grape varietals Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. Each bottle is individually numbered and the beautiful label was designed by artist Rafael Bartolozzi.
The card enclosed with the beautiful box suggests this cava is ideal for caviar, smoked fish or meats, foie gras and curated cheese and I’ll just add my suggestion of oysters (because I love sparkling wine and oysters). But somehow I have a feeling this cava would go with anything. Unfortunately you won’t find this at the LCBO so if you want to give it a try you’ll need to head over to Cava on Yonge Street (website is in the blogroll) and tell Chris I sent you.
But no matter what fills your glass on December 31st here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and many more.
Which one do you prefer – sparkling wine or champagne?