Classic Pairings: Pan con Tomate and Penedes Cava, Spain
Champagne often comes to mind when talking about Sparkling wines, so much that it has become synonymous with one another -although only Sparkling wines made in Champagne under the traditional method can be labeled as Champagne. Outside of France, sparkling wines are made with the very same method (Methode Champenoise or Methode Traditionnelle). Champagne is serious, some labels can fetch over $1000 USD per bottle, no wonder why its traditional method has been replicated from over the world. A glass of Champagne often signifies class, celebration and sophistication.
Just south of the border finds another region also known for its sparkling wine, it is Catalunya of Spain. It does too boast some of the tastiest sparkling wine out there -locally known as Cava- and thankfully no sophistication is required, in fact, it couldn’t be more different how Cava is enjoyed here locally.
Wine and Food Living
Along the Balearic coast, sandwiched between Barcelona and Priorato, Penedes might be small in size but it claims the center of Cava production in all of Spain. Other than the same production method, Penedes has its own unique characters and is quite different than Champagne. Cava is praised for its fresh citrus notes layered with mild minerals and just a hint of toast.
Penedes Cava isn’t about caviar or fancy functions, it’s about sharing a meal with good company over good conversations. Pan con tomate is a local favorite to pair with Cava, freshly grilled bread rubbed with vine-ripen juicy tomatoes, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and just a few specks of sea salt. Natural acidity in tomatoes and Cava find harmony on the palates while highlighting the fresh sweetness of ripe tomatoes. Baked bread brings out the nutty essences hidden in each sip of Cava. This classic pairings is as common as Sunday brunch or warm summer night snack. Although, the quality of Cava has been on the rise in recent years, however, how it is enjoyed sees little change and that’s how it should be.