Why Cava Is the Best Bubbly Wine for Punch

published Dec 12, 2016
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If you’re looking to add some pop, fizz, and bubble to your holiday occasion, cava is pretty much always a good solution. Spain’s answer to Champagne can make the leap from office white elephant party to black-tie dinner party with aplomb. In fact, we’d argue cava is so versatile that you should just buy a case now.

But our favorite way to use cava this time of year is in punch. (Because what are the holidays without something fizzy, festive, and spiked?)

A Brief Introduction to Cava

In many ways, cava is more similar to Champagne than it is to Italy’s prosecco. For starters, cava is produced by the same process as Champagne (i.e., the method champenoise). This results in small, strong bubbles.

Flavor-wise, cava and Champagne tend to have more in common as well, despite being made from different grapes. Champagne is made using Chardonnay grapes, while the Spanish bubbly is made from indigenous Spanish grapes, primarily Macabeu, Xarello, and Paralleda. Together, the Spanish grapes produce a wine that is bright and crisp (unlike prosecco, which leans toward sweet and fruity).

Of course, unlike Champagne, cava has a much gentler price tag. It’s possible to find great bottles in the $12 to $15 price range.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Why Cava Is the Best Bubbles for Punch

While cava is great to drink on its own, those muscular bubbles make it hold up well to added ingredients. And while Champagne has similar bubbles, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend the money on expensive Champagne whose nuanced flavor will be lost. This means the much-less-costly cava is your best choice when making cocktails — punch included.

3 Cavas $10 and Under

Have you tried cava yet? What do you think?