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Enjoying Wine and Beer in the Augusta GA area

Casteller Cava From Spain A Perfect Summer Sipper

Casteller Cava Brut NV, Spain

Cost: $12-15

Summer seems like the perfect time for sparkling wine, especially those less expensive sparkling wines not made in a place called Champagne.

The Casteller Cava from Spain fits the bill perfectly. It has a bright, zesty flavor, with plenty of tiny bubbles. It is made the same way as Champagne, with a second fermentation in the bottle. While Champagne usually has yeasty or creamy flavors, Cava is brighter and fresher with more citrus flavors.

It has a clean, refreshing taste, with hints of lime and other citrus. Its low alcohol (11.5 percent) makes it a perfect summer sipper.

The wine is made from local Spanish grapes, 40 percent Macabeo, 40 percent Parellada and 20 percent Xarello. The grapes are grown in northeast Spain, just south of Barcelona, at elevations from 328 feet to 1,640 feet in limestone, clay and sandy soil. The roots of the vines penetrate more than 30 feet through the soil to search for water. The soil and climate help produce intense and concentrated flavors.

The wine is aged for 12 months on the lees, three months longer than is required by Spanish law.

The Spanish word Casteller means tower. In case you forget that there is a nice drawing of a castle tower on the label. The name is a reference to a local Catalonian summer game where clans compete to create the tallest human tower.

The wine is made by the largest vineyard owner in the region, which uses only the best 40 percent of its grapes for this cava. The rest is sold in bulk to other producers.

We had this beauty with some leftover chicken noodle soup that I had made a few days before. So it was a perfect summer meal, with no cooking and great wine.

The bright and lively cava was a great pairing with the savory soup, which is loaded with rich chicken flavor laced with vegetables and thyme.

As with most sparkling wines, the Casteller Cava will match just about any food. It’s great with an appetizer course, with seafood, or as a dessert.

The soup is another one of my childhood favorites, made by my grandmother and mother. It is an easy soup to make. Just boil chicken to create the broth, add more broth and dump in the vegetables you want. I usually use celery, carrots, green onions, parsley and thyme. Sometimes I will add parsnips or corn kernels scraped off the cob. The corn adds an especially nice, crunchy flavor.

Let the soup boil for at least an hour and serve over egg noodles.

If you have questions about wine you can email Dennis Sodomka at dennis@bottlereport.com

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