50 Great Cavas – A Wine Pleasures visit to Parés Baltà

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014Parés Baltà, owned by the Cusiné family, has been passed down from father to son since 1790. There are currently three active generations of this family: the grandmother, Rosa Cusiné; her son, Joan Cusiné Cusiné; and his sons, Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol. A traditional winery with young and fresh ideas making smooth, well balanced wines and cavas, created with grapes grown on their five estates. These five estates boast a mosaic of soils and microclimates, with vineyards ranging from 170m to 750m above sea level, giving each wine a unique personality.

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014The Cusiné family are 100% dedicated to caring for the vines and creating their wines with passion and thoughts, which is seen in their environmentally considerate approaches. So much so that their wines and cavas are certified as organic. A strong commitment to the natural environment encouraged the family to raise and care for their own flock of sheep which fertilize the vineyards. And more recently bees are being used to ensure that the tiny flowers are pollinated and to transmit the influence of the Mediterranean climate onto the grapes.

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014The winery can be found at the Parés Baltà masia (Penedès), dating back to 1790 and built at various stages with a range of different building materials such as adobe and stone. When restoring the old masia, the original structure was maintained and then the most up-to-date technology was installed, including various tasting rooms. The cava (cellar), in the shape of a cross with an arched roof made of solid brick, was built at the beginning of the 20th century by hand and is 10 metres underground. At this depth a temperature somewhere between 14ºC and 15ºC is constantly maintained.

Parés Baltà is very active in wine tourism. Winery visits and tastings are available daily. While it is advisable to make a reservation, on the spur of the moment show ups are catered for wherever possible.

Brut Nature 50 Great Cavas 2014Tasting Notes from 50 Great Cavas 2014

Brut Nature NV – Blend of white fruit & pastry aromas. Fresh but balanced entrance. Fruity long finish. Exquisite

Blanca Cusiné 2009 – Jammy notes of apricot, honey & figs. Fruity entrance. Creamy texture. Frothy palate. Bitter almond finish.

Brut NV – Green pears with subtle pastry notes. Balanced acidity and sweetness. Frothy mouthfeel. Short finish.

 

 

TEFL through cava tasting

Young business entrepreneurs improved their English language skills and learned about cava at ‘Improve your English with 50 Great Cavas’

Last Saturday (10 May 2014), students from Jove Cambra Internacional de Vilafranca del Penedès gathered at Centre Agrícol to kill two birds with one stone; under the tutelage of Anthony Swift, founder of Wine Pleasures, they improved their English language skills while learning about Spanish sparkling wines – Cava!

The twenty attendees were divided into four groups to heighten interaction. Class kicked off with an icebreaker; students introduced themselves to one another in the form of interviews. Once everyone was acquainted, Swift proceeded by pre-teaching lexis that would come up in the cava tasting such as:

Alcohol, Beads of bubbles, Bottle, Sparkling wine, Cork, Decorative cap, Grape varieties
Rising, Vintage, Wire cage…….

Equipped with technical data sheets about myriad cavas, each student was given the chance to practice delivering a speech. Swift drew their attention to grammatical mistakes, the proper use of tenses, and the difference between the active and passive voice. From time to time, Swift opened the floor to volunteers for fun activities such as “How to open a bottle of cava.” Students were also able to write and present a tasting note for each cava which gave a meaningful context to practice language functions such as agree/disagree, make suggestions, give opinions present facts and figures…Students were encouraged to correct their own errors – grammar, lexis, pronunciation…

One highlight of the event was the opportunity to sample cavas contending for ‘50 Great Cavas 2014.’  The students were especially enthusiastic about this segment of class, which involved identifying colours, aromas, bubbles, and flavors. They also gained pointers on pairing cava with food.

While Saturday’s event drew a mixture of first timers and regulars, the former outnumbered the latter. An attendee frankly stated that he wouldn’t have made the 25-minute drive had the class not been cava-themed!

Cavas included in the tasting were produced at  Peяe Mata, Mas Codina, Rovellats, and Vallformosa 

50 Great Cavas 2014 on Facebook Twitter @50greatcavas #cava #50gc

 

Time to Toast 50 Great Cavas of 2014

Anticipating the forthcoming cava tasting and publication of 50 Great Cavas 2014.

Ready to raise a glass to the 50 Great Cavas of 2014? The Call for Cavas is well underway with early entries from Agusti TorelloCapita VidalCastell D’orCanals & MunneDominio de la VegaGramona, Pep WinesVallformosaPere VenturaUnión Vinícola del Este to name just a few.

Blind tastings are scheduled for mid-May 2014.

While taste tests chiefly determine cava investments, wine enthusiasts also appreciate a handsome bottle on the shelf. Wineries ought to invest in good product design. While some might argue that form follows function, there’s no denying that we are naturally drawn to aesthetics. Those looking to gift cava to friends and family are also more likely to pick presentable bottles. Here are a handful of this year’s contenders we deem especially eye-catching:

Stay tuned for the publication of 50 Great Cavas 2014.which is expected to be available from 1 July 2014

Check out the 50 Great Cava wine tasting tour here>>

Samantha Lim

Golden Rules for Successful Winery Visits

Golden rules for winery visits - avoid showing stainless steel tanksWhat I told Georgia and what I learned from Georgia. Talk delivered by Tim Clarke at the International Wine Tourism Conference, 2014 Georgia (IWINETC) 

Tim’s Golden Rules for Successful Wine Visits 

  • Be open when people want to visit! (This may mean Sunday).
  • For goodness sake, give them some wine quickly! Don’t talk for ages, with empty glasses!
  • Make the visit different, interesting or fun. This does not detract from experience or the “seriousness” of your wine.
  • Think through your group size & visitor numbers policy carefully. Can your installation cope with large groups? Equally importantly, do you really want a constant stream of individuals?
  • Golden rules for wiinery visits - give them a glass of wineConsider what your visitors have been doing before they come to see you. Offer them water when they arrive and don’t tell them exactly the same as they may have already have been told elsewhere.Find out, in advance what the rest of itinerary is, and tailor your visit accordingly.
  • Do not add people off the street onto specialist groups (add a visiting winemaker, perhaps). Generally, don’t mix up different types of clients (primary, secondary, tertiary).
  • Don’t talk at great length about your super-premium wine, and then offer something cheap.
  • Use videos with care, in fact visitors often dread them. Don’t show the video to everyone.
  • Golden rules for winery visits - don't be installation drivenMatch stuff to customers. Bring out the winemaker or the owner for important visitors.
  • If you can’t afford an expensive visitor centre, don’t panic. Tourist facilities do not make the successful visit; the host, the wine, the experience and the message does this.
  • Don’t be driven by installations. You are not giving a tour to explain how every bit of equipment works. You are giving a tour of what you, your wines, your winery and your region are about.
  • A great deal of time is often spent discussing what wine tours should be told, but remarkably little time is spent discussing what they should be asked. Perhaps find out:

– What impressions the wines have made?
– Is the purpose of their visit to the country primarily to taste wine? If not what is it?
– How regularly they drink wine? At what value?
– Where does the wine come from?
– What is their age? Country & State that they live in? & Their Email?

Golden rules for winery visitsYou can see immediately how useful this information would be for gaining an understanding of how wine tourism is working for the winery and the country and for follow-up direct sales.
So ask questions, don’t just tell people things.

  • Remember, you are not just promoting yourself. You are selling Wine of Georgia too. 

Can you think of any more Golden rules to add? We’d like to hear them so please feel free to put them into a comment.

The 2015 International Wine Tourism Conference will be held in La Champagne.

La Llacuna Terra de Vins d’Alçada – Spanish Wine Festival

La Llacuna, terra de vins d’alçadaThe annual wine festival La Llacuna Terra de Vins d’Alcada took place in October 2013. The celebration of the plump jewels took place in the middle of the hilly wine country of La Llacuna (Penedes), a town with 900 smiles…and 1800 feet that have the scent of grapes ingrained in them.

As more and more people were beginning to pour into the village square, the smell of wine, cheese, and cured meats were playing the Spanish orchestra of growling stomachs. The vines from the recently finished harvest were being burned in a pit for a barbecue in a corner of the square, sending a smokey bouquet through the air which foretold of an epic meal. Cutting through the orgasmic overload of olfactory stimulations was the sound of the Shawm, a traditional double-reeded Catalan instrument which sound resembles the sharpness of a bagpipe. Along with the Shawm band came 2 Catalan Giants which stood tall into the dry blue sky, marking the beginning of the festival. The 7 spanish couple made of wood and paper-mache jumped,swayed, and spun the traditional Catalan circle dance, the Sardana, as children watched with their mouths open in awe. As soon as the skirts that were mid-air from the final Sardana spin floated back down to the archaic stone floor of the square, the sound of popping Cava bottles marked the beginning of the festival.

The festival booths were mainly of wineries, majorities of which were presenting their Cavas. Each glass of Cava varied dramatically in bouquet, aroma, taste, and mouth feel but one thing was true of all of the cavas; it replenished the thirsty throat from the dry spanish air as warm butter smoothed out the harshness of fresh bread. The wide array of sausages and patés were full of diversity which allowed for many different pairings. The locals had to stay attentive towards their nibbling on the cured meats to make sure that the appetizer did not eventually become the main dish. Another popular culinary piece was the local cheese which included cow, goat, and sheep cheese. Tasting the different cheeses at different stages of the aging process suggested that there really is a perfect cheese for every one. The same cheese can present such different colors simply by a few months difference in age. Another piece that was being presented at the festival was the local honey made in the factory just a few seconds walk from the town square. The string of gold sparkled in the mid day sun as it was being slowly laid onto the perfectly burnt piece of miniature toast. The taste, contrastingly to it’s appearance, was as fresh as a breeze in a field of flowers. It’s sharp sweetness, mild yet present acidity, and lemony bouquet was a perfect refreshment from the other heavier snacks of the festival.

While the adults enjoyed a warm afternoon filled with local culinary delights, the children gathered around the donkeys and horses which gave children rides around the town. Their innocent giggles and wide open eyes added a youthful and relieving air to the crowd. And once that air loosened everybody up enough (with a little help from the alcohol), it was time for the annual grape stomping event!

A huge crowd gathered around the three wine barrels that had been cut in half that was filled with freshly picked !!!!!!!!!!! grapes. Behind the barrels were the participants of the crushing who had their knees and elbows bent in anticipation of the MC’s cue to start the dance which would begin the transformation process which converts the jewels into a magical elixir. Once the sound of “!!!!!!!!” resonated amongst the rowdy crowd, the grape dancers jumped into the pile of grapes and started stomping as if there was no tomorrow. Grapes were flying everywhere, limbs were going all over the place, the faces of the stompers were full of life and energy, the air amongst the entire square was filled with intense jubilation and naivety. After a while of stomping (including one of the giants that decided to participate) , the MC signaled for the participants to leave the barrels. The little girl who attempted to get her final extra stomps in was shouted at by the MC as if she was his own son. The three buckets were lifted to determine which had the most grape juice in it; the crowd grew silent and a new tension was created amongst the audience. Once the winner was announced, hands flailed into the air and the entire town broke into cheers. The liveliness in the participants eyes remained even while washing off the stems, seeds, and grape skin from their glistening feet.

As the grape stomping came to a slow end, the church clock facing the town square stroke two and let out a meditative vibration with its ancient bells which brought the lofty spirits of the festival back to earth. The festival was over, but the passion of wine and life remains in the air of Catalonia, as it has for centuries before.

Jonah Kaufman
Photos: Ruth Hogan

The Health Benefits Of Wine: Things To Consider

Health benefits wiineIt is a known fact that red wine is a good source of antioxidants that protect human cells and boost cell regeneration. It also has resveratrol that is good for the heart because it increases the levels of good cholesterol. While the benefits of the fine wine are endless, it should be noted that drinking it should be coupled with a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, consuming it on a daily basis will just be futile.

Knowing that wine is beneficial is not enough, you should also know what kinds of wine are good for you and kind of food should be consumed with them. Beef, pastas (and other food with red sauce), beef, chocolate, lamb, and cheese are some of the food products that should be consumed with red wine. On the other hand, seafood, salty and spicy food, and pork are some of the food that should not be taken together with the said drink.

good wineThe next thing that you should put into consideration is the kind of wine that you should drink to achieve its health benefits. Studies show that Bordeaux, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabaret are some of the best wines that improve overall health and well-being.

Take note also that not all wines are created equal and expensive ones are not always better than their cheaper counterparts. This is because many normally-priced reds are known to deliver same benefits as high-class fine wine. Therefore, you do not have to overspend or go way beyond your budget if you want to consume the said drink for health reasons.

wine healthLastly, it is important to know that the red wine can only improve overall health and well-being if it will taken in moderation or five ounces for women and ten ounces for men. Going beyond this limit can be hazardous to your health since it can lead to the development of hypertension, obesity, irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest, cholesterol build up, stroke, and other dangerous conditions.

Again, it is common knowledge that red wine is good for the heart. However, it is important to comprehend the specific details of its benefits in order to make the most of them. Not doing so may do more harm than good.

50 Great Sparkling Wine Corks to Pop in 2013

50 Great Sparkling Wines 2013 CoverAfter solely focusing their publishing efforts into demystifying the sparkling Spanish delicacy, cava, by creating the annually released 50 Great Cavas eBook, the innovative minds of Wine Pleasures have once again become inspired to spread the good wine word. Wine Pleasures, the popular online haven for advice, explanation, and general information regarding the world of wine, is ready to broaden their readers’ horizons in a very literal way.

50 Great Sparkling WinesThis premier online publication of 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World marks a momentous occasion for Wine Pleasures. While previously and continuously utilizing their platform in the wine community to provide an outlet of exposure for Spanish cavas, they are now able to introduce sparkling wines from all over the globe. Anthony Swift, founder and owner of Wine Pleasures, explains, “We have a mission and a responsibility to enrich our readers’ wealth of knowledge of wine from any and all wine regions of the world. We know how difficult it can be to uncover this information, even on the internet.”

Finca Sophenia 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2013There is no doubt that Wine Pleasures’ 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World will fulfill the online wine world’s needs for sparkling wine information, by all but pouring them a glass of the alluring elixirs. The book will provide the history of sparkling wine, detailed explanation of the various production methods used, and, of course, a list of the 50 great sparkling wines, with accompanying profiles of their respective wineries. A delightful bonus to the package is the brilliant photographs that accompany the winery descriptions, transporting the reader from the rugged mountains of Argentina all the way to the rolling coastal vineyards of Italy.

Gramona 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2013While Wine Pleasures knows how important facts and information are to their wine worshiping readers, they are well aware of what they might place on a slightly higher pedestal:  wine quality. Armed with this knowledge, they recruited five the most experienced and respected experts in the business. This equally valuable yet extremely diverse panel of tasters is comprised of individuals who have worked in and around the industry for nearly their entire lives, devoting much of their energy to furthering their education and continually gaining experience in the art and science of wine. With this collection of competent and discerning palates judging each given wine according to its colour, bouquet, balance, sparkle-retention, flavor, and finish, 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World is certain to have a delicious and decisively scored selection of sparkling wines.

Even more amazing than Wine Pleasures’ enthusiasm for sharing the world of wine with the world wide web is their generosity in doing so. That’s right, when 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World is released on October 1st, all readers have to relinquish is a few measly megabytes of computer memory.

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2013 available here>>

On the way to judge for 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

Wine PleasuresSo densely packed with all manner of deciduous and evergreen trees is the 10,000 square metres plot which is home to the Wine Pleasures Business, that it’s not really possible to see the boundaries!

Roughly constructed walkways allow ambling access to cultivated fruit bushes giving some respite from the out-in-the-sticks forest-like feel of the place. At one point the land opens out to reveal a child’s play area, complete with Football Sala goals, only to be consumed once again on the touchline by wild shrubs, herbs and more trees.

There’s a drive that leads from the flat where I stayed for two nights which is better suited to a sturdy four-wheel drive vehicle than the cars of my colleagues, the other judges who arrived from all over Spain to take part in this inaugural 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World Competition. However, stray off the path and who knows what flora and fauna may consume the inquisitive visitor.

jabaliThe night I arrived, Director Anthony Swift and I saw a wild boar, a large one at that, no doubt making its way to a feeding ground, or perhaps its lair (do boars have lairs?). The following day his son, the multilingual Jethro (at 12 years of age, he wouldn’t like to be known as the child of the play area, of course!) told me of the large snakes that are regularly seen as well as the hunting birds in this picturesque 700 metre above sea level hilly landscape above the town of Vilafranca del Penedés.

Yes, that Vilafranca – central to the DO Penedés from where many of Spain’s super whites and reds are made. I arrived at night but on leaving in daylight two days later (recovering from the intake, albeit professional tasting, of approaching fifty sparkling wines!) I was able to enjoy the sight of miles and miles of well tended vineyards as we descended from their mountain hideaway and into the valley.

A perfect place for Anthony Swift to establish his Wine Pleasures Wine Tours Company, after a career in marketing, the final move of which brought him to nearby Barcelona. Wine Pleasures was one of the first wine tourism companies in Spain, founded at the beginning of the 21st Century, ensuing from the keen interest and wide, self-taught, knowledge of the founder.

Like many businesses it has developed and evolves still. The core business, designing, conducting and enjoying bespoke wine tours for groups and individuals continues (for example a bike tour of nearby(ish!) bodegas is included in their portfolio) but there have been successful spin-offs too.

Anthony has a large database of wineries who want to sell and importers who want to buy. He brings them together for one-on-one seminars where products are tasted, prices discussed and deals sealed.

He has found that there are a large number of wine producers in Spain who baulk at the prices charged for exhibiting at the various wine fairs, including the cost of the hundreds of bottles of wines that have to be used as samples and the staff to pour, chat and try to sell; and he matches them with buyers who avoid the crowds of time wasters at such events, preferring to take some tranquil time with producers of whom they have a knowledge thanks to Anthony’s good offices. It works.

50 Great Cavas 2013What also works, after a successful launch three years ago, is the 50 Great Cavas Competition and resulting e-book (now available, incidentally, through www.50greatcavas.com). This innovative idea came about because Anthony, a great aficionado of Cava, once Googled the idea – 50 Great Cavas, click. There was no response which led to him thinking that there really should be some sort of guide of the best Cavas available. A competition was born and a business idea blossomed.

The year-on added interest in his book – interest from Cava makers and from Cava consumers, a winning blend if ever there was one, spawned yet another fizzing good idea. Why not try a similar format but with sparkling wines of the world? This could include Cava, of course, but it would also enfranchise sparklers from other parts of the world.

Judges meet for 50 Grat Sparkling Wines of the World TastingI was offered a place on the panel of judges for the inaugural event held over the final weekend of August  – I was interested in the concept, and hey, I like sparkling wine, to which regular readers will be able to attest! Easy question, easier answer – I was on-board!

The judging panel was chaired by Anthony and our fellow judges were all professionals in the wine business – journalists, sommeliers, a bodega Export Manager and the owner of a wine merchants.

Sensibly, the wines were put into different categories. The main difference was those wines which are made by the Traditional Method, what used to be called the Champagne Method. In other words the same method discovered in France and then  transported to most wine producing countries; and those which are made by the Charmat method, which involves provoking the second fermentation, not in bottle as with the Traditional Method, but in wine that is stored after its first fermentation in a pressurised tank.

50 Great Cava roducer Fermí BohigasThere were also sub-divisions for the first group, the Traditional Method, according to the amount of residual sugar the wines contained and also according to the amount of time they had been on their lees – in other words how long they had been kept in contact with the yeast cells which initiated the second fermentation.

It is this deposit of yeast, the sediment, that is blown out of the bottle when the sparkling wine is disgorged immediately before the bottle is finally closed and therefore ready for sale.

Sparkling wine judging Wine PleasuresEach of us was asked to score the wine out of twenty marks, giving a mark for example for its colour, flavours, aromas, how long the bubbles lasted in the mouth and more. All of this bearing in mind each wine’s category – for example a wine in the higher residual sugar bracket would be expected to have a sweet element to it and would be marked down if it didn’t. Similarly a Brut Nature style wine, the lowest sugar content category would be punished if it were in fact sweet at all etc.

We were also directed to write brief notes about the wines so that there could be feedback to those wineries who had entered – there’s nothing like professional, constructive criticism and I’m sure that producers will take note when the results are published and the comments are circulated.

Colin Harkness 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World judge 2013However, that’s not today! So I’m sorry to say that the placings will not be published here, now – that’s for a forthcoming post coming soon.

Contact Colin: [email protected] and www.colinharknessonwine.com plus you can now follow Colin on Twitter  @colinonwine

Piedmont & Asti’s Bocchino return for Wine Pleasures Workshop, Arezzo

Bocchino toast to Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italain CellarThe Bocchino winery is located in the Astigliano (Asti), Piedmont – well known for the Sparkling Wine Moscato d’Asti. In Canelli, brother and sister  Daniele and Annalisa  are leading a successful wine business which boasts 10 hectares. Annalisa chatted to us  about the challenges of a good export strategy and good customer service in the wine trade. Bocchino has previously attended the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar 2012, Assisi and has been impressed by the event effectiveness and ambience. Annalisa is ready for BMIC 2013 in Arezzo.  

Bocchino Winery participate at Wine Pleasures Workshop

How long have you been making wine?

Bocchino to particpate at Wine PleasuresWe make wine for about 200 years (we make wine since generations). The winery is managed by Giuseppe and his family since 1974, and by Annalisa and her family since 2009. 

What can you tell us about the kind of consumers who drink your wine?

The clients that use to drink our wines are consumers which care for the quality of the product, those who look for typical wines of our region (Piedmont) and that look for wines that reflect the terroir the wines come from. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in getting your wines into the hands of consumers? 

The main challenges we have faced is to make some consumers that had a standard idea of the wines understand the quality and the traditional features of our wines. However, usually, the customer feels the difference when tasting our wines,

Having participated to BMIC 2012 Umbria, how would you compare the workshop methodology at Wine Pleasures to a large-scale wine trade fair? What are the strengths and weaknesses of both? 

Besay at Workshop Buyer meets Spanish Cellar 2011BMIC has good organisational skills. The difference between BMIC and the other workshops is that the winery is left alone when it comes to the organisation of a meeting with a buyer or an importer. On the one hand this is a good thing because this way you can choose the buyers you want to meet, but from the other hand, the winery is left with a job which is time-consuming. .

Another great aspect of Wine Pleasure’s workshop is that during BMIC there is more flexibility in the appointments schedules, there is time to chat, discuss and think.

If you are a wine importer and would like to meet Annalisa of Bocchino  then you may be eligible to attend the Workshop BMIC as an invited buyer.

Sofia Sagripanti

50 Great Cavas 2013 Revealed!

50 Great Cavas 2013Since its groundbreaking online conception in 2011, the annual publication of 50 Great Cavas has become a much-anticipated event in the wine world. Prior to this innovative eBook, information and recognition of the sparking Spanish specialty, cava, was extraordinarily difficult to come by. Taking note of this, one particular wine enthusiast and businessman jumped in to fill the cava void.

Anthony Swift editor & judge 50 Great CavasAnthony Swift, though not a Spanish local, was no stranger to the likes of cava. After moving from the UK to Spain, Swift cultivated an enormous interest in the heavily adored and produced wines of his new country.  At last, in 2004, Swift had the brilliance to combine his wine passion with his educational and professional background, creating Penedes based tourism company, Wine Pleasures, which soon grew to be one of the leading wine event & tourism companies in all of Spain and would eventually become the perfect outlet for the first of many online wine publications, namely 50 Great Cavas. Swift proclaims, “Cava didn’t have a name to speak of within the wine community, so this eBook was the perfect way to provide that for both wine lovers and wine professionals.”

Tasting CavaChosen by the most experienced and discerning wine experts, the 50 cavas featured in this book are certainly remarkable. To ensure that the tasting process was fair and honest, the wines were classified and tasted according to dosage and aging time on the lees. This year’s  judging procedure proved to be both difficult and fruitful, as the selection was so exceptional that each and every cava featured scored at least 91 points or above from the panel of experts.

50 Great Cavas LLopartThis third annual publication of 50 Great Cavas not only provides its readers with the top cavas of 2013 and a thorough overview of the wine makers and vineyards from which they come, but also provides an overview of the origin in the Catalonia region, the history of its worldwide growth, and the creation process of the bubbling beauty itself. This makes it the perfect gift to share with both the wine experts and the ever-eager to learn wine enthusiasts in your life.

While the quality of cava this year is notably high, readers will find the prices to be quite the opposite. In fact, while the price of the cavas range from €5 to €40, ninety percent of this year’s selection come in under €20 per bottle, with many coming in under €10 per bottle, making them affordable for any occasion.

Agustí Torelló 50 Grat Cavas Project Wine PleasuresIn the past, one small problem with this publication was giving readers an easy way to taste the cavas listed. As many of the vineyards that produce cava only sell them locally or to very specific surrounding countries in Europe, solely those with the time and means necessary to travel to Spain and the specific wineries within it had the ability to taste all of these noteworthy cavas. Lucky for readers this year, that the third time is the charm, as this is the first year that Wine Pleasure’s 50 Great Cavas has teamed up with Decantalo, an online Spanish wine shop, to bring any and all of the 50 Great Cavas directly to the front of all European door steps, giving customers the opportunity to have a bubbly sip of Spain right in their own homes. Furthermore, Decantalo is anticipating being able to ship each of the 50 Great Cavas to each of the 50 great states in the US as early as October of this year!

Cava tasting Wine TourismAnother October event that Wine Pleasures is anxiously looking forward to is their first blogger -media trip, in which Anthony Swift himself will lead a small team of wine and travel blogger’s through the infamous Catalonian cava country to explore many of this year’s top cava producing wineries. “Our ultimate goal with this trip and, of course, with our publications of 50 Great Cavas is to generate greater awareness and appreciation of cava,” notes Swift, and it is certainly clear that he won’t be slowing down until cava’s rightful place is acknowledged, be it within the beverage menus, wine blogs, or even history books, of the wine world.

Click on the banner to download 50 Great Cavas 2013 and share it with your friends and family!

50 Great Cavas 2013