EP 962 Cava Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk has long been a fan of Cava, sparkling wine from Spain, as an alternative to expensive Champagne. Cava comes from the Barcelona region in Spain and ring in at nice price points.

Wines tasted in this episode:

Cavas Hill BrutSpanish Brut Nonvintage
One + One Three BrutSpanish Brut Nonvintage
Codorniu OriginalSpanish Brut Nonvintage
2007 Gramona Gran CuveeSpanish Brut Vintage

Latest Comment:

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Cara Cassetta

Can cheap-end Cava be compared to high-end Champagne & expect the same quality? I want to see a tasting of Cava priced at the same prices as high-quality Champagne, there we can see the quality-price-value ratio. I don’t feel it’s fair $9 Cava being tasted as an alternative cheap version of Champagne, when Cava is completely unique in it’s own way not simply defined as an imitation. There is some awesome Cava, perhaps it might not be as widely-accessible as other wines, but, beyond convenience they are a treasure waiting to be discovered…

Tags: brut, Cava, review, Spanish, sparkling, Video, wine, wines

Episodes >

  • You should’ve taken that bottle of Freixenet back with you and tasted it! It would’ve saved the show! My wife and I have been ringing in the new year for years with Freixenet’s Cordon Negro Brut (which also answers the QOTD).

  • Anonymous

    Well I’m considering my favourite bubbly, Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis but we’ll see if I actually come through, that stuff ain’t cheap.

  • Anonymous

    Raventos I blanc L hereu reserva Brut Cava 2008. This is the one you should have had on the show.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I like to get New Years eve started in style, so I’ll be serving some good Champagne. Also, people can really appreciate it at the begining of the evening when palates are still fresh. For midnight fireworks and cigars it could well be Cava. Have always been annoyed at myself when I have splashed a 50+ $ Champagne at that time when everybody’s too drunk to appreciate it!

    And that is really the point for me: why is Champagne just better? I know cheap Champagnes are not better than similarly priced Cavas, but why isn’t there anybody in the world that can produce sparkling wine that can compete with the big guns of Champagne? Even the best Cava doesn’t come close to some of the big Champagne producers’ ‘house wines’. That’s why Champagne prices are going through the roof!

  • I have seen a couple of your video’s now, like your presentation style. Your points on cave are valid its price point is much cheaper than Champagne, here in the UK cava its popular, for parties works great. We look forward to seeng more of your videos at http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk keepup the good work

  • Right on, although I’d say that Franciacorta and Trento DOC sparkling wines from Italy can compete with high-end Champagne. I recently wrote about Ca’del Bosco and Bellavista as two top producers of Franciacorta. Ca’del Bosco’s Annamaria Clementi vintage Franciacorta is a great sparkling wine of the world. Ferrari’s vintage brut from a good year is another Champagne rival.

  • K is for Kate

    I’m dining out with a friend on NYE, so my sparkler choices will depend on what’s being offered at the restaurant. I do have a New Year’s Day tradition with another friend of sparkling wine and popcorn (excellent pairing) while watching movies, though. I will likely go with Cava for that- I just put Vega Barcelona in to chill.

    In general, my go-to super QPR Cava is Segura Viudas, which is quite decent on its own (though I find it funny how many restaurants around here charge $6 for it by the glass when it can be had for about $6 a bottle at the supermarket) but perfect for cocktails. It sometimes makes it hard to spend even $10-$15 on other Cava.

  • K is for Kate

    L. Mawby in Michigan does some demi-sec which I have found to be fun and tasty, but I don’t know that you could track down any of that in time. Good luck in finding some sweeter bubbles!

  • K is for Kate

    That was supposed to be a reply to Phredd, but it didn’t seem to show up in the right place and won’t let me edit it. Discus being flakey? I’m using Chrome.

  • Anonymous

    Clair’s… haircut: 96+ pts.

  • Anonymous

    Pero la gran mayoria comes from Sant Sadurni, Penedes, Cataluña – just outside Barcelona. In fact, you can take the commuter train out of Barcelona and go right past the Freixenet bodega.

  • Anonymous

    Freixenet and Cordoniu are the two big/industrial producers and each year they come out with Christmas tv ads for their cavas…it’s a tradition of sorts in Spain. This year (actually most years) I prefer the Cordoniu ad. I’m sure they’re on youtube, you should check ’em out!

    Gramona Imperial is our go to cava and we had a bottle of Gramona III Lustros 2003 last night. I’ve seen elsewhere that this stuff goes for $60 in the US which is a pity because in Spain it’s around ?20 which makes it a great deal in my book.

  • John__J

    Qotd: Got one from New Zealand I’m considering

  • Anonymous

    So what ?(y que ?,la uva Bobal es valenciana,pero hay mucho más en Mnchuela,por lo tanto,para ti,la uva es de Manchuela ?..por favor !) Would you forget Carneros if your talking about Californian wines
    From where was the best Cava in 2003 ?,oh,not from San Sadurni,it was from Requena-Dominio de la Vega Brut Reserva Especial-.I thing it’s very important to let know the wine lovers a complete information from where the Cava is.

  • Gary, The best show in a while. As a lurker living in Scotland I’ve never seen footage of the Wine Library, that excited me a bit. I wanna visit some time!…. Soon.
    QOTD… I work in a wine store here in Edinburgh and we are selling a cava called Torre Oria which is out of this world… alyhough because of my passion and amazing selling skills there is none left for a a week or so!
    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Let me know when you are in the Uk in 2011. Please cometo my shop and record a thunder show, see what us uk vayniacs are up to!

  • Great show Gary. I am really looking forward to coming to Wine Library in March now that I saw your gigantic store! We will be drinking Tishbi Estate Brut for New Years Eve. I worked there and get a good deal. It is also one of the few kosher bubblies in Israel.

  • QOTD: Not sure yet. Have a few in the fridge. Polished off the prosecco on Christmas Eve. Do have a bottle of the 1+1=3 so maybe we’ll drink that.

  • Anonymous

    Another great episode. Ever think about doing a sparkling red episode?

  • Anonymous

    Why is everyone pushing to cava?
    Sometimes it’s reasonable but most of the time it’s not interesting at all.
    Just a sparkling with no body or taste. The only reason I see why people drink this is because it’s cheap.

    I would like to see an episode between cava and average champagne like Moet, Taitinger, Veuve Cliquot, Mumm, Mally, so not the high end stuff but the champagne most people drink.
    Loved the view from the shop.
    But Gary, why music in the shop?

    QOTD. None.

  • Anonymous

    Right. Bellavista is great. I have the Bellavista Saten and the Bellavista Vitorio Moretti. Two great wines. But that aren’t cheap ones.

  • Anonymous

    I totally, totally agree.

  • laurensNL

    Haha loved the Beemster cow from Holland at 5:40, awesome 😛

  • Had a hungarian sparkling at x-mas; Hungaria grande cuvée. 12$, great! The best Cava for me is Segura Viudas, brut blanc de blanc at 14. I may try a Vouvray this new year as well.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD – hmm, maybe a pink grower’s champagne

  • QOTD: I’ll probably be drinking some Domaine Chandon or Domaine Carneros sparklers for New Years, I’ve really liked a lot of what I’ve had from there as well as the fact that they aren’t too pricey. Of course I will also probably have a Chateau Frank sparkling wine as well, maybe the Celebre which is made with Riesling. Definitly going to go a little cheaper as my friends will probably drink some as well.

  • Anonymous

    Gramona Cavas can compete with the best of Champagne. There are a handful of other producers in the D.O. Cava that make sparkling wine as good as or even better than what comes out of the big Champagne houses. An at a fraction of the price. Try Agusti Torello Mata, Recaredo, Naveran…to name a few.

  • QOTD – I would have certainly gone with one of my J vineyard magnums, but they are all lost in transit with our furnishings… that being said, assuming we don’t pick something up on Napa this week, probably a bottle of Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d?Alsace Brut Rose, which I had recently and was quite impressed. Great structure and the rose adds the little bit of whimsy that goes well with New Years. It will also be a nice lead into the beef tenderloin. Happy Holidays!

  • QOTD – I would have certainly gone with one of my J vineyard magnums, but they are all lost in transit with our furnishings… that being said, assuming we don’t pick something up on Napa this week, probably a bottle of Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d?Alsace Brut Rose, which I had recently and was quite impressed. Great structure and the rose adds the little bit of whimsy that goes well with New Years. It will also be a nice lead into the beef tenderloin. Happy Holidays!

  • QOTD: Cupcake vineyards Prosecco

  • Anonymous

    QOTD – NV Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace – I enjoy this sparkling wine because it’s sparkly, celebratory, and substantial enough to pair with finger foods.

    Thanks, Gary, for keeping at it! Your video blogs are a gem, and so are you.

  • Anonymous

    Good to see a Cava episode in the mix. It’s been a while… BUT I’m still waiting for the Franciacorta Episode!!

    QOTD: I have a 2004 Brut Franciacorta that I snagged at half-price (likely due to the store’s difficulty to move wines of this lesser-known category) that I am eager to pop alongside Champagne, Prosecco, and CA sparklers on NYE.

  • I am planning on two sparkling wines: 1) Blanquette de Limoux (Domaine Rosier) and 2) Bellenda Prosecco – ands I love both these wines…

  • Starting the evening off with a Prosecco from Bellenda followed by a Blanquette de Limoux from Vallée des Aigles. Both wines are spanking good!

    PS! How about a show on Blaquette?

  • Anonymous

    GV – Huge Cava lover, sucks the bottles didn’t show there stuff!

    QOTD: I am going with some Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava and perhaps some Cook’s Brut! BALLER!

  • Never tried Cava but considering it for NYE.

    I never realized the Wine Library was so huge! Thanks for taking us on a quick tour, I need to make a trip out there and find out for myself!

    QOTD: Prosecco and Cava, unsure of what vineyard but I want something different.

  • Anonymous

    Having worked at Iron Horse Vineyards back in the ’05-’06 timeframe, consuming sparkling wine for me, was a big part of my wine education and edification. I seldom drink it now, due to the simple seasonal vagaries of taste. I’ve had many domestic (North American) sparkling, and I’ve enjoyed a good handful of grower Champagnes, though I seldom is ever will buy or drink the big houses (Moet, Veuve, etc.). For me, little compelling is found in them.

    Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have an appealing Cava. Literally none spoke to me. I wouldn’t buy any again! This is probably due to my own thinking; “…it is Cava, so why not get the $5 version? It’s touted as a value…” I should try more Cava, but Spain has so much else to offer.

    Domestically I am selective in the sparkling I drink, but I think there are some mighty good offerings out here. The J. Schram from Schramsberg is a holiday favorite for me. Iron Horse always has a home with me of course. Good things come from the Pinot regions obviously, and as such I find myself appreciating consistently the sparkling wines from both Mendocino County (Roderer, Handly, Schramsberg sources there) and Oregon (Soter, Argyle, etc.). Domaine Carneros is pretty good, but I generally don’t like Chandon or Mumm too much. Korbel is of course non-champagne method. The better domestic producers have some mighty good late-disgorged bottlings.

    Good episode!

  • We did a Champagne – Cava – Cremant tasting alongside newyears dinner.
    Cordorniu Cuvee Raventos
    Langlois Cremant Loire Brut
    Palmer Blanc de Blanc 2004
    De Venoge Blanc de Noirs
    Bollinger Special Cuvee
    Tattinger Brut 2004
    Pol Roger Brut Rosé 2002
    I liked the BdN from the Champange producer De Venogne I did not know from before. The Pol Roger Rosé was nice. I usually like the fairly low priced champagnes from Palmer but this time I thought it was a bit bleak and hollow. The Cava did not match up to the others.

  • Anonymous

    We had Schramsberg Rose, Jeanmaire Blanc de Blanc and a Jeanmaire vintage champaigne

  • Anonymous

    Had a Schramsberg Rose, a Jeanmaire Blanc de Blanc and a Jeanmaire vintage champaigne

  • Hey Gary

    Good show. I love the old school walk around with the camera. Wine Library really does look impressive – I’ll have to try and come visit when I’m over in New York this Feb.

    QOTD: I was back in Australia for New Year’s and when I’m home I like to drink Aussie wine. Normally for special occasions it’s Mann made from a mutated ‘white Cabernet’ grape, though this year I also have a bit of Seppelt Salinger 2006 that I’m busting to try. However for New Year’s Eve I was actually at a wedding and had no idea what the sparkling they poured was…


  • wonderful to take us to the store!
    It’s somehow logical, but not really flattering for the real good cavas around to take up the “great names” Freixenet and Codorniu and their “basic” cavas and generalize for brand name and cava DO…I invite you to try Llopart and Recaredo cavas (cheapest from 10?), and really enjoy great quality! But, please do visit the Codorniu bodega, as it is art nouveau and a real gem!
    In my local wine shop (in a town near Madrid) of the ones you tasted I only find other Gramona and these are lower quality in comparison to Llopart and Recaredo cavas, and although I’m not too keen on bubbles (seem to get me drunk faster), I just love the Llopart Micromundi (I think it’s called like that, the pink cava of the bodega)! I had this one at Xmas eve, the Recaredo reserva at Xmas day and I’ll be having the Recaredo gran reserva at 3Kings (which is festive in Spain)=QOTD.
    By the way, maybe a good idea to talk about these distinctions of cava (I think they were introduced in 2010)…and then, you can easily make a difference between a “simple” Freixenet black bottle and a gran reserva aged on oak from Llopart or Recaredo!
    Festive greetings,

  • Todd

    Good show GV, love it when you stick to your guns!
    QOTD: For new years eve 010 my family opend; 1998 Argyle Extended Tirage, NV Champalou sparkling vouvray, and a NV Moet Chandon white star magnum. All three were very yummy!

  • Good show… Coolio’s song was Gangsta’s Paradise (1995).

    Have had cava before, but I prefer prosecco for the price.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that was a bit disappointing, now wasn’t it? I haven’t had any Cavas that excited me, although the ones I have had have been decent.

    QOTD: We had a NV Pierre Peters Blanc de Blanc Champagne and a NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne on new Year’s Eve. The Peters was superior, but both were pretty good sparklers.

  • Anonymous

    worked until 2300 New Year’s Eve and had to return back to work 0630 Jan 1 so no sparklers for me…what a poor start to my new year. Here’s hoping it only gets better. Anticipating the big 1 oh oh oh episode.

  • Anonymous

    Since I live in low-rent flyover country, we drink the cheap stuff here.. Segura Viudas with a shot of Chambord was my choice. The cava may be cheap but makes a lovely cocktail when mixed with a fruity liqueur. Cheers to 2011, thanks for the great shows GV! Keep it up in the new year and I’ll keep trying to find the wines you recommend here in BFE…

  • Anonymous

    Since I live in low-rent flyover country we drank the cheap stuff. Segura Viudas with a shot of Chambord was my choice. The cava may not be too exciting on its own but makes a lovely cocktail. Cheers to 2011! Keep making great shows, GV, and I’ll keep trying to find your recommendations here in BFE.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    WOW just caught a glimps of your shop!! Holly Cow. I am going to be in NY in April, how do I find it? Coming all the way from NS Canada.

  • Anonymous

    Very good episode – long overdue.

    Codorniu seems to be VERY inconsistent.. I think they have too many labels/cuvees and they don’t keep the quality and consistency throughout.

    I’ve a big fan of Cava, but the one problem I often have with it is that it can often has a slightly synthetic flavour. Plus it rarely has the richness and depth of Champagne.. probably mainly because of a lack of time on lees.


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