Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

If you think sparkling wines are only for special occasions, think again! Ray Isle of Food and Wine Magazine recently conducted a virtual tasting featuring sparkling wines of Cava DOC. From that Cava in the Kitchen event, here are ten top tips on pairing Cava with food any day of the week. Ray swears it’s sure to improve your life immensely!

Now, before we dive in, keep in mind that Cava is a remarkable bargain in a lot of cases. The samples I received of six sparklers featured in the online event ranged from a mere $12.99 to $22.99.

Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

Pro Tips from Ray Isle

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Taste Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle

To know me is to know I love bubbles. So how could I refuse an offer to participate in and promote the virtual event, Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle? Read on to learn more.

About Cava

First of all, a bit about Cava. This is Spain’s answer to Champagne. In other words, it’s a sparkling wine crafted in the traditional method like Champagne, but made in the Cava DO region of Spain. Although the method for these sparkling wines is similar, the grapes used are not. Cava relies primarily on the Spanish varieties Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarello. Nevertheless, these are wines made with care, yet available at a fraction of the price.

In fact, should you choose to fully participate in this tasting, the bundle of five wines is available from Gary’s Marketplace for a mere $86.95. Purchased individually, the wines range from $12.99 to $22.99 a bottle. If you’re into sparkling wine at all, you know that’s an incredible deal. When the wine samples arrived at my door, I was so excited to taste them!

Cava in the Kitchen Event Details

Cava, the longtime darling of sommeliers and bartenders around the world, is positioning itself internationally as the quality-driven wine that offers a glass of sparkling for every occasion.
This virtual tasting led by Ray Isle, executive wine editor of Food & Wine Magazine, will focus on the versatility of Cava—this traditional method sparkling wine offers a perfect pairing to a myriad of dishes that enhance every occasion, from everyday cuisine to celebratory meals. This tasting will explore the wide array of styles with distinct flavor profiles of Cava … whether you’re a novice or expert, this session is sure to unveil something new about why this Spanish sparkling wine is so in demand around the world. Featured wines include:

• Alta Alella Mirgin Rosé Reserva
• Bodegas Langa Reyes de Aragón ‘El Castro’ Reserva Brut
• Canals & Munné Dionysus Reserva Brut Nature
• Naveran Brut Vintage
• Roger Goulart Gran Reserva 2015
• Segura Viudas Brut Reserva

Don’t miss your chance to taste these wines along with Ray!

Jun 10, 2021
1:00 PM Pacific

Join live or register for the Zoom webinar.

Secure your wine selections at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace.

Easy Pairing: Romesco Sauce and Red Wine

My secret sauce for pairing red wine with food is Romesco sauce. The trick is that the sauce is what gets matched with the wine. Ingredients may be tweaked to best match Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or even a red blend. In other words, this is one way to go meatless and drink red wine, too!

True confession:  I am a lazy cook. The original recipe from chef and acclaimed cookbook author Joanne Weir calls for additional steps to fry the bread, roast red peppers, and toast the nuts. However, I usually don’t. Instead, everything goes in the food processor and gets blitzed up. This dish is ready in a flash!

Romesco Sauce Recipe

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How to Pair Syrah with Food

Styles of Syrah are as diverse as the many growing regions from where they come. That means there are numerous dishes that can highlight the character of this mesmerizing variety. To that end, here are some tried and true tips to pair Syrah with food.

Sure, it can be hard to know what we’re going to get whenever we select a bottle we haven’t tried before. Nevertheless, in this case anticipate plenty of personality. Typically a concentrated ruby red with a purple hue, Syrah is a dark and brooding variety that relates well to gloomy days and robust fare. Although Syrah is at its heart a meat lovers’ wine, it can adapt to flavorful vegetarian dishes.

Pair Washington Syrah with Food

Black olive tapenade, or its components, help a dish reveal those same characteristics in a Syrah from Boushey Vineyard.

A recipe that incorporates a hint of smoky bacon is likely to enhance the smokiness often present in a Red Mountain Syrah.

Savory fruit sauces will enhance the charm of a lush fruit forward Syrah from Horse Heaven Hills.

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Techniques to Match Syrah

Protein

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The Best Smoky Baba Ganoush

The best smoky Baba Ganoush starts with charred eggplant – the trick is to put it directly on the coals of the barbecue. If you’re firing up the barbecue anyway, you might as well give this recipe a try. The eggplants can char while you’re enjoying whatever has already been cooked. This recipe is probably easier than you think – and it pairs great with wine!

Recipe

2 Italian eggplants
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 teaspoon salt
Paprika
Extra virgin olive oil

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