Cava DO partners with gastronomic researcher to seek out new food pairings

As part of its ongoing effort to raise the reputation of Cava worldwide, the regulatory body for Spain’s fizz producers is working with food writer and molecular gastronomy expert François Chartier to develop new ideas for food pairings.

Vilafranca del Penedès, the president of Cava DO, said that the partnership aims to “scientifically show that Cava is an ideal wine to accompany flavours from all over the world.”

“This collaborative effort, characterised by its high level and standards, is backed by the Cava Regulatory Council to publicise the qualities of Cava and to uphold it as a quality sparkling wine that can be used to generate universal harmonies; that is, it may be perfectly combined with the infinity of flavours around the world.”

The group has said that Chartier will carry out a “scientific and organoleptic study” of the dominant aroma characteristics of four types of Cava, differentiated by their ageing times.

The food pairing study will look at the Spanish sparkler’s compatibility with “five of the world’s leading cuisines…the Mediterranean diet, Japan, Peru, Mexico and the USA.”

The project comes as the group is undergoing the biggest shake-up of its production rules since its creation 30 years ago. The minimum ageing period for Reserva Cava will increase from 15 to 18 months, while aged Cava will have to be from vines which are at least 10 years old.

Pagés told db the group is “enhancing quality and the complexity of Cava wines,” earlier this month.

Newly released government figures show that the number of organic wine producers in Catalonia increased by 17.5% to 241 in 2018 up from 205 in 2017.

The DO has also hired six wine experts to review proposals for its segmentation and zoning project, after nine producers formally broke ranks with the DO to set up producer-led group Corpinnat at the start of this year.

Cava DO’s project follows reports earlier this year that nine producers, including Recaredo and Gramona, had formally broken away from to form their own EU-recognised body known as Corpinnat.

It was also announced that the Cava DO would be launching a ‘Cava Discovery Week’ in key international markets in November in a bid to raise the profile of the Spanish fizz.

In Focus: In search of the ‘perfect’ food and wine pairing

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