Cava Tips for the Finish market!

Sweden and Finland have many things in common. Lots of Cava fans and a Monopoly on alcohol are two of them. For you not living with a monopoly like we are, I can tell you that it is a strange thing… but like all other things it has both good and bad sides.

Some time ago I got the question from a finish cava lover what tips I had when he was going to order cava at Alko (the monopoly in Finland). Now it struck me that there are of course more Finish cava fans out there that might like to get these. So here is what I recommended.

-Anything from the house Gramona, who is a terrific producer. 

Segura viudas Heredad, is a lovely Gran Reserva worth a try.
Recaredo is always a safe bet with wonderful 100% ecological cavas.
Raventós i Blanc is also a fantastic producer, altough no longer within the DO Cava.
Freixenet Elyssia, both blanc and rosé are nice creations.

Albet i Noya have also left DO Cava, but make lovely things all the same.
Mont Marcall is also a good producer, with a good range normally.
-Pere Ventura has a great design that is loved by many, and so is their cavas.
-Juv’e y Camps makes good things straigt through their portfolio, although Cinta Purpura is their base line.
For you who can read swedish I have left the exact and mor detailed ansver below.

Happy Friday everyone!! 

Ni har ju på Alko något annorlunda sortiment än vad vi har på vårt monopol i Sverige, men många av husen som finns att tillgå på Alko känner jag väl till och många är goda vänner till mig, men jag har inte testat dem alla som finns på Alko.
 
Rent allmänt vill jag säga detta om några av dem:
-Gramona är ett mycket kvalitétsorienterat hus, som nu håller på att konvertera alla sina odlingar till biodynamiska. Deras Imperial, som finns på Alko är deras “signatur” cava och en av mina långvariga “go to” cavor.
-Segura viudas är ett hus som ägs av Freixenet, men som drivs helt separat och har gamla anor. De har guldkorn i sin portfölj och Heredad är väl värd att testa. Flaskan brukar också imponera på många. 🙂
-Recaredo är också ett “kvalitéts hus” och odlar helt enligt den Biodynamiska läran. Allt de gör är av hög kvalité. Deras “top cava” Turó D’en Mota är mycket speciell och motbevisar alla som säger att cava inte går att lagras. Du kan läsa mer om den på min Blog om du har intresse. http://annawallner.se/2015/11/29/turo-den-mota-maybe-the-best-cava-ive-ever-had/
-Raventós är formellt sett inte längre Cava då de lämnade DO Cava 2012. Men den görs på exakt samma sätt, ligger granne med Codorniu och drivs av samma familj som startade och drev Codorniú fram tills det bolagiserades. Generellt gör Raventós mycket bra grejer och deras De Nit har länge varit en av mina sommar-rosé-favoriter. Men självklart varierar årgångarna.
-Freixenet är ju för många synonymt med cava och ofta billig cava. Säga vad man vill så är det otroligt att de kan producera så kvalitetskonstanta produkter i sådana mängder, år efter år. Sedan kan man ju ha en åsikt om stilen såklart. Men även Freixenet gör guldkorn. Elyssia är en sådan enligt mig. För ovanlighetens skull baserad på chardonnay, för Freixenet är annars väldigt inriktade på traditionell stil. Elyssia är frisk, fruktig och ett bra alternativ om man vill testa något annat än den “svarta flaskan”.
-La vida Al Camp är faktiskt producerad av Raventós. Det är den enda de producerar under DO Cava och det har väckt mycket debatt bland cavaproducenterna. “Antingen lämnar man eller så är man kvar under DO Cava” är det många som tycker. Deras första La vida al camp var “vit” och en mycket bra bascava. Jag har inte testat deras rosé, men utgår från att även denna borde hålla måttet vad gäller kvalité kontra pris.
-Albet i Noya har likt Raventós lämnat DO Cava och producerar under DO Penedés, men åter igen är det samma område, druvor, metoder osv. Även Albet i Noya är biodynamiska. De gör trevliga grejer över lag även om jag personligen inte tycker att de kommer upp i samma kvalité som Recaredo och Gramona.
-Mont Marcal gör välgjorda och vanligen lättdruckna cavor i alla stilar. De som finns på Alko är inte de mest komplexa i deras portfölj, men helt klart välgjorda.
-Pere Ventura gör även han bra grejer och just hans Roséer brukar vara av en mycket tydlig “medelhavsstil” dvs mycket fruktiga och intensivt röda, vilket som du vet skiljer sig mycket from champagnes bleka laxrosa varianter. Jag gillar båda stilar, bara de är välgjorda.
-Juvé y Camps är också ett hus som gör mycket bra grejer, dessvärre verkar ni bara få deras basvariant Cinta Purpura och dessutom i en söt variant… kanske inte något du kör i första provningen. 🙂

Search for Cava in the archipelago a.k.a vacation

We have been off line for a while… well not really, because I have occasionally done some tweeting and face-booking. But on the blog from there has been quiet.
The once of you who follow me on a regular basis knows that the blogging always goes in to high gear during our trips to Penedés, but on a boat it is a bit more tricky.

Anyway. We have had a lovely time ans although we stuffed the small boat with as much cava as we could, we looked for our favourite bubbles in every port where they had a restaurant or bar. And I must say that we did pretty good. So I though I’d tell you what we brought and where you can find cava in Stockholm’s archipelago if you don’t want to bring your own. IMG_0001

One evening we brought Vilarnau’s special barrica Cava Glop! to our dear Friends S and N, and had a wonderful dinner with old friends of the family L and H. We all love bubbles and L loved Vilarnau’s barrica so much that she refused to drink any other bubbles for the rest of the eventing. 🙂IMG_0011

At Arhoma, the north most island in Stockholm’s archipelago, we found more Vilarnau, but this time at the local harbour restaurant. So we had a glass for lunch of course.

IMG_0012 IMG_0008 IMG_0006 IMG_0010

IMG_0004After some days of sailing is is nice to come a shore in the afternoon and enjoy some cava and relax before cooking dinner, and so we did quite often. Here with Castell Sant Antoni’s barricca. I’m sure that you have realised that I’m a big barrica fan. Castell Sant Antoni produces only about 40 000 bottles a year and their Cavas are absolute superb. Try them if you have a chance.

IMG_0023We of course also brought one of our long time favourites, Milesimé from Juvé y Camps. And I’m sad to say that it was our last bottle from the cellar, and it breaks my heart.
We did get the bright idea to saber it on the boat, and so I did with our only knife on board.

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When we had turned towards Stockholm again, we came in to post one afternoon, at Grinda. The sun was shining from a clear sky and it was 28 C. And to our happy surprise we found that the harbour restaurant had Mont Marcal to offer! It was last year we saw our friends at Mont Marcall, so it was great to try their bubbles again. And of course they were as good and crisp as we remember.

In general we had a absolutely wonderful vacation and it was great to see that even the outposts in the archipelago have realised that Cava is the way to go. Here and there they pop up, and these I have presented are only two places. I’m sure there are more, you just have to go and have a look yourself.

 

Presentation on the Cava book

It was a great pleasure to present the book in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, and especially on the second day of Cavatast when the energy was up high and everyone was in “Cava mood”. I could not be happier with the response and the support from everyone present. And I had the opportunity and privileged to meet so many fantastic Cava lovers.

Getting ready for the presentation that was directly translated by my fantastic friend Maria del Mar, chief of Institut del Cava. It was a challenge for us sine we had to break everything up in short sections.

The fantastic ladies Eva (Vilarnau) and Gloria (Segura Viudas & Freixenet) who have both helped me extremely much. I owe them all my thanks and I was so glad to see them at the release.

Pictures and people during the presentation.

Cava girls that love their bubbles!

I was more than happy to sign books fore everyone who wanted and I met so many nice Cava lovers. All in all a very happy day with lots of new friends and a great many new ideas.

I’m in the paper (Translated)

On request I give you the translated article from the Catalan paper El 3 de Vuit.

I must say that I’m of course very excited about this even though I have had news about the publication since the article was printed. And the English version of the book will, due to the proofreading, not be printed until the beginning of summer and hence not in time for Vinordic. But on the other hand it might come out in Spanish as well already this year!! Tjohooo!

Here is the translation:

The Swedish writer and somellier, Anna Wallner, will in April come out with her first book “Cava – The Magic of Nature”. The book will be presented at the Wine Fair, Vinordic, which is annually held in Stockholm. Anna Wallner began her studies to become a sommelier at the prestigious Swedish University of hotels and restaurants in Örebro. In 2010, she attended a seminar held by Professor and Secretary of the international Association of sommeliers, Micha Billing,  and here Anna decided to spend a sabbatical year to write a book about Cava. During the preparation of the book she came in contact with Institute del Cava and has so far made three visits to the wineries in Penedes, among these Juvé y Camps, Gramona, Raventós i Blanc, Freixenet, Mont Marcal, Parès Baltà, Recaredo, Vilarnau, Codorniu, and Pere Ventura, all present in the Swedish market. Anna says “I wanted to write a book for the Swedish consumer and my goal was to explain the basics of Cava”. The book will be avalible in Swedish and English and in the future reach United Kingdom and the United States.
Institute del Cava, the Cava producers’ association in San Sadurní is one of its main objectives to promote and raise the awareness on Cava, nationally and internationally. Represents 92% of the production of Cava and 95% of exports.

 

In relation to this text I must clarify that it is not certain that the book will be published in the US. I have also changed the title of the book to something along the lines of “my special love for Cava” . But we will see what it will be called in the end. I also want to point out that I have writen this book for all consumers NOT only for the Swedes, and because of this it will be published in English first and the Swedish version have we not even started on.
When it comes to my sommelier education I took my degree at “Vinkällan” in Stockholm and only did extra courses at the University of Örebro.
Now all small things are straighten out!