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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Spain & Portugal / November's Tag Game ~ Vino y Cava ~ Wine and Sparkling Wine
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    November's Tag Game ~ Vino y Cava ~ Wine and Sparkling Wine

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    Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:19 am
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    Vino (wine) is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented fruit juice, most typically from grapes. Cava (sparkling wine) is a type of wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. Vino boasts a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with the earliest known wine production reportedly occurring about 8,000 years ago in what is now modern-day Georgia. And it has had significant importance and tradition in religion throughout history.


    Although the most widely known wines are more typically made from the juice from a specific variety of grapes, wine can (and has been) made from other fruits including apples and berries. However, wines produced from other fruits are usually named after the specific fruit from which they were produced (such as apple wine or elderberry wine). And as a whole, they are typically referred to as fruit wine or country wine. Wines produced from starch-based materials, such as rice wine (or sake) or barley wine more typically will resemble beer or spirits more so than wine. In such cases, the term ‘wine’ actually refers to the alcohol content rather than an actual wine production process.

    The use of the word ‘wine’ (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in most regions of the world. For instance, European wines tend to be classified by region, such as Bordeaux, Rioja, and Chianti. In most non-European regions, wines are classified by the grape from which the wine was produced, for example Pinot Noir and Merlot. With successful wine production in other regions of the world, however, exceptions of those standards are being overshadowed by consumer-preferred terms. For example, Napa Valley in California, Willamette Valley in Oregon, Columbia Valley in Washington state, Central Valley in Chile, Niagra Peninsula in Canada are examples of wines that are adopting European standards, with wines being named for the region where it was produced rather than identification of the grape.

    Red, White, Rosé, Blush

    The majority of most wines are generally classified as red or white, based on the variety of grape from which that wine was produced. However, there are also wines referred to as a rosé, blush and amber wine. Rosé and blush wines are produced from the same variety of grapes that produce red wines, but the grape skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a much shorter period of time. The end result is a less much less intense red tone. Similarly, amber wines (sometimes referred to as orange wine) are made from the same varieties of grapes that produce red wines, with additional processes that remove the red color, so as to produce a white wine. Although not a true white wine, the process does result in a much paler wine with an amber (or slightly orange) tone.

    But don’t confuse these wine blends with "vintage wine", which is a wine that is made from grapes that were all or mostly grown in a particular year.

    General Wine Information

    France is the world leader in wine production and wine consumption. And Spain is the third leading producer of wine, producing more than 4.9 tons of wine in 2006, and they are the third leading nation for wine consumption. The U.S. takes the 4th spot in wine production, producing more than 2.2 tons in 2006 and 2.3 tons in 2007.

    Optimal wine storage is right around 55°F. More extreme temperatures, or dramatic temperature fluctuations, will significantly weaken the quality of the wine. Humidity is another factor to keep in mind when storing wine. A higher humidity level helps to keep the corks from shrinking and allowing oxygen in, resulting in oxidation of the wine. Ideal humidity is between 65-75%.

    Most colored glass bottles (for wine) have UV filters incorporated into the bottle, but this does not necessarily offer full UV protection. If a wine is consistently in direct light, it will negatively impact the flavor of the wine significantly. Typically, white wine is the most sensitive to light degradation, but red wines will also lose quality if subjected to excessive light.

    Storing a wine on its side will help keep the cork in constant contact with the wine and helps to keep the cork moist, which should keep the cork from shrinking and allowing the enemy of wine, oxygen, to seep into the bottle.


    Cava is an important part of Catalan and Spanish family tradition and is often consumed at celebrations like baptisms, marriages, banquets, celebration dinners and parties. Cava (or sparkling wine) is wine with a significant level of carbon dioxide that gives it the well-known effervescent fizzy appearance. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation either in a bottle, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved, or as a result of carbon dioxide injection.

    Classifying Cava

    Sparkling wine is generally classified as white or rosé (pink), although there are many examples of red sparkling wines. The sweetness of sparkling wines range from very dry (brut) to the sweeter varieties (doux).

    The classic example of a sparkling wine is Champagne, but a widely followed regulation throughout the global market strictly specifies that sparkling wines that are labeled as Champagne are exclusively limited to those that have been produced in the Champagne region of France. However, many equally acceptable sparkling wines are produced in other countries, such as Cava, which is produced in Spain. Sparkling wines from other regions include Portugal’s Espumante, German or Austrian Sekt, South Africa’s Cap Classique. Italy produces a variety of different sparkling wines, including Asti (generically referrered to as Spumante), Franciacorta, Trento and Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico. There are sparkling wines produced in other regions (besides Champagne) of France as well, which are referred to as ‘Mousseux’ or ‘Crémant’.

    According to Spanish law, cava may be produced in any one of the eight wine regions – Aragon, the Basque Country, Catile and Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Navarra, Rioja, or Valencia. However, about 95% of all Spanish sparkling wines (cava) are produced in the Penedés part of the Catalonia region of Spain.

    Cava is produced in varying levels of dryness of the wine, which are Brut Nature, Brut (extra dry), Seco (dry), Semiseco (medium), and Dulce (sweet). To make rosé cava, small quantities of red wines from Cabernet Sauvingon, Garnacha, or Monastrell are added to the wine. Besides Macabeu, Parallada and Xarel•lo, cava may also contain Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Subirat grapes.

    Similarly, champagne is classified for sweetness as well, and are labeled as Brut Natural (or Brut Zero) with less than 3 grams of sugar per liter, Extra Brut with less than 6 grams of sugar per liter, or Brut with less than 12 grams of sugar per liter.

    Cava and Champagne are best served in a fluted stem with a tall, narrow bowl with thin sides which allows for proper oxygenation. In earlier times, the classic champagne glass was used to serve champagne as it was a symbol of nobility or wealth. That unique glassware was originally a birthday present to Marie Antionette from her husband, which the shape was chosen to resemble the mold of a breast and was symbolic of a giving from the heart. However, that glassware is no longer the recommended stemware for the proper serving and enjoyment of champagne, because the shape of the glass over-oxygenates the wine and disrupts much of the intended enjoyment of the beverage.

    Cava and Champagne are always served cold, with the ideal drinking temperature being 45-48°F (or 7-9°C).

    Did you know….

    The corkscrew was designed in the mid-1800s

    It takes about 2½ pounds of grapes to produce one bottle of wine

    Worldwide, there are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes today

    Xarel•lo is the principal variety of grape used in producing Cava

    Despite most of Spain’s wines being classified as red wines, over 61% of Spain’s vineyards are white (because Spain also produces a lot of brandy and sherry, too)

    Despite being a traditional Champagne grape, Chardonnay was not used in the production of Cava until the 1980s

    Bubbles in sparkling wine initially form at 20 micrometers in diameter and expand as they gain buoyancy and rise to the surface and are approximately 1 millimeter in size when they rise to the surface

    The primary variety of grapes used to produce Champagne are Chardonnay (a white wine grape) and Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier (red wine grapes)

    The average bottle of Champagne contains enough carbon dioxide to potentially produce 49 million bubbles

    The word cava means ‘cave’ in both Catalan and Latin, and refers to the fact that caves were used in the early days of cava production for the proper conditions for aging of the wine, and Catalan winemakers officially adopted the term ‘cava’ in 1970 to distinguish their product from French champagne


    November Tag Game ~ Vino and Cava

    We have selected an array of Spanish (and other) recipes from our database that include vino or cava as an ingredient. You are free to tag one of the recipes we found, or you are free to pick any other recipe in the database that includes any variety of vino (wine). And there is no limit; you can tag as many recipes as you can make before the end of the month.

    Featured Spanish Recipes ~ Vino and Cava

    Spanish Garlic Chicken by Sydney Mike
    White wine enhances this traditional Spanish dish of chicken breasts flavored with plenty of herbs, garlic and delicate strands of saffron.

    Sangria by Midwest Maven
    No adventure in Spanish cuisine would be complete without sampling a refreshing Sangria recipe, like this wonderful 5-star version of the sweet red wine-based beverage.

    Valencia Chicken Breasts by twissis
    This elegant Spanish dish features chicken breasts cooked with savory herbs and succulent oranges that are paired with a delicate white wine sauce for added flavor.

    Other Spanish Recipes With Vino or Cava

    Tapas / Appetizers

    Spanish Mushrooms Tapas-Style
    Tapas - Scallops in Saffron & Rioja Wine Sauce
    Gambas Al Ajillo
    Mushrooms and Alioli Tapas
    Mussels With Chorizo , Tomato and Wine
    Tapas Style Spanish Rioja Marinated Chorizo Sausage


    Blonde Sangria
    Agua De Valencia - Knock Your Socks off Spanish Cava Punch!
    White Melon Sangria
    Crisp Berry Rose' Sangria


    Oranges in Red Wine - Naranjas Al Vino Tinto
    Chocolates Rusticos
    Spanish Oranges in Wine
    Basque Cream and Cherry Tart
    Minty Fresh French Aperitif and Appetiser Charentais Melon Bowls
    Cava Sorbet, Spanish

    Main Dishes

    Vueltas de Carne
    Canary Island Style Pollo En Adobo
    Fish Piccata- Easy and Economical
    Spanish Crusted Roast Pork
    Spanish Meatballs (Albondigas)
    Skirt Steak With Onion Marmalade

    One-Dish Meals

    Party Paella
    Shrimp Kabobs, Moorish Style
    Barcelona Style Pork Tenderloin With Sherry & Peppers
    Pollo Vascongado (Basque Chicken )
    Chorizo Al Vino (Chorizo in Red Wine)
    Spanish Chicken Casserole

    Soups and Stews

    Castilian Garlic Soup - Sopa De Ajo
    Rabo De Toro (Oxtail Stew from Spain)
    Mackerel (Or Tuna) and Red Pepper Stew
    Beef With Red Wine and Pine Nuts
    Spanish Lamb Shanks Jerez

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total
    Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:21 am
    Forum Host

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:41 am, edited 2 times in total
    Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:21 am
    Forum Host

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:36 am, edited 4 times in total
    Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:21 pm Groupie
    I've just complete for your game:
    CarolAnn's White Wine Citrus Sangria #54948 icon_biggrin.gif icon_lol.gif
    Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:00 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi! I'll make Croutes Aux Champignons (Mushrooms on Toast) #457830 by Ingrid!(using white wine)
    Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:22 pm
    Forum Host
    Sharon123 wrote:
    Hi! I'll make Croutes Aux Champignons (Mushrooms on Toast) #457830 by Ingrid!(using white wine)

    This has been made and enjoyed! icon_biggrin.gif
    Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:10 am
    Forum Host
    awalde wrote:
    I've just complete for your game:
    CarolAnn's White Wine Citrus Sangria #54948 icon_biggrin.gif icon_lol.gif

    Hey awalde! wave.gif

    WOW, youre quick! icon_biggrin.gif What a lovely looking drink and I really like the way you propped the pic! The fan is such a cool touch, its really Spanish! icon_biggrin.gif

    Do you have any wine recipes posted for me to add above?


    Last edited by Lalaloula on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total
    Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:11 am
    Forum Host
    Sharon123 wrote:
    Sharon123 wrote:
    Hi! I'll make Croutes Aux Champignons (Mushrooms on Toast) #457830 by Ingrid!(using white wine)

    This has been made and enjoyed! icon_biggrin.gif

    Wonderful Sharon, Ill get it noted for you above. I must say these do sound delish! yummy.gif

    Do you have any wine recipes youd like me to add above?

    Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:18 am
    Forum Host
    Ive made for Chef Kate Pears Poached in Spiced Wine #189401 and it was so good! yummy.gif
    My first attempt at ever cooking with red wine and I loved it! icon_biggrin.gif

    And I plan on making Julie's Pasta Sauce #335398 by Acadia, too.

    Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:33 am Groupie
    Hi Loula!

    The decoration for the sangria is really Spanish. I found this could fit with the recipe.

    I have some wine recipes, but only a Spanish one!
    From the other recipes I recommend the Mastelo (Lamb in Oven With Wine and Dill) With Potatoes. This is really easy and always turned out delicious. I buy the meat always in Turkish shops as the meat is really fresh there and the lamb never had the terrible "gamey" smell.

    Arroz De Marisco

    Mastelo (Lamb in Oven With Wine and Dill) With Potatoes
    Island Pasticio (Greek Noodle Casserole With Ground Meat)
    Kritharaki Kalives
    Squid Stuffed With Spinach and Herbs
    Ouzo Meatballs

    Scallop, Starship, Patisson or Pattypan Squash With Garden Herbs
    Crepes or Omelette With Tasty Ground Meat
    Orange Chicken
    Vol-Au-Vent With Chicken, Mushrooms and Pepper
    Meatballs Casserole With Green Beans
    Chicken Drumsticks in Aromatic Crust
    Spicy Mini Meatballs (Asian Style)
    Ossobuco Al Forno - Baked Veal Shanks
    Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:37 pm Groupie
    I've completed one of the above mentioned recipes:

    NorthwestGal's Basler Mehlsuppa ......Basel (Swizterland) is the town where I live!

    This is one of the Carnival dishes for this festival. As you know during Carnival time it can be very cold (February) and the people enjoy going in restaurants and eat this warming soup.
    Simply delicious! If you try this, please use Gruyere cheese!
    Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:38 am
    Forum Host
    Awalde, wow what an impressive selection of yummy sounding recipes. Ill get them noted for you above. icon_biggrin.gif

    Mmm, Basler Mehlsuppe, it looks fabulous! yummy.gif What a comforting and warming dish. icon_biggrin.gif I LOVE gruyere cheese, its sooo good!

    I have a completion to report, too: Acadia's VERY GOOD Julie's Pasta Sauce #335398


    ~updated to here~
    Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:01 pm Groupie
    I just looked at my reviews and I found that I could report two more yummy recipes!

    Pears Poached in Peppered Port Pears Poached in Peppered Port

    Spanish Meatballs With Green Olives Spanish Meatballs With Green Olives (it's Spanish) icon_smile.gif
    Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:02 am
    Forum Host
    Oh, my goodness! All of your lovely photos belong in a magazine! I wish some of your photography talent would rub off on me.

    For November, I would like to tag awalde's Arroz De Marisco #449390.
    Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:11 am Groupie
    NorthwestGal wrote:
    Oh, my goodness! All of your lovely photos belong in a magazine! I wish some of your photography talent would rub off on me.

    For November, I would like to tag awalde's Arroz De Marisco #449390.

    Oh! Thanks a lot to you!
    I hope you will enjoy it!
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