Cava with everything

One of the privileges of living in Catalonia is the ubiquity of cava.  

Since I’ve been living here I’ve had cava for breakfast, lunch and dinner; cava to mark births, deaths and anniversaries; at the opening of a community arts centre; in a jacuzzi; for Valentine’s Day, St Jordi and Christmas; and, well, just because it was a Tuesday (and not even a very special Tuesday at that).

By contrast, I think I’ve had champagne maybe once in the same time period. You can drink champagne in Barcelona but it is considered an unnecessarily foreign opulence, like adding butter to your pa amb tomàquet or having separate flip flops for both beach and house. And inevitably I’ve grown to love cava as a drink in and of itself, rather than as a substitute for champagne.

Sadly, I don’t think many of my fellow Britons agree. The UK may well be the second largest cava market outside of Spain but sales fell 16.7% in 2013, with British bon viveurs consuming some 2.34m fewer bottles than in 2012.

The main reason for this is said to be the rise of prosecco, imports of which leapt 40.2% in Britain last year

To read the rest of Ben Cardew's story, follow this link.



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