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In the past I was always strictly a champagne girl then I went to a friends wedding and had some of this Freixenet Cava and after that I was a fan! This was around two years ago and I even ended up enjoying a glass of this on the morning of my wedding when my sister-in-law kindly brought me some over.
Cava really is an ideal drink if you do not want to spend a fortune on champagne as it allows you to enjoy a nice glass of fizz without breaking the bank. Cava is sparkling wine and it is a very much Spanish drink. This particular one is available in 20cl mini bottles for under £4.00 and 75cl bottles (the standard wine bottle size) for under £10.00. This obviously is much cheaper than champagne but then this is a drink that is often consider as a cheap alternative to champagne and it is easy to see why people make the comparison really. Cava is produced using a variety of different grapes and this particularly one has delightful hints of melon and peach too giving it a delightful fruity edge that other cava may not have.
Freixenet sell different cava but the one that I always enjoy drinking the most is this Cordon Negro. This is the most well known cava from Freixenet and one that several of my friends have tried too. This looks fantastic in the packaging and when I received a mini bottle on the morning of my wedding I was excited to have a little drink as I do love this and the bottle looks so cute too. This is a black bottle making it stand out more on the shelf in the supermarket and it has gold writing on it too that I think just gives it a classy, stylish edge. Like most sparkling drinks this has a cork in it and I love popping a cork as everything about it just makes me feel excited and in the mood for fun - ideal for my wedding day! Popping a bottle and enjoying a nice glass of fizz was the perfect way to start the preparations for my wedding day and I have enjoyed this more recently at my friends house when she had a party.
This is a clear fizzy cava that just looks sophisticated in glasses and really goes down a treat. This has quite a dry taste to it but the fruitiness is evident right away and really comes through for me with a sharp slightly tart kick. This is such a refreshing change from drinks that are overly sweet and a little too light on the tongue. I really feel that this drink offers something a little different and when I am looking for a refreshing change that is nice and dry too then this is perfect.
In our circle of friends we are coming up to the time where we enjoy lots of gatherings because the Winter nights are drawing in and we are all trying to cheer ourselves up after the busy periods at work that we all suffer around Christmas time. This cava is going to be ideal for enjoying with friends and now I've become reacquainted with it recently I am sure I will be picking some up for the festive period and enjoying it with friends. When I don't have the funds for champagne, such as during the festive period when I seem to spend a small fortune on alcohol, this drink is just perfect. Of course this should be served cold, like champagne, as it just compliments the drink perfectly and drinking it warm is nowhere near as flavoursome or enjoyable! This stays fizzy for hours which is perfect if I am enjoying it alone and I find that a mini bottle is the perfect warm up for a celebration, such as it was on my wedding day.
Like all fizzy drinks, cava or champagne, I find that a nice glass of this goes to my head and gets me feeling a little bit tipsy and excited too! This is a lovely drink and so it gets a 5/5 from me!
I lived in Spain for a couple of years and during that time I got introduced to Cava. I have to say that I wasn't overly enthusiastic about it originally but the Spanish literally drink it all the time - for parties, weddings, pre-dinner, post dinner.... Basically there was never really a wrong time to drink cava and slowly but surely it started to grow on me and it got to the point that when I returned to the UK to live I actually missed my almost daily glass of cava.
Obviously it is now an easy enough thing to buy in the UK but still it does seem to be considered more of a celebration drink than something that is just drunk for the sake of enjoying it and people would look strangely at me if I suggested buying a bottle to enjoy at home. It also seems to be the poor relation to champagne and prosecco which I suppose in monetary terms it is but in my opinion it pretty much beats both of them when it comes to taste.
~~~~~~~~~~ What is cava ~~~~~~~~~~
Cava is a sparkling wine that is produced in Spain and is typically Spanish. It is made with three different types of grape and produced in almost the same way as Champagne but although there are similarities it is much more wallet friendly than champagne. For years people would refer to cava as Spanish Champagne but this is no longer allowed since Champagne became protected and only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France is allowed to be called this by law.
Cava now like Champagne has its own rules when it comes to producing it and it can only be called cava if it is made in one of six wine growing regions of Spain and contains a specific selection of grapes which are Subirat, Pinot Noir, Parellada, Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Chardonnay.
~~~~~~~~~~ Freixenet Cordon Negro ~~~~~~~~~~
Freixenet Cordon Negro was originally popular in the 1970's and went out of style in the following years but like most things it has come back into style again and is being appreciated by a whole new audience.
It is produced west of Barcelona in the Spanish region of Catalonia.
Although Freixenet do a few different cava's the Cordon Negro is probably the most famous and popular. I absolutely love the bottle that Cordon Negro comes in. It is matt black and the label is black with gold writing on it. There is something that is just so stylish about the bottle and it always stands out to me on the supermarket shelf.
The bottle has a cork in it which needs to be popped out and you need to be careful when doing this as the cava inside is very fizzy and the cork can pop with a really surprising force. I can understand why this is considered a party drink as there is something really celebratory about the noise it makes when popping.
The cava itself is clear in colour and as mentioned is really fizzy and although I am of the mind that cava can be drunk at any time it really does lend itself to celebrations.
The taste can take a little getting used to as it is very dry and can be a little bit bitter to begin with. It does have an underlying fruitiness to it which takes away some of the dryness but it isn't going to appeal to people who are expecting something really light, fruity and sweet.
To be properly enjoyed this really does need to be served as cold as possible as it just doesn't taste very good when it is warm and the flavour is really intensified and bought to the forefront when it is ice cold.
The bubbles in this last for ages and it very rarely goes flat before a glass is drunk. That could just be me drinking it quickly but even an open bottle stays bubbly for a few hours before going flat.
The alcohol content of Cordon Negro is 12% which isn't overly high but because of the bubbles it really does go to your head quite quickly especially if you drink it quickly. A couple of glasses is enough to make me slightly tipsy and a few more is enough to get me drunk.
It also gives me a really bad head the next day if I drink more than a couple of glasses of this. As the alcohol content is not too strong I blame the fact it is so fizzy.
~~~~~~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~~~~~~
Freixenet Cordon Negro is the UK's leading brand of cava so as you would imagine it is widely available in the majority of supermarkets, wine shops and 'bargain boozers'. The mini individual bottles seem to be popular at the minute and with it being close to Christmas the mini gift sets with chocolates seem to be everywhere. The normal 75cl bottle is still the one that you can get pretty much everywhere and a bottle will set you back between £9 and £10.
~~~~~~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
For under a tenner Freixenet Cordon Negro is an affordable way to have some 'bubbles' it may be considered Champagnes poorer cousin but for me personally it has a better taste that is more refreshing and enjoyable. It is still very dry but it is just a little bit less bitter than Champagne and is more of an any occasion sparkling wine. This combined with its lower price makes it a much more accessible sparkling wine to enjoy.
With Christmas coming up and the supermarkets full of offers it is the perfect time to stock up on a few bottles for the festive season and put some in your fridge ready to crack open when friends and family unexpectedly visit or just be like the Spanish and buy some and enjoy it for what it is a good quality sparkling wine without the need to see it as a celebratory drink.
I have been drinking this stuff for years...or at least post drinking age anyway. It is something I always remember my parents having in the house and something we would crack out on special occasions as a cheap alternative to champagne.
It is essentially a cava, which is the name given to any 'champagne' type wine (the fizzy ones) that are produced outside the champagne region in France. In other words it is a sparkling wine and is made from three different types of grapes - Macabeo, Paradella and Xarel-lo (apparently). This particular sparkling wine is made in Spain and the the grapes grown in Catalonia (Northern part of Spain that bridges France).
The bottle is predominantly black and gold which gives it this amazing elegance and definitely makes it stand out from other similar products. I love the look of the bottle, it has a real expensive and luxurious look to it which is not at all reflected in the price making it the perfect wine the drink.
The wine itself should ideally be served very, very cold (from fridge of freezer) and in a tall champagne flute, standard wine glass or mug (if you are a student like me). The bottle is relatively easy to open, much like any champagne it has a cork which you have to push in order to release it. Because of the pressure from this wine which has bubbles the corks can unleash a great force so you do need to be careful. Always point the bottle away from you and if you angle it at around 45 degrees and edge the cork out slowly it should open easily and with no spills.
I am not really a massive wine drinker and when I do I like it cheap - so perhaps I am not the best judge! I struggle to tell the difference between expensive wines and to me this tastes as good as any classic champagne. It is super fizzy, the bubbles are perfect tiny little things which float up through the wine once poured and creates that fabulous celebratory feeling when you drink. The taste of the wine isn't too overpowering, it has a subtle white wine taste which is enhanced by the bubbles.
The price is pretty reasonable too. You can find bottle of this for roughly £5-£10 in most supermarkets depending on the deals they have at the time. It is generally the one I will go for because I think the design still screams elegance but the price is totally affordable - even for a student.
Overall, this is a fab bubbly drink which keeps me in the celebration mood!
There is a big black bottle of Cordon Negro sitting on my desk as I type this review. Everything about it shouts "Party!" from it's matt black top to the gold "Cordon Negro" at the bottom. It is possibly the most popular sparkling wine sold in huge quantities all over Spain through the Christmas season. Mind you it has the time as many firms close down for three weeks starting from before Christmas Eve and going on to after The Three Kings on Jan 6th when the kids get their presents! In the supermarkets there are great sky scrapers of the dramatic black matt bottles waiting to be bought and add a sparkle to the whole season.
Cave Dwellers Beware.
Cava means cave or cellar and this is where this cheeky sparkling wine resides before bursting out over the winter party season. It is made from a combination of three types of grape, Macabeo, Paradella and Xarel-lo which are grown in the cooler climes of Cataluna originating in St Sadurni d'Anoia where it was first produced using the champagne method by Pedro Ferrer Bosch whose nickname was Freixenet, hence the name.
The presentation of the bottle, matt black with gold writing makes instantly distinctive and appreciated wherever you arrive with a couple of very cold bottles which should then go straight into your hosts fridge to be served as cold as possible.
I am not going to pretend that it is a really fantastic drink, the cork come out with a great "pop" and shoots off into the night. The bubbles are really lively and have good staying power and the taste is fruity with a hint of citrus, the colour being a pale, clear yellow. What more do you want! It's a drink to have after tryng to eat your 12 grapes to the sound of the chimes from Madrid and for toasting anyone you can think of. Its fun in a bottle, don't take it seriously! There will be a few more bottles going into my little wine cellar soon!
Felice Fiestas from Spain!
4 stars from me, lots of fun for a reasonable price
This sell for around 7.99pound for 75cl in the U.K. and is 12% vol. Check out good wine merchants and supermarkets.
Thanks for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao.
Freixenet, pronounced 'fresh-eh-net' is a light Cava appreciated for its intense freshness. The high content of the Parellada grape coupled with fermentation at a controlled temperature of 12 degrees C produces fine, intense and fruity aromas. Brilliant pale yellow in colour. Fine and persistent mousse. Clean and light on the palate with an elegant and long length.