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Wine Glossary

Definition: Cava

[KAH-vah] Cava is the official name for sparkling wine produced in designated areas in various parts of northern Spain. The use of the word cava came about as a result of legal conflicts with France over the use of champán, Spain's word for champagne. The word cava (Catalan for "cellar") was chosen for Spain's sparkling wines because almost all such wines are made in the Catalan region. The Cava DO was established in 1986 and, unlike other Spanish dos, it has multiple geographic areas. In fact, eight specified regions have been authorized for sparkling wine production. Three of the provinces-Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona (in the catalonia region around Barcelona)-make over 95 percent of the country's cava. The other regions are Álava, Aragón, Extremadura, Navarra, and Rioja. To qualify for Cava DO status, wines must be made by the méthode champenoise. The grapes used for most Cava DO wines are Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo. However, Chardonnay is allowed in the cuvée (some producers use it extensively), and the companies using it as a major component include Codorníu, Raimat (owned by Codorníu), and Segura Viudas (owned by Freixenet). Additionally, some rosado (rosé) cava is produced using Garnacha (grenache), Monastrell (mourvèdre), and Pinot Moir. Cava DO rules require a minimum aging of 9 months. Top producers here are now producing crisp, fruity sparkling wines, which was not always the case. Still, they differ from the French models because they're more earthy and have less acidity.

Source: Answers.com; Wine Lover's Companion - R & S Herbst

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Acidity

Ah-So

Ancient Vines

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Assyrtiko

Auslese

AVA or appellation

Balance

Barbera

Barrique

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Beaujolais Nouveau

Beerenauslese

Big

Blanc de Blanc

Body

Bonded Winery

Bouquet

Brambly

Brett or Brettanomyces

Bricco

Brix

Brut

Carmenère

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Cepage

Chai

Chaptalization

Claret

Cluster

Complex

Cork

Cork taint

Cork-tease

Crianza

Cult Wines

Cuvee

Decant; Decanting

Declassify

Denominazione di Origine Controllata

Disgorgement

Dosage

Dumb Wine or Dumb Phase

Durif

Earthy

Eiswein

Elegant

Enophile

Estate Bottled

Extra Dry

Fat

Federspiel

Fermentation

Filtering

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Finish

Flabby

Fruit Forward

Fumé Blanc

Garnacha

Gewürztraminer

Grenache

Hogshead

Hot

House Wine

Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)

Jug Wine(s)

Kabinett

Lagrein

Lees

Left Bank

Malolactic Fermentation

Mataro

Mencia

Meritage

Microbullage

Minerality

Monastrell

Monopole

Mourvedre

Muscadet

Muselet

Negociant

Nose

Oenophile

Off-dry

Old Vines

Oxidation

Palate

Palate Fatigue

Petit Verdot

Phylloxera

Pinot Blanc

Pinotage

Plonk

Pomace

Pouilly-Fuissé

Primitivo

Punch down

Punt

Qualitätswein mit Prädikat

Qualitätswein or QbA

Racking

Racy

Refractometer

Resveratrol

Right Bank

Roussanne

Sangiovese

Sec

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Smaragd

Soave

Sommelier

Spätlese

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Super Tuscan

Sur Lie

Table Wine

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Tastevin

Tempranillo

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Tinta Roriz

Trocken

Trockenbeerenauslese

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Veraison

Vieilles Vignes

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Vintage

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Weingut

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