It’s August. It’s hot. You’re hosting a barbecue, and serving big-bodied reds doesn’t sound remotely appealing. Consider sparkling cavas from Spain, as these wines will impress in their refreshment and effortlessly complement your summer menu. Relatively affordable, Spanish cavas are produced in cooler northern areas, such as Catalonia, Navarra and Rioja, using the painstaking traditional méthode champenoise from France’s Champagne region to yield fine bubbles and nuanced aromatics. The traditional Spanish grapes Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada make up the cava blend, exhibiting their respective vineyard hardiness, earthy aromas and light-bodied nature. You may, however, find Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other mainstream varieties used as well.
Montsarra Cava Brut, N.V.
Brioche toast and subtle green apple aromas introduce lively, relatively refined bubbles. White peach aromas and a slim, chalklike minerality align nicely with the high-acid profile on the palate. Pair with grilled salmon tacos, spicy chipotle grilled chicken and veggie kabobs with saffron butter.
$14.99; Vincent’s 12th Street Market, 2400 S. 12th St., Soulard, vincentsmarket.biz
Castillo Perelada Cava Brut Rosado, N.V.
Pinot Noir is a prominent grape of this fuller-bodied cava rosé. A light-ruby hue sets the stage for strawberries and citrus peel, steely notes and a hint of violets. It’s an excellent match with Southern fried chicken, brown sugar-and-bourbon ribs, and lamb and shrimp kabobs.
$11.99; The Wine & Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com
A St. Louis-based wine and food enthusiast, Jennifer Johnson is a sommelier, wine educator, journalist, and hospitality and marketing consultant who loves to celebrate life, family, food and wine.