Ask a Winemaker: Segura Viudas’s Gloria Collell On The Changing Culture of Cava

Segura Viudas x S/

In Spain, especially in Catalan, a northeastern region that shares a border with France, Cava is more than just a wine you have with dinner, it’s an integral part of the area’s culture and fabric of everyday life.

Be it a garden party, Sunday brunch or a bar hop between busy tapas spots to try each one’s specialty of the house, no get-together can be considered complete without a glass of fizz, like Segura Viudas, one of the region’s best-known and most-cherished wines.

Why is Cava such a staple? It helps that it’s a local hero and 95 percent of it is made in Penedès, the coastal wine-growing region that surrounds Barcelona. The love for bubbles isn’t only a matter of hometown pride, though. Cava is an incomparable 150-year-old cultural product made with rare grapes native to this Mediterranean region—Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo—all three of which are still used to make the incomparable Segura Viudas Brut Reserva and the premium Segura Viudas Heredad Brut Reserva.

Outside of Spain, Cava’s vibrant, yet refined flavour profiles have made it a cult classic, with superfans scattered around the globe opting for it over bubbly from any other region. It’s a wine for all seasons and all occasions—milestones, celebrations and, most importantly, just sharing with friends and family over dinner or late afternoon snacks. 

We had a chance to sit down with Gloria Collell, International Wine Manager at Segura Viudas, to ask her about the constantly changing culture of Cava.

In Canada, some people still think bubbles are just for special occasions. Is that changing throughout the world?

“Yes, we’re starting to see a big change in the way people think about sparkling wine. It’s a fantastic food wine, so it’s nice to see people outside of Europe drinking it with meals on a more regular basis. In Spain, people just drink it for daily enjoyment.”

Is it more popular in restaurants and bars or as people’s house wine that they’ll always have on hand?

“Both! People drink Cava on the patios when they go out for brunch and it’s almost always the welcome glass people give to guests at events and house parties.”

It’s often said that Cava goes with almost any food. What food-wine match do you like best?

“I love Segura Viudas Brut with a traditional paella. The Segura Viudas Brut Rosé with a seafood paella is an especially wonderful pairing.”

One of the reasons Cava has done so well in Canada is because a lot of bartenders consider it a “secret weapon” of sorts for fizzy cocktails—thanks to the lively bubbles. Is that true in Spain, too?

“No, in Spain there aren’t that many people who drink Cava in cocktails. Some bars do a lemon sherbet and Cava slushie drink, but mostly people just enjoy it straight. That’s starting to change, though, and I think the wine cocktail trend is growing in Spain. We will have to wait and see.”