Read Diane's great guide to cava below, and find everything else you need to know abpout sprkling wines, here on Snooth.

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The Battle of the Bubblies

If your budget can’t afford Champagne, and you’ve had one too many glasses of prosecco this year, consider ringing in 2013 with Spain’s popular sparkling wine, cava.

Here’s are the top ten things you should know about cava to raise your glass with confidence:

1. Native grapes at work. The three traditional grapes of cava are Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellado. Macabeo provides a fresh, green apple flavor. Xarel-lo gives more vegetal aromas and adds structure. Parellado provides more tropical fruit flavors and has less body but more acidity.

2. Penedès is the place. Ninety-five percent of cava is produced in Penedès, located in Catalonia, not far from Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. The area is also known for olives and almonds.

3. A taste all its own. Cava is not as dry as Champagne, nor is it as fruity as Prosecco. Cava has its own distinctive flavor profile because of the traditional blend of grapes. While taste will vary among producers, the wine often has notes of lemon, green apples, nuts, and brioche.

4. Chardonnay is the new kid on the block. This grape, a major player in the Champagne blend, is now being used in cava, too. Sometimes winemakers mix Chardonnay with the traditional Cava grapes. Less frequently, producers will make a Chardonnay-only cava.

5. Look for vintage. While Champagne is normally a blend of several years’ wines, in Spain, many high quality cavas are made from the wines of a single year. Vintage cavas that are a few years old can have greater depth of flavor.