A glacially-refreshing bubbly

During Napa Valley Restaurant Week, I visited four Up Valley restaurants to see what the chefs have been up to, but at Acacia House in the new Las Alcobas resort located in my hometown of Saint Helena, I also took advantage of a local perk: if you live in town, you are waived a corkage fee.

To celebrate, I brought a bottle of Pata Negra (a Spanish term that translates, “highest quality”) Cava, made with organic grapes in the traditional Champagne method. This cava is now available in the U.S., by the way.

Our server opened the bottle shortly after we drank a sample glass of the bar’s signature margarita, which lived up to the rumored hype of this frothy-topped tequila goodness.

As I dipped my toast point in a bowl of creamy, salted cod, I followed with a first sip of the Barcelona-produced Pata Negra cava. One word came to mind: glacial. For the price point of $14.99 a bottle, this Catalonia cava is a refreshing teeny tiny bubbly choice for sipping a dry, slightly acidic Macabeo varietal. It paired well with our appetizer and again with a mushroom risotto topped with scallops. I would like to try another bottle with some manchego cheese.

Rooted in Spanish culture and tradition, the Barcelona-based Pata Negra winery is located atop a hill that slopes gently toward the Mediterranean Sea. Today, the winery is surrounded by an estate of 309 acres containing cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tempranillo and chardonnay vineyards. I do hope to taste their tempranillo soon.

About that label: Although it would seem the fractal label design was inspired by a giraffe, it is actually fashioned after the gate of Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Mila in Barcelona. The building is an architectural masterpiece with an undulating stone facade with twisting wrought iron balconies.

Available in Brut Reserva, Brut Rosé, Organic Brut and Organic Brut Rosé varietals, Pata Negra Cava is available online and at select retailers.

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