Cava - it's rather nice

cava bottle topCava - why wouldn't you want to drink lots of this Spanish sparkling wine that tastes better than many champagnes? It costs a lot less (supermarket own-label cavas can be got for as little as £5) and the enjoyable flavours can be relied upon year after year.

Only in years with exceptionally hot summers can grapes grown in the northern France region of Champagne ripen as fully as those grown in Catalonia. Catalonia's long, hot growing season allows grapes to build up the high levels of sugars and acids necessary to produce balanced and complex sparkling wines.

The native grapes Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo are capable of making really fruity tasting cavas with a sweet edge, but they need to be aged for a couple of years to reach their full potential. Cava's minimum stipulated nine months ageing produces fresh and simple lemon and lime flavoured wines. But age the wine for another year and the flavours mature into lemon-sherbet and well-done toast covered with honey

Codorniu TeresaPG Wine Tips

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Sainsbury’s Medium Dry Cava

£4.99 Sainsbury’s

A classic medium-sweet cava.

Asda Extra Special Mas Miralda Vintage Cava

£5 Asda

A tasty cava that needs food to complement its rich flavours.

Codorniu Clasico‘M’ Cava Brut

£5.49 Morrisons (down from £7.49 until April 28)

Citrus and peach flavours.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Codorniu Vintage Cava

£6.99 Tesco (down from £10.49 until April 23)

Delicate and fruity. You can’t really go too wrong with Codorniu.

Tesco Finest Vintage Cava

£7.49 Tesco (down from £8.99 until April 23)

This not only looks the part with lots of gold and silver labels but also tastes pretty good too – crisp apple fizz.

Reserva RaventosSpar Donacella Cava Brut

£7.99 Spar

Invitingly creamy and nutty with a fresh apple finish. A very pleasant wine that could easily be mistaken for an expensive champagne.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk