If anything can get me out of my studio unit pronto, an excuse to go to VASK at Bonifacio Global City is right up there with an all-paid trip to the Maldives. The excuse to go to Vask this time was the launch of the new Anna deck, named after the cava Anna de Codorníu, a tribute of the bodega to the heiress who married Miguel Raventos in 1659, and was the last to carry the Codorníu family name.
It was a particularly humid night, the perfect weather for drinking cava, and the new outside deck looked set up for a little house party, complete with a DJ and overflowing cava! I couldn’t resist indulging in a few glasses of Anna de Codorníu, the bubbles tickling one’s nose – like a Spanish hybrid of champagne and Chardonnay.
Now, cava and champagne are made using the same method, but use different grapes. Generally known as champenoise or the traditional method, the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle to give it bubbles; and a labor-intensive method of removing dead yeast sediment called lees from the neck of the bottle that involves turning each bottle a few degrees every day – by hand. Cava – the Catalan word for “cave” or “cellar” – costs less than champagne because the Spanish use advanced mechanization (therefore, less labor-intensive) to produce, bottle, and store the wines.
The Anna deck is elegant, furnished with couches and tables for small groups to take in the view as well as a few bottles of their favorite vino, preferably from Bodega Codorníu.
Anna de Codorníu is a supple yet delicate cava. What’s more, the combination between Chardonnay and the three classic varietals makes it stand out as a brilliant cava with a great deal of freshness rendered by the fruity and floral aromas from its cellaring. It makes for an ideal accompaniment to seafood.
Anna Rosé on the other hand offers cherry and strawberry tones, aromas of red berries with faint notes of green apple. It is creamy on the palate with a good balance between acidity and sugars and a very refreshing finish. Personally, I find having a glass or two of these in the late afternoons as an apéritif with an assortment of cheese and cold cuts such a treat!
The Anna Blanc de Blancs isn’t as sweet as one would imagine (as cavas generally aren’t), and this has a fine persistent mousse that unfolds citrus notes and nuances of tropical fruit giving a creamy, broad and lingering mouthfeel.
There was a slight drizzle early on in the evening, so we all headed indoors to enjoy the delicious pinxtos and paella Chef Chef Chelle Gonzales had prepared that evening, all pairing beautifully with the Anna de Codorníu.
Also on hand was the Viña Pomal Rioja Crianza 2011. The wine was from Bodegas Bilbainas, also part of the Codorniu group. It is a medium-bodied wine, a bit dry in the mouth, with hints of leather, and wood and best paired with the meatier pinxtos of barbecued meats and roast beef.
After a few glasses (ok, a lot) of cava, the rest of the night turned into a haze and quickly escalated into a blur of a night. The cava was so good! Everyone retired back to the Ana deck after the rain shower stopped and it was nice to get to know some of the people behind the wine – the Philippines really is the perfect market for it. What do you do when you want champagne without it burning a hole in your wallet? You look for Anna – it’s great value for money as it is reasonably priced, something you can drink it without waiting for a special occasion.