Cava has rocked the drinks world with a sensational series of classification changes that it assures everyone are in no way as boring and pointless as they sound.
Observers in Catalonia have described the shake up as the biggest thing to happen in the DO since ‘something or other back in the 1980s’ and ‘that thing a few years ago’ and are confident that it will ‘massively increase’ consumer indifference to the drink.
‘We are very aware of the need to make our drink accessible and relevant,’ said President of the DO, Mac Abeo. ‘And after extensive market research amongst ourselves, we decided the best way to do this was introduce a load of stuff that people won’t understand and couldn’t care less about.’
Cava’s consumer base, he told Fake Booze, were ‘loyal, engaged, fascinated by minutiae, and in no way buy the drink based purely on price.’
Give me an ‘X’
The region has brought in a number of regional indicators: ‘Spain’, ‘Not Champagne’ and ‘Not bloody Prosecco, alright?’
But there are also 25 Catalan sub-regions full of Xs and Ts that nobody will be able to pronounce and even the drink’s most ardent fans couldn’t find on a map.
‘It is very important,’ said Abeo, ‘that consumers know exactly where the wine comes from before they decide not to buy it.’
Tiers before bedtime
The DO has also created a new three-tiered quality level which has been described by Spanish drinks analysts as ‘a huge step sideways’.
- Cava de Minimo Efforto will cover wines aged from 9-18 months
- Cava de Precio Optimistico will cover wines aged from 18 months to three years
- Cava de Precio Ludicroso is the top classification for wines aged over three years.
‘This is the pinnacle,’ said Abeo. ‘These wines are aged a long time in the cellar, but also a lot longer in bottle.
‘Usually on the retailers’ shelves, where they can sit for years.’
We heart verbiage
Cava already has an existing set of ageing classifications – Reserva, Gran Reserva and Cava Impossible de Vender, and critics have suggested that the additional set of tiers might confuse customers.
But the DO’s Abeo was dismissive.
‘Adding layers of incomprehensible verbiage to labels is a proven route to success in foreign supermarkets,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘Just look at the Germans.’
Click here to read about Germany’s ‘uncrackable new classification system’