Cava – Spain’s Answer to Champagne

Cava has a 140 year tradition of being produced in Spain and has a growing worldwide following; it’s much more than just the poor cousin of France’s Champagne and, in many respects, constitutes much better value than the product of their European neighbours to the north. Commonly misconceived as a cheap imitation of Champagne, Cava is a sparkling wine in its own right with its own grape varieties and its own unique history.

Previous to the 1970’s Cava was simply known as Spanish Champagne until the EU passed a ruling that only wine produced in that specific region of France could carry the name Champagne. This ruling put the Spanish producers in a position where they had to find a new name for their product and they came up with «Cava» (the literal translation of which is «Cave» or «Cellar»). The ruling turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Spain’s sparkling wine producers forcing them to disassociate themselves with champagne and forge a new identity for their product, allowing Cava to emerge from the shadow of its French cousin. A downside to the EU legislation was that Spain also had to enforce stricter controls over what could carry the Cava name although, because of this, standards and quality have improved steadily, cementing Cava’s reputation as a viable alternative to Champagne.

The vast majority of Cava produced, comes from Catalonia and, in particular, the Penedés region within it. The capital of Cava production is the village of Sant Sadurni D’Anoia which is said to produce 85% of the total output of the wine. Despite production being dominated by this small region there are still other areas of Spain where Cava is produced and these include La Rioja, Aragón, Navarra, The Basque country, Valencia and Extremadura.

What is it that makes Penedés so good at creating the sparkling wine? There are a number of reasons for this, the most salient being the climate and the topography of the region. Temperatures in the region are mild with averages between 12-14°C and the regions grapes thrive at varying altitudes. Rainfall is mainly limited to storms in the autumn and spring but vital moisture is also provided by the summer dew. Winds in the region are not too strong and not too cold and therefore not damaging to the grapes. The region has also invested heavily in technology and using advanced automated techniques and the continuing success of Cava worldwide means the big «bodegas» (wine houses) such as Freixenet are able to continue to put money back into the production of Cava, ensuring its worldwide position.

To go back to Cava’s routes we must backtrack to the 1870’s when a group of Catalan wine producers known as the «Seven Creek Sages» got together to discuss how to produce a sparkling wine to rival that of France’s Champagne. They invested heavily in equipment, vineyards and additional staff and in 1872 Josep Raventos produced 3,000 bottles of Cava as we know it today. The emphasis was placed on using grapes native to Spain to give the Spanish version of champagne its own character. These are still used today and the three main grapes that formulate Cava are Macabeu, Xarel-lo (also known as Pansá Blanca) and Parellada. Since 1986 Cava producers have also been allowed to integrate the Chardonnay grape in their DO (domain d’origen) and it has been steadily planted in the last 20 years.

Today Cava is enjoyed the world over and, as it uses exactly the same production method as champagne, is comparable in flavour to its French rival. Taken as an aperitif, served with a meal or used for a toast; it’s a versatile wine that further strengthens Spain’s position as one of the world’s great wine producers.

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Visit Seville Spain

Seville, the southern region of Spain

Seville is located in the southern region of Spain and its home to some of the most memorable monumental history. Some great places to see would be the Cathedral and La Giralda, Museo de Bellas Artes, Plaza de Espana and many more.

Ideally to really enjoy, relax and see all Seville's monumental infrastructure you would need about 7 days.

After a long day of sightseeing and a few hours rest, Seville is home to some of the best restaurant and bars in Spain. A favorite is La Carboneria, which is a tranquil genuine Spanish bar with flamenco music and live acts.

And for the party people, Seville houses some of the best nightclubs in the south of Spain. Some of the major ones are Boss, Bandalai, Azucar de Cuba and many more.

For those on a budget Calle Betis is the best place for drinks, bars like Big Ben offer discounts on beer and spirits. The budget bars are normally a hangout for foreign students and a good place to make new friends.

The Cathedral Seville / la Cathedral Sevilla
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See with its gothic architect the third largest church in the world.

Reales Alcazares Seville
A stunning palace was first a Moorish castle built by Arabs. History said the palace was the discovery of Peter the Cruel who was in love with Maria de Padilla.

Casa de Pilatos Seville
When the real owner Marquis of Tarifa visited Jerusalem in 1519, the Jerusalemites thought that pos Pontius Pilate owned the house. The house is wonderful mixture of Mudejar, Gothic and renaissance styles marked with typical sculptures

Museo de Bellas Artes Seville
Founded in 1835, but opened its doors to the public in 1841. Since 1839 the building was a convert called Casa Grande de la Merced. The museum now hosts a diverse collection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, pottery, furniture. And it is second to the Prado in Madrid for its range of great Spanish paintings

Fabrica real de Tabacos Seville
Real Fabrica de Tabacos a stone building from the eighteenth century, it was one of the first tobacco factory established in Europe, it is the second largest building in Spain and was famous for the female workers who worked there. Since the mid-twentieth century, it has now become part of Seville University.

Town Hall Seville Ayuntamiento Sevilla
The Ayuntamiento has been the town hall from the 16thcentury. With rooms decked with historic paraphernalia of the city and the monarchy in a blend of Gothic and Renaissance elegances. It is situated between Plaza Nueva and Plaza San Francisco. Diego de Riaño one of the most important architects in Spain in the 16th century constructed the building.

Plaza de Espana Seville
The Plaza de Espana situated in the park of Maria Luisa in Seville, it was used for some of the scenes of episode II of star wars saga attack of the clones.

Spain built the Plaza de Espana in 1928 for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. It is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture. A boating canal follows the arc of the structure, crossed by a colorful footbridge.

Museo Arqueologico Seville
A Museum over three levels was created for the 1929 Exposition and now is the home to Andalucía's principal archaeological pieces. Artefacts range from Palaeolithic finds to Roman arts. Most Archaeological rooms were refurbished and now host the most famous symbols of the early history of Seville. The Carambolo treasures of Tartessian gold and the roman sculpture collection are Spain's most prestigious.

Torre Del Oro Seville Sevilla
The Torre Del Oro Seville or the Tower of Gold is situated on Christopher Columbus Avenue; along the bank is one of the most stunning views in Seville. It was name after the golden tiles that once decorated it, however when you ask a local they say it was called the tower of gold because it was used as storage for gold coming into Seville.

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Chelsea v. Man City | PREMIER LEAGUE CLASSIC MATCH | 10/27/2013 | NBC Sports



Take a look back at a classic fixture between Chelsea and Manchester City in 2013, when a last-gasp goal from Fernando Torres won Jose Mourinho’s squad three points at Stamford Bridge. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Chelsea #ManCity #FernandoTorres #JoseMourinho

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The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Chelsea v. Man City | PREMIER LEAGUE CLASSIC MATCH | 10/27/2013 | NBC Sports

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VISITING EVERY PREMIER LEAGUE STADIUM IN 24 HOURS



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Brighton v. Norwich City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 11/02/19 | NBC Sports



The Seagulls earned their third Premier League win in four games, putting the Canaries away at the Amex behind goals from Leandro Trossard and Shane Duffy. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Brighton #NorwichCity #ShaneDuffy #LeandroTrossard
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NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. NBC Sports is an established leader in the sports media landscape with an unparalleled collection of sports properties that include the Olympics, NFL, Premier League, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, the Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more. Subscribe to our channel for the latest sporting news and highlights!

The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Brighton v. Norwich City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 11/02/19 | NBC Sports

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Southampton v. Chelsea | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/6/19 | NBC Sports



Chelsea’s high-powered attack came out in full force at St. Mary’s, smashing Southampton 4-1 behind goals from Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Chelsea #Southampton #MichyBatshuayi #NGoloKante #MasonMount #TammyAbraham
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NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. NBC Sports is an established leader in the sports media landscape with an unparalleled collection of sports properties that include the Olympics, NFL, Premier League, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, the Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more. Subscribe to our channel for the latest sporting news and highlights!

The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Southampton v. Chelsea | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/6/19 | NBC Sports

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Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

The debate over whether homework is still a viable learning tool or has become outdated has actually been going on for many years. The trend in this debate seems to be heading in the direction of «outdated» but there certainly is no consensus yet. The factors I see as most significant in this issue are societal, centered on the family, and are primarily based on TIME; and as such, are unlikely to be reversed.

Top 3 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned:

1. Family time gets first priority.

Family life has changed considerably over the past few decades. With today’s high divorce rate, many parents spend a great deal of time just shuffling children back and forth. Each parent values the time with their child and the child values the time spent with each parent.

The financial realities of life now dictate that both adults in the home need to have jobs, but those jobs do not always coincide. Many of the jobs in today’s society are not the old standard 9-5 kind of jobs. When parents get home, they very often bring their own version of homework.

Many families are having to deal with military deployments to various parts of the world, and all indications are that we will be deploying soldiers as «peacekeepers» for many years to come. A parent on deployment may be gone for up to a year at a time. Some families have had to deal with multiple deployments. In a few cases both parents have been deployed at the same time.

For each of these situations and many others, family time becomes too precious to spend on school homework.

2. Children are too busy.

In years past, children came home from school, changed clothes, went outside to play with the neighbor kids until dark, did their homework–sometimes with parental help, and then went to bed early. Not so anymore!

Today, a large percentage of children are involved in some kind of sport after school. It may be Little League, or league soccer, swimming at the «Y,» football, volleyball, etc., but kids are involved in sports. Many also take music lessons, or dance, or gymnastics, or even language lessons. Some children are involved in scouting. Some are active with church activities. The list of potential involvements is quite long; but the point is that by the time children get home, THEY ARE TIRED!

School homework is the very last thing they want to do.

3. Teens are even busier.

Many teenagers are involved in the same kinds of activities as their younger siblings, but they may also be involved in school activities like band, drama, debate club, etc. Some teens play school sports as well as league sports. And on top of everything, some teens have jobs. Many of the teens who don’t do school activities, work a job after school every day.

When are these students supposed to do school homework?

Certainly, it can be argued that a student’s «job» should be learning first; and, I hate to admit that I said those words once or twice in my teaching career. However, we all must realize that life changes and we must adapt to those changes. To continue to require homework of students whose families endorse their activities is simply not fair. The schools cannot be in a position of punishing the child (for failing to do homework) when the family considers other things more important.

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What Are the Best BowFlex Exercises to Train For Soccer?

A soccer player must have both a strong core and strong legs. To achieve this there are several exercises available with a Bow Flex.

Core:

Most athletes need a solid core to build from. As with any construction, if the core is weak no amount of work on the outside can overcome that weakness.

The core of your body consists of your abdomen and some back muscles. As you probably already know, the best exercises for strengthening the abdomen are crunches.

The Bow Flex Ultimate 2 home gym has the widest range of exercises including abdominal. Strengthening your core is simple with these exercises:

Reverse crunch

Resisted reverse crunch

Seated abdominal crunch

Seated oblique abdominal crunch

Ab crunch with attachment

Trunk rotation

Standing oblique crunch

Legs:

The most important tool a soccer player has is their legs. After building a solid core, it is time to go to work on the legs. With the Bow Flex, you can do these leg-strengthening exercises:

Leg extension

Lying leg extension

Squat (with attachment)

Lunge

Ankle eversion

Ankle inversion

Standing hip abduction

Standing hip extension

Seated hip abduction

Calf press

Leg press

Leg curls and more

These will increase strength and power for kicking and maneuvering the ball down the field.

Other Exercise:

If you have ever watched a soccer game you know there is a lot of one thing, and that is running back and forth across the field. This takes a lot of stamina and endurance. While muscle building and strengthening is important, perhaps just as important is building endurance.

A great way to achieve this goal is with the Bow Flex Tread Climber. This machine combines the work out of a treadmill with the stepping motion of a stair climber. All this is wrapped up in a smooth elliptical movement that is easy on the joints. Increasing your heart rate and building long distance stamina is a breeze.

Bow Flex has the complete package for any athlete and that includes soccer players. If you are an aspiring player, do yourself a favor and train using either or both of these great Bow Flex machines.

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All Cleats Are Not The Same

While you are new to the games, you don’t digest the idea of cleats of different kinds of different sports. Cleats are external attachments to the lower end of the shoe sole. They are present to improve traction to the kind of ground the sport is being played on. They come in varieties like detachable or fixed to choose from. The three typical types of studs are bladed, rounded/conical and hard grounded. The materials used to make them are rubber, plastic or metal-tipped.

Depending on the sport you opt for, the shoes with cleats change. The combination of materials and types differ from the surface of play for traction.

For Baseball:

Most of the shoes the professionals prefer for baseball have front cleats to dig into the soil and help for a quick acceleration. Improving the force needed to catch a ball or make a run, the baseball shoe’s design help maneuver the feet and pump with the right traction. These are also designed as such, as the sport doesn’t involve ant stepping between the players.

For Football:

For this very particular sport, the cleats are longer than usual. This helps the feet to make easy cuts and turns by swift digging into the grass and soil. Moreover, the leather on them is thicker than the rest to protect the feet when stepped upon. They come in three heights; low cuts, for swift positionings like that of receivers and cornerbacks; mid cuts for the running backs and quarterbacks and finally high cuts, for less mobile positions like defensive line of players.

Generally heavier in overall construction, these shoes are typically made up of leather or synthetic materials. The quality is designed to withstand heavy usage even in dirt, rain, mud or snow.

For Lacrosse:

Might think it to be similar to that of the football, but no they are similar to that of baseball providing toe cleat for quick side movements and stability. Its weight is similar to that of soccer cleats. Moreover, these have mid-level cuts to offer appropriate ankle support. For the dig into the dirt or turf, the top-quality makers usually install eight to ten nubs on the bottom. As ankle rotation or high impact blow is common in lacrosse injuries, these are designed to provide maximum protection.

For Soccer:

Made mainly for running, these are very versatile in its design. The soccer cleats can be worn in other sports, but no vice versa so you should choose wisely. It is not at all safe to wear lacrosse and baseball shoes on the soccer field, because of their front toe cleats. For soccer, it’s always a low cut, evidently because of the rapid movements needed to drive the ball with complete stability. It’s interesting to know that, these are the lightest among all the categorical sports as they are usually made of rubber polyurethane outsole. To keep the center of gravity of a player’s feet, these shoes do not have midsoles. The upper is either leather or synthetic.

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Chelsea v. Aston Villa | PREMIER LEAGUE CLASSIC MATCH | 01/02/11 | NBC Sports



Highlights from the classic match between Chelsea and Aston Villa from the 2010-2011 Premier League season. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Chelsea #AstonVilla
» Subscribe to NBC Sports:
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NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. NBC Sports is an established leader in the sports media landscape with an unparalleled collection of sports properties that include the Olympics, NFL, Premier League, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, the Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more. Subscribe to our channel for the latest sporting news and highlights!

The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

Visit NBC Sports:
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Chelsea v. Aston Villa | PREMIER LEAGUE CLASSIC MATCH | 01/02/11 | NBC Sports

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