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Codorniu Cuvee 1872 Barcelona
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July ... and Edinburgh holds its breath in anticipation of Festival mania. Whether you love or hate the festivals and all they bring, there's no escaping them, particularly as they now span most of the summer months. This month the Jazz and Blues festival provides a 'gentle' warm up to the full on crazy with the Spiegeltents in George Square and St Andrew Square providing the perfect atmospheric, vintage back drop for every kind of jazz and blues from foot stomping bluegrass to slinky jazz.

Although some of the best things at the Jazz and Blues Festival are hot, contemporary acts who seamlessly blend the traditional with new styles and sounds it's also an opportunity to hark back to our heavily romanticised ideas of smoky cabaret bars, swing bands and a good old fashioned bit of debauchery. 

Barcelona was a hothouse of just this in the 1920's with jazz players from around the world travelling in to the city to play in the many clubs and joining in the mischief, which is why, this month I've picked this 'Cuvee 1872 Barcelona' cava from Codorniu. It knocks the socks off of any Proseccos I've tasted recently and wipes the floor with any cheap champagne at the same price. It's also beautiful, with a modern take on a belle-epoque style bottle, which would make a brilliant wedding fizz or gift.

Cava still lugs around a cheap and not so cheerful, battery-acid reputation, but this is mostly out of date, particularly if you're spending more than £6 a bottle. At £13 you are buying top quality cava whereas at the same price it would be questionable champers. 

This particular bottle is a nod to the heritage of Codorniu, using traditional techniques to create something that combines light and fresh flavours with an indulgent creamy texture. It's more apples and pears than full on citrus which means it tastes dry, but not too sharp, and the creamy texture gives it a soft feeling. Don't be fooled though, it's not wishy washy. 

At 11.5% it's easier drinking than most table wine, giving you every excuse to pop a cork, pour a glass, put on the gramophone and find some debauchery ...  (N. Welch)

Codorniu Cuvee 1872 Barcelona | Sainsbury's, Waitrose | £12.99
Jazz and Blues Festival | 15-24 July | edinburghjazzfestival.com


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