Jugo Vinos Vivos, Córdoba
Plaza San Andrés, Córdoba, 14002
Imagine being able to drink wine without a hangover.
Well, believe it or not, that once unimaginable wish is actually becoming true with the rise of natural wines!
What on Earth is Natural Wine?
Natural wine is allowed to develop organically without anything artificial being added, or anything raw being taken away. This means that the wine is essentially ‘living’, full of microbiology which gives the wine a real zest and a flavour like you probably haven’t encountered before. What’s more, I can testify the significant reduction of hangover when sticking to only natural wine on one given night, this is due to the absence of sulphites which are responsible for the dreaded wine headaches. Of course, alcohol is alcohol and too much of it will of course make you pay the price if you consume too much but it does indeed treat you very gently!
Córdoba, like any Spanish city, is rich in wine, and I should know! Cheap wine, and good wine at that. When I moved to Spain, people joked that as a wine lover, this was either going to be a blessing or a curse for me! I don’t know but one thing that’s for sure is that my bank balance has appreciated the average cost of 2 euros for a glass of wine here, compared to £7 back in Liverpool (with quality very unpredictable)! However, up until recently, Córdoba did not have any shops nor bars that stocked natural wines.
Jugo Vinos Vivos
Introducing Jugo Vinos Vivos. The name states it all- ‘jugo’ means the juices obtained from good, rich food or in this case, the grapes. ‘Vinos vivos’ reminds us that this is a shop with natural, living wines at the heart. The owners, New Yorker Gaby and her partner in business and in love, local Córdobes Javi, opened their very beautiful doors to the people of this city in September 2017.
“Jugo is nestled in the most beautiful little intimate square, swathed in palm trees and other lush greenery which form a canopy of shade over the mosaic tiled ground.”
The venue functions as a shop, bar and spot for hosting wine tasting nights, food sampling nights and even local art exhibitions available for sale! Wine is carefully and lovingly selected by the owners who really do know their stuff indeed. Tell Gaby that tonight you are feeling a good, bold, full-bodied red and she knows exactly which jewel to pluck off the shelf.
What’s more, it is all sourced from trusted Spanish wine producers with whom they have strong working relationships. Wine can be purchased by the glass (not applicable to all types) or by the bottle. It’s not even pricey- you can get an excellent bottle of velvety wine for around 11 euros which admittedly is more than the supermarket basics which can cost around 3-4 euros but if it’s quality you want (and to wake up without a hangover…) then it is SO worth it.
In England, 11 euros would get you an ‘ok’ wine, and even then it would be a risk as to whether or not you would even like it! If you are in the mood, order one of their unreal cheeseboards and let them surprise you with the maridaje (matching up) of local Spanish cheeses that complement your wine and just wait for the flavours to unfold upon your palette like never before…
“The wine is essentially ‘living’, full of microbiology which gives the wine a real zest and a flavour like you probably haven’t encountered before.”
The Marriage of Good Wine with Good Food
Jugo also hosts ‘Catas’- which tastings in Spanish. I attended one last month which cost 20 euros for 5 samples of wine (2 rosé, 1 white and 2 red) along with the most flavoursome cheeses and one little tapa of a salad I still haven’t forgotten! Orange, onion and black garlic was just… really, a combination of flavours like I’d never known before.
All food produce is locally sourced and I’ve seen on several occasions the owners of these huertas (vegetable gardens or orchids) in the bar themselves, tasting the fruits of their own labour and enjoying seeing others enjoying them!
They have now also started weekly local food tastings where for 7 euros, customers can get a plate of home cooked dishes which you certainly cannot order in usual Córdobes restaurants and tapas bars! (Salmorejo and patatas bravas– I love you but sometimes I want something a little bit out of the ordinary!) Edible flowers, unusual root vegetables, seasoned and sun dried leaves… all cooked right in front of you by the tireless Gaby.
Last night, I sampled the flowers of both the broccoli and rocket plants, along with sea-salted dehydrated kale leaves.
I have to now talk about the setting for a moment. It is a small but airy space, decorated in a natural, rustic minimalist decor (in keeping with the all-natural ethos) with fresh flowers and art hung on the walls. Jugo is nestled in the most beautiful little intimate square, swathed in palm trees and other lush greenery which form a canopy of shade over the mosaic tiled ground. The plaza has an ornate water fountain in the centre which provides the lovely calming sound of running water along with the birdsong of early evening.
My friend said she was first drawn to Jugo due to the inviting glow that comes from both the plaza and the bar itself, cosy on colder days and welcoming when it’s warmer. You could so easily miss his place as it is shrouded in trees and plants but if you do spot it peeking through , you’ll surely be drawn in like a fly to light!
When in Córdoba, seek out this gorgeous treasure chest of divine wine, cheese and other local produce and you WILL be so happy you read this! I promise!