Txakoli, pronounced "Cha-co-lee", is poured from high above across Basque Country and the perfect wine for summer. Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetit describes txakoli as "bright, zingy, and slightly effervescent without veering into sparkling wine territory", the ideal wine for pairing with appetizers on the patio on a summer's evening.
The wine is produced from two indigenous grapes, Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza and typically poured from about ten inches above the glass to aerate the wine and give a hint of foam. As S. Irene Virbila writes for the L.A. Times:
In the Spanish Basque country, whenever people get together, they drink Txakoli — at brunch and also with a snack in between lunch and dinner. And then again with pintxos or tapas before dinner. At the Ameztoi wine estate near the town of Getaria, I once was served their wines with local salt-cured anchovies slicked with a little olive oil, accompanied by slices of crusty bread. The anchovies from this part of the world are extraordinary, and the combination with Txakoli is brilliant. It works like Barbera with salumi. The bright, singing white wine plays against the fat brininess of the anchovy, leaving you eager for the next bite, the next sip.
Basques will swear by Txakoli not only with anchovies but also with tuna and all the seafood served up in the fishing village's rival fish restaurants: Elkano and Kaia. Its minerality and saline quality make it a perfect match. If you go pintxos-hopping in San Sebastian's Parte Vieja, every bar is pouring Txakolina.
Txakoli is an excellent accompaniment to our seafood conservas, like Cantabrian anchovies, sardines, and Bonito del Norte tuna. Wine.com offers a good selection available for order, or ask at your local store.
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