Basque-ing in the Sun
Txakolina (pronounced chock-oh-LEE-nah) is a wine from the Getaria region of northern Spain. This is Basque country where the consonants flow as freely as their perfect summer wines, and this week's pick is one of our favorite ways to beat the heat.
Made in in the town of Artamaño, this beautiful valley vineyard is located at 500 meters elevation on the border of Castilla y Leon. The proximity to the Atlantic ocean creates a wine with a unique microclimate. The grapes used are the traditional Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Beltza varieties that are indigenous to the Basque region, as well as the less common local varieties of Izkiriota, Izkiriota Ttippia and Hondarribi Zuri Zerratia. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and bottled with residual carbonic that gives the wine its natural spritz. Only indigenous yeasts are used so that the grapes reflect the true qualities of the unique soil and site.
It is wonderfully refreshing with bright citrus on the palate, nice minerality and a zippy finish. At Pintxo bars or at restaurants, waiters are seen pouring the wines from a few feet above the glass using the special pourer to enhance the bubbles in wine. Serve this chilled with some jamon and manchego and beat the heat like a pro.