A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

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Wines for a Jack$on (under $20) – Txakolina, Ameztoi – 2009

For my second post I’m going to push the envelope a bit, both on the price of the wine and the variety – $19.99 (before tax, so I guess it’s only under a Jackson pre-tax).

The wine is a Basque specialty named Txakoli, pronounced shaw-co-li (super layman phonetic).  It is a blend between two indigenous varietals; hondaribbi zuri (white) and hondaribbi beltza (red).  The plantings in the Basque for these grapes favor Hondaribbi zuri 75% to 25% for beltza.  Originally a home-fermented wine facing extinction, producers were granted their reprieve in 1994 with the creation of a Denominacion de Origen for Txakoli.  Similar to the AOC in France or DOC in Italy the DO designation grants the wine special status and carries specific vinificatiion and viticultural practices.

With slight effervescence – because the wine is bottled with it’s natural carbon dioxide, a mild yeastiness – from being left on the lees – pure and straightforward citrus acidity the juice is a great summer pairing for a hot day.  A mixture of fresh seafood and no plans other than sitting outside and enjoying what the day has to offer are all you need to fully appreciate the wine and Basque lifestyle.  With a hint of peach and orchard fruit (apples, pears, etc.) blossom on the palate this wine is lively and fresh.

There is a whole ceremony to pour Txakoli.  In order to get the full effec

t of its subtle bouquet and small bead carbonation the wine is poured from about head-height or higher.

I highly recommend this wine for any occasion that involves small plates, great company and equally great conversation.  Seeking a restaurant that pours correctly is fun and will surely impress you guests.

-@TDrinkwater, Beverage Director at Ellabess

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