Many of the wine world’s most peculiar and interesting wines come from regions that boast a rich and powerful local culture apart from–and often at odds with–that of their home nation. This month’s selection comes from one of the most unique corners of Europe, Spain’s Basque Country. Viticulture has thrived here for centuries, and yet the local style of wine, Txakolí, was at risk of dying out as recently as the 1900s. As the story goes, the style was born to quench the region’s intense thirst during the apéritif hour, when a glass of white and seafood-based snacks known as pinxtos were commonplace. Folks in San Sebastian needed something refreshing and tasty to complement their snacks, yet that was also moderate in alcohol. The light, spritzy Txakolí was born. In the 1960s the regional government began encouraging the new generation of winemakers to replant their family’s vineyards with native varietals to preserve the agrarian and wine-centric culture of the region. Only recently, however, has this unique, amply refreshing style of wine gained popularity outside of the region. We’re pleased that it will be gracing your summertime table.
Notes of ripe, zesty Granny smith apples and honeydew melon great you on the nose in the glass. Moving to the palate, this wine is light and zippy with complementary notes of lime zest, chalky minerals, and pear. Though it truly is an unbeatable apéritif wine, Basque locals drink Txakolí year round and with everything from seafood to red meat. I suggest going big on high-quality tinned seafood and salty, sheep’s milk cheeses. Or, even better, try it with our pairing–Spanish Mussels with Serrano ham.