When it comes to Spanish wines, the spotlight often shines on renowned varieties like Tempranillo or Albariño. However, hidden in the green landscapes of the Basque Country, there's a wine that deserves its own moment in the sun, the effervescent and lively Txakoli wine.
In this post, we give you the history of Txakoli and profile its characteristics.
What is Txakoli
Txakoli, pronounced "chak-oh-lee," hails from the coastal regions of Northern Spain, particularly in the Basque Country. This crisp and slightly sparkling wine is traditionally made from indigenous grape varieties such as Hondarrabi Zuri (white grape) and Hondarrabi Beltza (red grape). Depending on the producer, you might also see other grapes blended in such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Folle Blanche, or Petite manseng.
Txakoli wines are renowned for their zesty acidity, medium minus to medium alcohol content, and a subtle effervescence that tingles on the palate. The initial burst of citrusy flavours, are accompanied by green apple pear and vegetal notes. Fittingly, the name itself, Txakoli, is believed to be derived from the Basque words "txakolin" or "txakolinua," meaning "sour wine."
Txakoli's vibrant acidity and effervescence make it an ideal partner for various dishes. Oysters, ceviche, and fried fish dishes are my go-to Txakoli pairing foods, along with light to medium-bodied cheeses.
Part of the allure of Txakoli lies in the theatrics of its traditional pouring method. Txakoli is poured from a height to fully appreciate its effervescence, creating a beautiful cascade of bubbles and releasing delightful aromas. The slight fizz and the lively pour add a sense of celebration to the experience, making it a wine meant to be enjoyed, especially at festive times when in good company.