How to Pour Txakoli, San Sebastian Style

Txakoli

Txakoli (pronounced Cha-co-li) is a bone-dry, low-alcohol, relatively simple white wine that tastes of fresh green apples followed by a thrilling rush of bitter-sweet bubbles.

The grapes are grown along coastal vineyards in the Basque country (you will find bottles in cafes in San Sebastian and Bilbao). And that would be all to the story, but then something very cool happens to Txakoli when it’s poured.

What’s this all about?

Pouring from a height aerates the wine, knocks out the carbon dioxide and increases the amount of bubbles in the glass. And of course, the higher the pour, the more captivated the customers.

Is it necessary to pour from this height? I started to wonder whether the tradition began simply because it’s just so much fun pouring wine from a two metre height.

But no, poured from a normal height, the wine is less lively and energetic in the glass.

In the Basque country, the wine has a special pourer fitted to the top so it can be poured from a height at a 90 degree angle to the glass creating a silver stream of bubbles.

 From this extra height, the bubbles are intensified. And it is the spritzy acidity that refreshes and cleanses the palate. A great Txakoli is delicate enough to have with fish and seafood, yet it is also a good tart retort to even the oiliest chorizo.

Txakoli is theatrical. It’s a wine that draws a crowd around it when it’s poured. Part of the appeal of Txakoli is definitely the show-off factor – and anything that adds theatre to wine in the on-trade is ok by us.

About Bodega Rezebal Txakoli

Our Txakoli is from Getariako Txakolina region near the Pyrenees in the Basque made with the local grape, Hondarrabi Zuri, the vineyards face the Bay of Biscay.

The result is a young white wine, bright greeny yellow, slightly acidic and effervescent, with hints of fruit and a moderate degree of alcohol, of only 10.5%. On the nose it has high aromatic intensity. Put this wine on by the glass and serve it chilled as an aperitif, perhaps served with some grilled seafood too.

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Author:
Juel Mahoney
Date:
17th August 2012


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