Gaintza Txakoli 2013
If you dread pronouncing wine names and steer away from flute shaped bottles you may want to give this wine a wide berth if you see it on the shelf but put your prejudices aside - it’s well worth a try.
In fact it’s not sweet but bone dry, a racy blend of Hondarrabi Zuri, Hondarrabi Beltza and Gros Manseng (no, that doesn’t make it much easier does it?) that’s produced in a wine region called Getariako Txakolina just inland from the Bay of Biscay. (The name is Basque*)
It’s virtues are that it’s only 11% and tastes like a squeeze of fresh lemon juice which makes it brilliant with shellfish, obviously, but also more surprisingly with the powerful, punchy flavours of Ottolenghi’s food with which I was trying it yesterday, especially a dish of quinoa cakes with Salbitxada, a Catalan roast pepper, tomato, garlic and almond sauce. Like Portugal's Vinho Verde it also has a slight spritz.
You can buy it (oddly) on Amazon for £33.21 a case of 3 (£11.07 a bottle) or from independent merchants such as Corks of Cotham in Bristol for £11.99. Marks & Spencer also has one, the Alais Txakoli, for £11.99
Read more about the region and the producer on importer Liberty Wines website.
(Pronounce it Chuckle-lee*)
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