Sep 22 2020

Txakoli: Spain’s Not-So-Secret Weapon for Food & Wine Pairing

Enter Txakoli (CHOCK-oh-lee), one of the country’s inimitably Spanish wines. Almost always made from native grapes Hondarrabi Zuri (white) and Hondarrabi Beltza (red), this vibrant, low alcohol, and often slightly sparkling wine is both the ideal aperitif and quintessential all-day sipper.

Txakoli vineyards in the Basque Country
Txakoli vineyards in the Basque Country

Old vines, thankfully saved from historical erasure by forward-thinking, proud vignerons, are common here. In the cellar, most modern examples are vinified in stainless steel to showcase the wine’s trademark acidity and freshness; some also see some time in wood to add richness and roundness.

Txakoli whites show a pale yellow with greenish hints, while rosés—often produced from a blend of both red and white grapes—range in hue from a pale salmon to a deeper pink. These delicious and gulpable wines show classic notes of lemon and lime for white, and tart red berry fruit for reds, with a chalky minerality throughout the palate.

Stony, slightly effervescent, and often a touch salty, these wines are exceptional partners to fresh, lightly prepared tapas and snacks. For pairing, think seafood in all its varied and delicious forms—from raw oysters to steamed clams, grilled shrimp to tuna, you’ll find a wide array of dishes match brilliantly.

Text: Wines from Spain