Txakoli Akarregi Txiki 2017
Hey guys, so I'm completely done traveling (until I move up to New Jersey), I'm back from Europe and California, and back to my regular Wine Wednesday. I prefer to review wines that I drink at home, rather than when I'm out, because I feel like I can really take my time and focus on getting a better understanding of the wine when I'm at home. I'm not distracted by the ambiance of the bar or restaurant that I'm at, and I can drink the wine over the course of two days to see how it changes overnight. This week's wine is an effervescent white wine from Spain. We picked it up at Wine Authorities in Durham over a month ago, but didn't drink it until I got back from traveling. Notice that I described this wine as effervescent, not sparkling. The wine has a delightful slight fizz to it, but it doesn't have enough bubbles for it to be considered sparkling wine, instead it can only be called effervescent. The grape used to make this wine is Hondarrabi Zuri, it's found in the Basque region of Spain (the northern area that includes Bilbao and San Sebastian), and it's often used to make this effervescent style of wine. The grape is known to produce wines with strong minerality, which it gets from the Atlantic Ocean's influence over the soil in the Basque region. It's an interesting grape that produces a delightful wine.
I usually start with how the wine smells, but with an effervescent wine like this, how it sounds when it's opened is also interesting. The cork didn't pop like it does with Champagne or other true sparkling wines, it had to be removed with a corkscrew, but there was a slight hissing noise when it came out of the bottle. When I poured a glass of it, it sounded like pouring a can of soda that had been sitting open for an hour or two. It had some nice bubbles at the top without getting foamy. The wine smelled very bright and crisp. I got some citrus and tropical fruit scents, like lemon and pineapple, with a hint of grassiness on the back end. The taste of the wine matched the smell. There were notes of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, guava, and grass, with a strong minerality on the back end. I could definitely taste the Atlantic Ocean from the soil in the wine. It was a great summer wine, very crisp and fruity, easy drinking, but not too sweet. We paired it with a spinach-pesto farro risotto and watermelon, and it complimented the spinach-pesto and the melon very well. It would also go great with any type of seafood, especially shrimp, or a pasta with fresh herbs.