Easier to drink than spell: Txakolina from Txakoli

Come on, this arguably has the most fun ever to say in terms of wines/wine regions. Say it with me, it’s like “Chalk-o-leena.” What usually ships to the States is a frizzante (lightly sparkling) version. At its essence its a light, fresh, clean bottle of white that slaps a smile on your face whether you want it or not.

What gets drunk domestically is another story. Light, fresh and clean, yes. But on Spanish soil they often vinify it still and drink it as such. I had the chance to taste both today, and I’d personally gravitate to this style, as it’s slightly more serious.


Beldui Txakolina “Xiribil” 2013
The first thing I smell is like that pocket-warmed, slightly waxy piece of bubblegum that came in a pack of Topps baseball cards. There’s no sweetness on the palate, though that bubblegum note comes through, mingling with lemony citrus tones that last on the palate a ridiculously long time for such a simple wine. The fizz is fun and this wine will make many a patio cameo this summer, no doubt.

Beldui Txakolina 2013
Very citrusy here too, mostly lemongrass and some subtle mandarine. It’s bright and mineral-driven on the palate. It’s a little more texturally rich than the Xiribil and the acidity is bright, keeping the balance in check. It’s begging for food, and I think baked clams or some Manchego would do it proud.

Simple and easy, very crowd-pleasey. Find a bottle and throw it back!




What to Wear (and Drink) on These Cold A** Days

After a little blogging hiatus, it’s time to come back to the computer and get back in the practice of sharing the wine love. And the wine love related stuff.

Today, because it’s not just any old day, but one of the coldest days in the world, ever, I decided to write about my outfit.  More specifically, what a MN wine industry rep wears to work during the bleak abyss of the oddly named and especially cruel Polar Vortex.

It was so cold that school was cancelled today. So cold that when I stopped into my accounts, their faces registered surprise and they couldn’t seem to believe a wine rep just showed up.


Even after work it’s too cold to take them off.

I wore these to work today. Professional attire? Not sure about that. But, when the thermometer reading showed a balmy -20 degrees this morning, I thought I’d cut myself a break from my fancy shoes and perhaps return home at the end of the day with ten toes intact. I hesitated for all of a nanosecond before giving myself the green light, hoping that my customers would appreciate my winter sensibility.  My wardrobe today, aside from the obvious winter coat, wooly mittens and stocking cap, included long underwear (top and bottom), wool socks, corduroys, two sweaters and yes, my Steger Mukluks. Hot I was not. But warm, well, I can say that on occasion today I was actually warm.

I took only two wines on the road with me, both of which I tucked into my Duluth Pack alongside my computer (risk-ay) instead of towing a rolling wine bag through the ice and nasty snow-muck. They were a dry Furmint from Hungary and a tasty little Spanish red.

I already talked about that little Furmint, the lovely Evolucio here. But the other wine I tossed in my bag is the Neil Santofimia 2012, made from the grape Garnacha Tintorera, which is grown in Spain’s southeast, as is the case with this wine from Almansa, Spain. Truth is I already had it open a couple days, but it proved that it has the structural integrity to hold up to some oxygen. In fact, it’s got a beautiful combination of tannin, acidity and a mineral austerity that keeps it really interesting. It’s complex but not opulent. It would get down with some food, but is totally quaffable on its own. I think that on day three it’s showing at its best yet, and at around $12.99 on the retail shelf that should earn it a spot on some dining room tables.

Neil Santofimia 2012

Neil Santofimia 2012

Neil Santofimia 2012

Grape: Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet)

Deep brooding purple-black color. Nose is blackberry and cassis, with some anise and graphite. Wine has opened up quite a bit aromatically with the fruit becoming somewhat more “baked” as would be expected. Palate echoes the nose but adds the textural interest of medium-plus tannins and ample acidity. Could this wine age a while? From what I know about the price point it doesn’t make sense, but I actually guess it would hold up 5-7 (or more) years. Score!

Cheers to this fantastic glass of wine in front of me, hoping that it can bring a little heat forth from the inside out.