Best Drinks of 2011: Txomín Etxaniz

Don’t forget to cross your T’s and cross your X’s. I’m talking Txakolí.

Txomín Etxaniz is not your average Txakolí. It’s la hostia, the best of the best. I deem it so because I spent a year seeking out the best txakolís Spain has to offer and still, I ask for Txomín.

Txomín originates from Getaria, Spain, the homeland of txakolí, an effervescent white deserving more than just mention. In the world of sparkling, dazzling whites to preface a meal, txakolí is a varietal that often goes unnoticed.

Some fun facts:

At one point in the 19th century, it was even on the brink of extinction due to phylloxera! (Díos mio!)

Fret not, txakolí is slowly but surely making a comeback now. In 1989 txakolí from Getaria was of its first to receive D.O. certification.

Traditionally, txakolí was fermented in Basque homes in large, oak barrels. Now it is more commonly produced in stainless steel vats.

Yes, Jon is pictured above pouring (tirando) at a great height to deliver as much bubbly as he can. The bubblier, the better.

I always vacillate between whether or not to blog about my favorite things, whether it’s Txomín txakolí or a hole-in-the-wall ethnic eatery.

Perhaps the underwhelming Spanish marketing [or lack thereof] in this case is a blessing in disguise, that some of the best things in life are the best kept secrets, that the appeal of a sommelier’s delight is part exclusivity. 

In this particular case, I share [and spill] because I think, “Why can’t we all be drinking better?” Well, you don’t have to be drinking better and no one is forcing you to do so, but life is best enjoyed in the company of good food, wine and company. Don’t compromise. Bad food and bad wine? Caloric wasteland, if you ask me. If anything, I hope my bantering will at the least, impel others to recognize and learn about what they eat and drink pre-consumption.

So until I have the ability of a Cannelle et Vanille or Frank Bruni or Michelle Obama, all of whom in my mind are more than capable of making or breaking a restaurant or food product / beverage with a few words, I will share for the sake of spreading the knowledge and the privilege of deliciousness.


Or as we say in País Vasco, txin txin!

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