This January marks the third edition of this Basque tradition! From January 18th through January 31st, bars, restaurants, and bottle shops across Texas will celebrate the food and beverage of "El País Vasco." This mountainous region extends as far north as the coast of the Bay of Biscay in the French Pyrenees and as far south as the Ebro Valley of Rioja in Spain. Fiercely autonomous, this region feels unique to the rest of Spain and France. We find the ciders and wines that come from here to be special and perfect for the Texas palate.
The traditional wine of the Basque Country is called Txakoli (Cha-Coal-Lee) and is most often made from indigenous grapes Hondarribi Zuri & Hondarribi Beltza. Refreshingly briny, these electric wines are the perfect complement to seafood, especially when served from a porrón. In addition to Txakoli, the Basque region includes the northern part of Rioja, where age-worthy Tempranillo-based reds are made.
Briny, naturally fermented, and delicately fizzy, Sagardo is unlike any cider you’ve tried before. Cider Season in the Basque Country traditionally begins on El Día de San Sebastian, the 19th of January. On this day, ciderhouses (known in Euskal as Sagardotegis) open up their barrel rooms to the public and host large celebrations, pouring the freshly-fermented cider directly out of the cask. The sagardotegis open up their barrel rooms to the public and host large parties, pouring the cider directly out of the fermentation casks, known as kupelas. As the owner taps the kupela, he shouts “Txotx!” (pronounced Choach). This battle-cry has become synonymous with the festivities and is one of the signature events of the Pais Vasco.
Bars and Restaurants will pour exciting wines and ciders from the Basque region. We will host cider-makers and Iberian wine importers to help illustrate the unique flavor of these beverages. Keep checking this website, Facebook, Instagram, and all your favorite neighborhood drinking spots for updates on all the Basque happenings. We look forward to seeing you soon!