A Little Birdie Told Me To Give This A Try

Domaine Brana
Ilori ‘Les Jonquilles’ Blanc 2016
Irouléguy AOC
Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng & Petit Courbu
Biodiversity, HVE level 3 certified (and that means a lot)
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Irouléguy, France
Spirits and winemaking family: Jean and Martine Brana (brother and sister)

Spring flower (daffodil) yellow with a green glimmer. Oh this is lovely. Breathing in pears, musky honeydew but the musk fades and honeydew is still hanging around, just rained on sidewalk/concrete ( I love that smell), a light citrus blend, and pineapple. Sipping and here’s those pears again, honeysuckle nectar, pineapple, a tiny citrus (grapefruit) back pop, and it’s a glass of grace and joyous laughter all at once.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: eh…why ruin a good thing

At Domaine Brana, it’s not just wine but spirits too. Jean and Martine’s father, Etienne, first planted their pear orchard back in the 70s, and embarked on setting up a distillery. By the 80s, he saw the potential in this gorgeous steep diverse terroir to plant vines and a build a winery. Sadly Etienne passed in 1992, and his wife and children carried on his dream. I love their passion for nature and biodiversity, and putting in all the hard work to be HVE level 3 certified. With their 110 nesting boxes, they’ve brought back birds (and buggies) that hadn’t been seen in the area for ages. You can find these feathered friends gracing some of their labels too (just not this 2016).

#wine #naturalwine #whitewine #perfectpairing #vino #vin #winelife #葡萄酒 #ワイン #eaudevie #spirits #Irouléguy #irouleguy #France @worldbyglass #pairswithcheezits #winestagram @brana_officiel @vinewinenyc @cheezit

A Kirkilla By Any Other Name

Getariako Txakolina 2019
Txakoli D.O.
Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
100% Hondaribi Zuri (native grape)
Sustainable farming and indigenous yeasts
Winemaker: Ignacio Ameztoi (5th generation)

Super light pale straw with some clingy bubbles hanging to the sides of the glass. First pops out light tiny floral bits, next is fresh green apple, a little tart pear, and sea salt. My tongue is tingling from the clean little bubbles. It’s refreshing! There’s citrus that as I drink more evolves into full on lime, and of course again my favorite…salty!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: ooooo even more lemon-lime saltiness

The Ameztoi family has been making txakoli since 1820, and it sounds like they have been quite a happy family since they are nicknamed Kirkilla which means cricket. From what I’m reading crickets symbolize joy, happiness and pride. They do have a lot to be proud about with this fresh, fun, take me out on a boat and grill me some shrimps wine. Also their winery, vineyards and grounds are so perfectly situated. The winery is up on a hill over looking the vineyards that reach out to the sea. What an amazing view! I would never get tired of all the green and blue. I can’t believe, I’ve never tried this before, and once again I am kicking myself for never traveling to the Basque Country in Spain. Always wanted to, and said I’d always get around to it and now look at the situation we’re all in. I have way too many Expedia points just waiting to be used. So here we go and no points needed.

Well first off we should start with a Txakoli tasting at Ameztoi and then head to Getaria. Since it’s a fishing village, you know there has to be some fabulous fresh seafood. Anthony Bourdain visited Elkano (Michelin star) for the amazing grilled turbot. That would be incredible, but I would also love to wander the  streets and find some pintxos. Politena looks pretty good and has been around since 1968, and I just noticed a tv tucked in at the bar. That would make my S.O. very happy to be able to catch a soccer match while I’m grazing over all the different selections. Next stop is the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa. The lauded designer came from humble roots in Gertaria, where his father was a fisherman and his mother a seamstress. This year is the 125th anniversary of his birth and the museum will be celebrating with the first  international Cristóbal Balenciaga conference, albeit virtually on their site on October 1st and 2nd. They are still open in person too, but with modified hours and safety precautions. Through Jan. 10, 2021, the exhibit ”Fashion and Heritage. Cristóbal,” is still on display and is curated to show the man behind the brand. One last stop on this trip and it’s in San Sebastián. This wine trip is heading to a brewery. Mala Gissona takes it’s name and inspiration from the pidgin phrase, “For Jü Mala Gissona” (you’re a bad man). Pidgin is a blend of Basque and Icelandic and evidently this is what Icelanders called the Basque whalers. These weren’t necessarily bad men but rough around the edges. As you got to know them they’re sturdy, honest and loyal. This is supposed to be the same with their beers or as they say, A honest and intrepid beer, loyal to its principles”. I think a good end to this venture is a pour of their Apatxe or translated “Free soul. Warrior heart” and once again stuff myself with pintxos.

@docwineshop @docwinebarny @txakoliameztoi @dmselections @politenagetaria @cristobalbalenciagamuseoa @malagissona @cheezit #cheezit #wine #beer #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #organic #Getaria #Gipuzkoa #Spain #Basque #Ameztoi

Fresh Apple Breeze

Sagardo Naturala 2018
Usurbil, Gipuzkoa, Spain
20 to 30 different native Basque apples
Organic, wild yeasts, unfiltered
Growers: Aitor & José Ignacio Lizaso

This is a super orange pour. First scents are the apples, then cinnamon, sea breeze (don’t laugh, it really does have that), and an unexpected orangieness. Oh wow, this is tart, fresh, and tangy tasting. There’s all sorts of apples, lemon, smoke, dry, and a little bit of super dainty bubbles. Making me crave South Carolina style BBQ.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: evens out the tart

From what I’m reading about Arratzain, it’s not just a cidery, it’s also an inn. If you’re a lucky visitor during harvest, you can also help out. As stated above, the cider is made from 20 to 30 different apples: 60% for acid, 30% for bitterness, and 10% for sweetness. It never ceases to amaze me how many different varieties of apples exist all over the world. I grew up with only 5 different types of apples in our orchard. How I miss being there when all the trees were in full bloom…so beautiful and so fragrant. Another fond memory I have is when apples fell off a tree and started to rot and ferment on the ground, you would see drunk wobbly bees buzzing slowly up and down throughout the trees. BTW don’t google drunk bees. I had no idea what happened if a bee made its way back to the hive drunk. Worse than if I came home toasted to my parents’ house, back in the day.

@vinewinenyc @Arratzain @jpselections @cheezits #cider #wine @worldbyglass #needmorewine #cheezit #vinewinenyc #organic #apple #Usurbil #Gipuzkoa #Spain #Basque #Arratzain #bees