Showing posts with label Getaria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Getaria. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Check out this distinctive Basque wine. And a Bordeaux gem!

Check out this distinctive Basque wine.

And a Bordeaux gem!

Getaria memorial to Elcano

Ameztoi Getaria Txakoli (DO) 2018, 10.5%

€18.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Very little colour in this Highly Recommended Basque wine. And nothing too bold in the nose either, though the subtle salinity and modest fruit provide a hint of things to come. Nothing backward about the lively minerally palate, its tart green apple fruit, that trademark petillance and that unmistakable vivid acidity, though the acidity in this one is markedly less severe than you’ll find in other examples. 

A tumbler of freshly poured
Txakoli in Hendaye

The bubbles, by the way, don’t hang around too long but you can get more of them if you pour it the Basque way, that is from over shoulder height and into a sturdy tumbler held or stood at waist height - you’ll also see them pouring cider in this way. If you try pouring into a normal wine glass from that height, you’re looking for an accident!

Located near the Basque Country fishing village of Getaria between San Sebastian and Bilbao, Ignacio Ameztoi’s vineyards are cut into incredibly steep terraced slopes overlooking the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic.

Balenciaga house in Getaria

Here the native grapes Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza are trained in high trellises; they are not weeded and no chemical sprays are used. Hondarribia is the first Spanish town you meet after leaving Hendaye (the last town in the south west of France) and crossing the Bidasoa River. Zuri means white and Beltza means red.

Getaria vineyard

Txakoli is regarded as the perfect companion to salted anchovies or tuna in oil. By the way, Ameztoi blend the red and the white to produce what I’ve read is a very interesting rosé. The USA is the leading market for the company.

Juan Sebastián Elcano, featured on the label, was from Getaria and is famous for completing the round the world voyage that Magellan began. There is a sturdy memorial to him in the middle of the village. This picturesque, and busy, place is also the birthplace of fashion designer Balenciaga and there is a museum here in his honour.

Chateau Tire Pé Bordeaux (AC) 2018, 13%,

 €16.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

This organic 100% Merlot pours a dark ruby.  Ripe black and red berried fruit in the fairly intense aromas. And the same fruit features strongly on the palate, some spice too and an excellent acidity. The wine is a lovely harmonious Bordeaux, easy and fruity, easy to drink, easy to enjoy. 

Not so harmonious on the hill of Tire Pé back in the day when the horse was the main “engine” of the farm. Apparently, the working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm. A different kind of aromatics!

Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997 and have been farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014).They have created a little garden of Eden, where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines. They regard this Merlot as an everyday wine, “to drink in its youth”. No wood used here, ageing is 8 to 12 months in concrete.

Very Highly Recommended. This one will be going straight on to my Good Value Wine List  which is steadily growing! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Do you like black on your plate?

Colour barrier on a plate
A wee jar of Squid Ink.
Getaria. The shop is on the right!
Black is not a colour I'd normally see on my plate unless of course it is black pudding! Indeed, it can be hard to get over the colour barrier that a dominant black presents in a dish. And so it was with some trepidation that I screwed the cap off a small jar I bought the summer before last in a small town, Getaria, on the beautiful coast of North West Spain.

The label said, Salsa de Chipiron, and the gooey contents were pure black. Translated the ingredients and it read: Onion, Olive Oil, Water, Tomato, Squid Ink, salt and spices. But what to do with it? Squid ink is widely used (though not in Ireland) with pasta, noodles, rice and also with the squid itself, with cuttlefish and scallops.
But this was late on a Saturday afternoon and a bit late to be wandering down town. So, we had to make do with what was in the cupboard. No fish but we did have fresh chorizo from Gubbeen and some pasta, enough to make a starter. Enough to be going on with. Soon the pasta was cooking and then came the transformation when the contents of the jar were added.

Some cut tomatoes were thrown in and the moment of truth soon followed and it was fine, really fine. The chorizo soaked up the ink and were hardly visible among the general blackness but you knew for sure when you bit into one. Overall, the flavour was very pleasant indeed, not at all fishy, and the spicy explosions of the chorizo rings enhanced the whole thing.

So, if you ever find yourself on the Basque coast, in either Getaria or Hondarribia, be sure and call into the shop of the family owned cannery Salanort. They also sell anchovies, bobito, tuna, octopus, sardines, and indeed some very good examples of the local wine, the very dry Txakoli.

After. Chorizo (centre left) well coated

Had to have a bit of colour after that and it is provided by the classic bacon and cabbage. The loin of bacon came from the local Dunne’s Stores, a fine piece by Truly Irish. The cabbage and potato cakes (a mix of normal and sweet) added to the colour and the enjoyment.

Colours of Ireland

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wine and Fashion in Spanish Gem

Vineyards above the town

One of Getaria's beaches

Fashion Museum

Inside Balenciaga

Getaria's church, built over a tunnel.

Wine and Fashion in Spanish Gem

Wednesday June 13th
More pics here

Getaria, on the coast between San Sebastian and Bilbao, is one of the prettiest Spanish villages we’ve come across on this trip. We called back there on Thursday to take a walk around the Txakoli vineyards.

For a while we walked over an old cobbled path that was once part of the pilgrim route to Santiago and just a few hundred yards from the roundabout in the centre of the town found the first of the vineyards from which this dry acidic wine is made. The vines are grown high and are then trained out along supports.

Back in the town, we called into a bar for a glass of you know what. They pour it from a height, about shoulder high, into sturdy tumblers, releasing both extra flavours and the fizz. Refreshing. So we went off and bought some to bring home.

Getaria also has a little black number that you hardly know is there until you take the outdoor elevator up to it: the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum. Now a fashion history museum would hardly be my ideal way of spending a sunny hour but the dressmaker with me was keen and I must admit I found the story fascinating.

First of all the Museum itself is worth a look. And not just inside. Take a walk around the outside. Inside, you first take the lift upstairs and see the permanent exhibitions.

Balenciaga was born here and the six shows follow his life, from the Early Days, to his Day Wear, Cocktail, Evening, Wedding and then a computer aided display of the fascinating technique that he employed as he brought fashion into the sixties, all there before your eyes.

There are also temporary exhibitions and the one currently on studies the development of the Mannequin. In fashion, it really is amazing how things always seem to come around. Balenciaga’s Bat Wing sleeves from 1952 are back in style. Must tell my girls, at least the one who is wearing them!
* Earlier post on Getaria here