Ameztoi’s “Rubentis” rosado is one of my favorite things about the arrival of summer. Spritzy, (yes that’s right it’s supposed to be that way) delicate and with just a whiff of wild strawberry, the Rubentis is so easy and fun to drink that I really have to pace myself. I usually stock up with a 6 pack or so of this allocated wine and try to share/introduce it to any and all of my friends throughout the summer.
Not too long ago, I cracked open a bottle of Rubentis for several willing participants as we sat down to lunch together. Right up the street from my place, Bakesale Betty’s makes one of the most amazing fried chicken sandwiches ever. On this day, I decided to forgo the bun, and instead double up on the terrific coleslaw that they make. So good! However like the Rubentis, I need to make sure that I pace myself with this fried chicken treat.
Composition: 50% Hondarribi Beltza, 50% Hondarribi Zuri
Country: Spain (Northwest)
Region: Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
Sub-Region/D.O. : Getariako Txakolina
Geology/Soil: Sand / Clay / Chalk
US Retail: $19
Ameztoi is one of the premier domains in the Basque region of Getariako, Txakolina. Seventh generation winemaker Ignacio Ameztoi manages 20 hectares of vines on predominantly chalky, sandy soils just a hop, skip and a jump away from the very Basque town of San Sebastian. The strong, cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean facilitates a style of most famously white wine that is light, bright, and low alcohol. A modest amount of rosado is made, along with small amounts of red as well.
The principal grapes grown here (and what you’ll find in the Rubentis) are Hondarribi Beltza and Hondarribi Zuri. Traditionally the wines were fermented in large, old wood, however nowadays modern stainless steel is utilized for the vinification. The wines are then bottled with residual CO2, hence that light spritz and tickle on the tongue that make these Txakoli wines so fun.
Admittedly, a fried chicken salad is not a classic food wine pairing for Txakoli/na.
I might otherwise suggest: fried smelts (fries with eyes) salty marcona almonds, olives, brandade (afterall it was the Basque fisherman who introduced Europe to cod), jamon..in a pickle even potato chips! Txakolina has such high acidity and lip smacking freshness that it will temper any salty or fatty elements.