Odd Pair: Guacamole and a Wine from the Basque Country

Categories: Wine Time

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Who doesn't love guacamole? If there's someone out there who doesn't, they've never been to Texas, where I believe it is illegal not to like guacamole. As a native Southern Californian who got to Texas as quick as I could, I feel right at home in this state where guacamole is as American as apple pie (although, as you can see from the photo above, I add peeled, seeded, and purged diced tomatoes to my guacamole, a signature of California where tomatoes are more abundant).

The other night when I made a batch of my guacamole for a group of wine professionals who had come over to celebrate a colleague's birthday, there was no avoiding that age-old conundrum: What wine to pair with guacamole, where heat (jalapeños and chili flakes) and citrus (freshly squeezed lime juice) are combined with the acidity of the tomato and sweetness of the ripe avocado?

And then a bright light shone through our dining room window through the late afternoon sun...

txakolina.jpg
Txakolina! Txakolina! Txakolina! (Pronounced chak-oh-LEE-nah.)

Once impossible to find outside of Getaria on the coast of Spain in the Basque Country, these wines -- light, bright, with wonderfully low alcohol content (11.5 percent in this case) and sometimes slightly sparkling -- are now making their way to the U.S. and to Texas thanks to a handful of devoted and passionate importers.

The explosion of citrus aroma and flavor in this bottling of Getaria Txakolina by Txomin Etxaniz made it an ideal pairing for the spicy guacamole we served as an antipasto for our dinner party the other night. Genuine fruit flavor, bright acidity, and low alcohol -- these are the top criteria that I apply when I size up any wine. The right combination of these elements is what makes wine delicious, food-friendly, and part of a balanced meal (in terms of both flavors and weights but also digestion).

I can't think of a better wine to go with the spicy foods and temperatures of summer -- whether in the Lone Star or Golden State.



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19 comments
kcmidtown
kcmidtown

why would anyone put jalapeno in quacamole?   I'm puzzled by that ingredient

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

That's not guacamole.  That is chopped vegetables placed in a bowl.

Andrew Ross
Andrew Ross

chunky all the way. will pick up a bottle of this over the weekend...looks like a possible godello match as well...

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

Can we know what the white fairy dust is on top?

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

I'm puzzled that you are puzzled by that ingredient.

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

It's pretty standard in California. I guess that's another thing that makes my guacamole "west coast." 

Guest
Guest

Absolutely sure that's PCP.

Megan
Megan

Looks like Maldon sea salt.  Which is pretty much like fairy dust.  SO GOOD!!  :D

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

KS, we got into a big discussion the other day about the differences between Texas guacamole and Californian. I think it's mostly the tomatoes but California also goes more chunky, Texas more creamy, no? Would love to hear your thoughts. 

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

Jalapeño, that's what we call the jalapeño paradox... ;)

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

It's all good.  I was just, ahem, "correcting" all of the above who kept saying this was a new "chunky" style of guac.

Alfonso Cevola
Alfonso Cevola

the acidity in the Txakolina is a little more tweaked than the Godello, though both sound fab!

TQro
TQro

The chunkier is what we call 'pico de gallo con aguacate'.  The 'guacamole' is either mashed or completely smooth, depending on the application, but could include other ingredients like tomato, garlic, cream, etc

JB
JB

I certainly have had it both ways throughout Texas.  But I definitely prefer the chunkier style. With tomatoes too.

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

Alfonso is right: the acidity in the Txakolina is pretty intense! 

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