I take a lot of crap from friends who equate rosé with the pale pink juice from Provence that floods wine shops in June. Those summer confections (I’m talking to you, Whispering Angel) are light, fun and forgettable. I, of course, have a far more sophisticated palate. Which takes me across the Pyrenees to Basque Country and down to Puglia, the “heel” of Italy’s boot.
Txakolina (cha’-kō-lee-nah) is a slightly fizzy white or rosé wine found only in Spain’s Basque Country. I ordered a glass of the Ulacia Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2018 at our favorite new Boston restaurant Chickadee and hoped for the best, as the region and the wine were a complete unknown to me. A 50-50 blend of the native Hondarribi Zuri (white) and Hondarribi Beltza (red) grapes, the wine boasts an unusual flavor combo of citrus and watermelon. Crisp and dry, the Txakolina paired beautifully with the roasted beet salad and semolina gnocchi. Chickadee charges $14 a glass but you can buy a whole bottle for $17.99! (To learn more about Txakolina read Eric Asimov’s article in the NYT from 2010.)
Loyal readers will recall a few posts on Puglia last year following our wine tasting trip to the region. So naturally I jumped at the chance to try a Puglian rosato at Boston’s hippest new gathering spot TimeOut Market, in the not-scuzzy-anymore Fenway. The Masseria Li Veli Negroamaro Rosé 2018 is a serious wine masquerading as a summer rosé. Don’t be fooled by the pretty salmon color; this is a bold, fruity Negroamaro (a grape native to Puglia) whose balanced structure and full flavor will last well beyond summer. @$30/bottle.