I just returned from a short trip to Spain’s gem on the Northern Coast, San Sebastian. The city boasts a tremendous cultural scene (it is actually in the running for the 2016 European City of Culture). Sitting on the Cantabrian Sea, San Sebastian (part of the Basque Country) boasts some of the best seafood anywhere and is recognized as THE place to go to experience the best food that Spain has to offer. It is really the gastronomic capital of Spain, Europe, and the world.
San Sebastian is also the home of Txakoli, a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content. Check out an earlier post (Txakoli: Doesn’t He Know How To Use Spell Check?) to find out more about this wine that you MUST search out. It was a joy to walk into a restaurant and not have someone tell me, “Sorry, I have never heard of that wine.” It is also fun to walk into a store and actually have a wide selection of them as well. Txakoli is starting to get a bit of a following in the U.S. and is easier to find than it used to be. Check out Wine Searcher to find a retailer that sells and ships it. It is truly a different wine and one worth experiencing. I find it extremely refreshing on a weekend afternoon or as an apertif.
San Sebastian also finds fame in it’s own version of tapas – pintxos (pronounced “pinchos”). Anything you can dream up and place gently on a piece of bread with a toothpick sticking out the top basically qualifies as a pintxo. The idea is to go into the pintxos bar and pick the ones that look good to you and then keep your toothpicks so they can count how many you had and, thus, know how much you owe. The problem is that everything looks good and you (well, I) have a tendency to “eat with my eyes.” You walk a bit, hit the next bar, and it all starts over again. It’s a good thing that I had plenty of glasses of txakoli to wash them all down!