Twenty years ago, I began importing txakoli. It all started with Uriondo in 1999.
Having previously spent years living in Spain and traveling throughout the Basque Country, I had fond memories of eating delicious food and washing it down with a thirst-quenching glass of txakoli. These “happy wines” celebrated a wonderful culture. To me, they epitomized the essence of what I was looking for in a wine: they were of a place and in a unique style; they represented an ancient European culture where wine is celebrated in its most sincere and simplest form.
These wines fueled our drive to introduce authenticity and pleasure to our friends in the US. Little did I know the kind of crazy popularity they would attain here. These wines, from three different denominations, are now part of the mainstream of wines enjoyed across the US. They are deceivingly complex and highlight the varied landscapes of the Basque Country. You can find more information here about the wines and the region.
In 2008, during another time of crisis, I saw the world melting around us. As I watched the economic destruction of our industry, I decided that the only solution was to bring some joy to our friends by launching a series of txakoli parties. We did the first one in “Txarleston,” South Carolina, where one of my good friends in the industry came up with the name for the event that became known as Txak Block. We filled kegs with txakoli and paraded them throughout the streets, feeding happiness to all who encountered us. We did the same in Durham, Portland, and in many other cities. I remember one time in New Orleans we even got Anthony Bourdain to partake by sharing a porron of txakoli with us.
Today, as we head into similar unknown waters, I want to host a live Txak Blok to be celebrated virtually across the U.S. On Friday, April 24th, at 6 pm EDT, I’ll be leading a live txakoli class on Instagram (@dmselections) and I invite you to join us by raising a porron of txakoli in celebration of the unbeatable spirit of our industry. Get your porrons ready and tag us with your photos and videos so we can share them with all of our friends far and wide.
Let’s spread joy and happiness to all.