Spanish Txakoli is a top contender for the sharpest white wine in the world…—

 I was enjoying the wine and food pairings at one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, Asador Etxebarri in Basque country, when I wondered: what’s the sharpest white wine in the world?

The local white, Txakoli (pronounced ‘chack-oh-lee’), is a top contender, a wine so edgy it’s like putting your palate through a pencil sharpener.

Sounds terrifying? Maybe. But if you’re eating the local pintxos (small snacks), it’s wonderful. I love Txakoli alongside marinated anchovies and for easy sipping its tidy alcohol level of about 11% is spot-on.

The flavours are electric. Imagine a frozen lime wedge splitting a salt crystal and you get the idea of this wine’s intense definition. Hondarrabi Zuri is the grape behind this excellence and it’s perfect to polish your palate. Txakoli is the ultimate sharpener.


IT’LL CAST A SPELL ON YOU….:  Txakoli Ameztoi, Getariako Txakolina 2018 (10.5%) £6.99 Spritzy and zingy, this is utter magic.

REFRESHER COURSE: Hirutza Txakoli Hondarribia 2017 (12%) £14.95 A richly tinged refresher with a saline edge.

TOTALLY TROPICAL: Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli 2018 (11.5%) £16.49 Scrumptious and zippy with a tropical twist.

PERFECT PARTNER: Hirutza ‘Berezia’ Txakoli Hondarribia 2016 (13%) £16.49 Peachy perfection to pair with fish and chips.


Flysch, Bodega Gorosti Getariako Txakolina 2018 (11%) £14.95 A cascade of sharp splendour. Charged with class.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 5th May 2019