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Now that the long, and much needed, Labor Day weekend is over, it’s back to the travel grind for me.  On my way to Orlando for a few days, this evening’s flight included my routine 90-minute layover at Dulles before continuing on to MCO.  Of course, 90-minutes at Dulles means a quick stop at the Vino Volo wine bar near gate C4 for a glass of wine, cheese plate and a small order of pork tacos.

My normal protocol at Vino Volo is to start with olives or cheese then an order of the pork tacos paired with a Pinot.  However, this trip would be different since I recently made the decision to begin the journey of joining the Wine Century Club.  The Wine Century Club is comprised of a group of individuals who have tasted (and verified) at least 100 different grape varieties.  

In the spirit of beginning the journey to 100 varietals, I decided that my wine selection this evening would be based on the most obscure varietal on the wine list.   A nanosecond after opening the wine menu, the name Txakoli immediately jumped out at me.

TxakoliTxakoli (pronounced kinda like cha-cole-e) is a slightly sparkling wine that hails from Spain’s Basque Country.  Txakoli is predominately made with the Hondarrabi Zuri grape, but can also be made from Bordeleza Zuria (Folle Blanche), Izkiriota Ttipia (Petit Manseng), Izkiriota (Gros Manseng) and Courbu.

Txomin Etxaniz 2008 Txakoli This wine was $11/glass and $27 bottle and was made with the Hondarrabi Zuri grape.  A very simple wine.   Bright golden yellow in the glass with a nose of lime spritz, green apple and some mineral notes.  Ok acidity with a slight fizz.  In the mouth, I found sour (tart) grapefruit that lingered for quite a while on the finish.  If you like long grapefruit finishes, this may be your wine.

This could be one of the least enjoyable wines I’ve ever had at Vino Volo in terms of QPR.  This wine immediately reminded me of a very simple $5 vino verde, but gussied up with an unpronounceable name coupled with a $27 per bottle price tag.  I don’t mind such a wine on a warm, humid Virginia evening sitting on the deck on a Tuesday night, as long as it’s around 5 bucks a bottle.  But this one at $27 bucks a bottle is in the QPR cellar!  Perhaps this would have been better with a white fish, oysters or shrimp.

On a more positive note, this wine allowed me to expand my palate, and moved me one varietal closer to joining the ranks of the Wine Century Club.