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Txikifest, New York’s annual txakoli festival, served, again, as a great showroom for Basque wineries

05/27/2015

The patio of the Txikito restaurant was packed with more than 400 people that attended this year's Txikifest (Photo: Txikifest)
The patio of the Txikito restaurant was packed with more than 400 people that attended this year's Txikifest (Photo: Txikifest)

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On May 17, cooks Alex Raij and Eder Montero held the fifth edition of Txikifest, the New York txakoli Fair. About 450 people answered to Txikito restaurant's call to enjoy quality food and this increasingly international Basque wine. The meeting also served as a showroom for the participating wineries. “I always try to put in touch the wineries with distributors, because this is like a showcase,” said Montero to EuskalKultura.com. Once all the expenses are covered, all the money raised will be donated to the association MS Hope for a Cure.

New York, NY. Rezabal Txakolindegia, a txakoli with the certificate of origin of Getaria and already present in Texas, was one of the wineries that caught the interest of a distributor at the fifth edition of Txikifest, the great Txakoli party in the Big Apple. The call is not just for professionals, it is opened to anybody, but distributors and alike often join the crowd to learn about new wines. Similarly, organizers Montero and Raij make an extra effort to bring to the event Basque wineries that still don’t have a distributor in the US. And it is a difficult and not always successful task, as was the case of the Talleri winery (Bizkaiko Txakolina), which could not find an importer for New York and, hence, could not be showcased at the fair. “Many brands we bring already have an importer, but there are many who still don't have anybody here, we need to work harder on that, but we also need more support from official bodies to help send boxes," Montero stated.

He knows that his is almost an ambassador’s work and that’s why he focuses more in the diversity of the brands than in the quantity of the bottles. “That way the festival is more attractive.” Nevertheless, in this edition they opened more than 700 bottles, “just 10 or 15 were left unopened.” Seventeen wineries participated, to wit: Luiza Ripa, Ameztoi, Xarmant, Gorrondona, Uriondo, Gaintxa, K5, Rezabal, Zudugarai, Ulacia, Berroia, Gorka Izaguirre, Hirultza, Txomin Etxaniz, Adur, Maddy, and Talai berri. “Everything was perfect,” pointed out him.

The importance of the food

The chef is aware of the fact that, even if it is a txakoli event, food is also essential. But he and Raij were not the only ones that worked on that, seven other restaurants collaborated with them this year: La Newyorkina, Hanjan, Dirt Candy, Nightingale 9, Co Pizzera / Sullivan St. Bakery, Bar Mateo, and Wild Edibles Seafood Bar. The latter prepared over a thousand oysters and, also, Fermin brought some Jabugo cured ham that the attendees really enjoyed.

But if there’s a collaboration to be highlighted, that would be the one by the speakeasy Please Don’t Tell, which created a cocktail with txakoli, white tequila, syrup, and grapefruit juice called Pintxo Punch. “It was absolutely amazing.”

Solidarity

Once all the expenses are covered, all the money raised will be donated to the association MS Hope for a Cure. Every Txikifest donates money to a different cause and this year’s group works to find a cure for multiple sclerosis and will, most probably, get around $15,000. It is also worth to mention that all the restaurants and wineries work as volunteers in this festival. 



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