Txotx 2018 will begin with a seminar dedicated to the ciders produced by the Vermont-based, Basque-inspired Shacksbury. As we taste through their range of ciders, we will learn about the differences imparted by unique apple varieties. Because recognizing the differences between a Dabinett and Kingston Black should be no less important to cider-production than contrasting grape varieties are to wine-making!
The number of apple cultivars is in the thousands. But despite this diversity, there are only a handful of different apples grown at length. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different varieties are getting lost in this homogenizing industrialization. Shacksbury has spent the past several years crafting ciders and championing these lost apple varieties. Furthermore, they have teamed up with Basque apple growers and Sagardotegias (cider-houses) to create their very own Basque-style cider!
On Saturday at 1pm, Camerata will host Alex Consalvo of Shacksbury for a brief primer on the past, present, and future of cider apple cultivation! Along the way, we’ll learn how this Vermont-based upstart found inspiration in the Basque Country. Tickets are limited, so follow the link to purchase yours today!
On Sunday, January 21st, Camerata will team up with nationally renowned BBQ duo Erin Smith & Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ for a pork & cider-filled extravaganza!
In honor of 2018 Txotx, we have worked with iconic Iberian importer De Maison Selections to bring the family behind legendary cider producer Isastegi to the United States. The Mari family has spent generation after generation cultivating their land in the undulating hills of Tolosa, Spain: predominately for cattle farming and later exclusively for cider production. Isastegi is the benchmark Basque Cider that we have been proud to carry at the wine bar for years. Chances are that if you’ve had Basque Cider before, it was probably this one.
This is the Mari family’s first time to the United States, and we’re ready to give them a big Texas welcome! Pitmasters Patrick & Erin will smoke up a whole hog and give us a preview of their upcoming Feges BBQ, scheduled to open in Greenway Plaza in March 2018! Barbecue plates will be available for purchase outside Camerata for $20 until we sell out! Last time we hosted Erin & Patrick, we sold out within two hours, so come early and hungry!
To cap things off, we will host the second annual Porrón-pouring competition during this cookout. Contestants will be judged based on the creativity and execution of their pours by three celebrity judges!
We’ll start slinging cider and BBQ at 4pm, and the porrón pouring competition will begin at 6:30. To register for the competition, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For Txotx 2018, we have brought back the second iteration of the Porrón Pouring Competition, but this time, we’ve upped the ante with whole-hog barbecue, courtesy of Feges BBQ, and the legendary family behind Isastegi Basque Cider!
WHERE & WHEN: The competition begins at 6PM on Sunday, January 21st at Camerata. Starting at 4PM, Erin & Patrick Feges will be serving their signature Whole-Hog BBQ and the Mari family of Isastegi Sagardotegia will be pouring their signature Basque cider.
SIGNING UP: The sign-up fee is $10 per team. Contestants can sign up here at Camerata during normal service hours and are entitled to a 50% discount on Isastegi for practice purposes.
GUIDELINES: Contestants can apply as one or two person teams and can either pour into a glass or a mouth (his/her own mouth or the mouth of his/her teammate’s). A contestant’s pour/routine should last no longer than one minute. Contestants can request a specific song be played during their pour. Before beginning the pour, the contestant is expected to give a short description of how and why they plan to utilize the porrón.
SCORING METHOD: Contestants will be judged based on a scoring system that takes into account the following categories:
- Fundamental Understanding of Basque Cultural Traditions
- The Creativity of the Pour
- The Challenge of the Pour
- The Execution/Accuracy of the Pour
- 1st Place: $150 Gift Card to Camerata and one of our limited edition Txotx t-shirts
- 2nd Place: $75 Gift Card and one of our limited edition Txotx t-shirts
- 3rd Place: $50 Gift Card and a bottle of Isastegi Cider!
On Tuesday, January 30th, Camerata will host Álvaro de la Viña for an in-depth look at the wine coming out of the Basque Country. Much of our focus throughout Txotx will be on cider; however, the briny white wine known as txakoli and the Basque region of Rioja (known as Rioja Alavesa) are equally special and deserving of our attention. Álvaro created one of our country’s best Iberian import companies and has made it is mission to support small, family-operated Spanish bodegas. Whether avant-garde or ultra-traditional, these producers make wine that Álvaro calls #VinosVivos: wines that are intact and alive!
From 5-7pm, Álvaro will be at the wine bar chatting with guests about the unique qualities of the more inland Txakoli DO of Bizkaya. The difference between Bizkaiko Txakolina and Getariako Txakolina is as distinct as Chenin Blancs from Savennières are to those of Vouvray. De La Viña Selections imports Ulibarri’s Artzai, a barrel-fermented and bottled aged Hondarribi Beltza that tastes unlike any other Txakoli we’ve tried.
He’ll also be on hand to walk us through the Rioja Alavesa, the northernmost part of Rioja’s varied region. The Alavesa is home to the poorest soils, so the vineyards here tend to be the lowest-yielding. The most terroir oriented winemakers often make their mark here. Alvaro works with smaller Rioja producers who eschew the corporate oak-everything-to-shit mentality and instead focus on the grapes and the land.
We’re stoked to host Álvaro later this month: it’s the perfect way to send off Txotx 2018. Look forward to seeing you there!