Looking for a way to get a party started? Bypass a wine glass in favor of dramatic drinking out of a porron. Likely descended from wineskins, porrons are popular in the Basque Country for drinking wine (particularly Txakoli). The Porron Wine Pitcher ($30 at wineenthusiast.com) is made in Spain from recycled, hand-blown glass. To drink from it, tilt your head back and pour directly into your mouth without touching the spout. It takes skill to master, but there’s a bonus: You won’t dirty any glasses while sharing a round with friends.
What To Put In Your Pourron
The Basque Coast of Spain is notoriously craggy and green, with a strong Atlantic influence that brings cool temperatures and much precipitation. While this may not sound like typical wine country, Basque winemakers have produced a low-alcohol (usually around 11% abv), often spritzy and zesty wine called Txakoli (pronounced CHAH-ko-lee) for centuries. Made mostly from white Hondarribi Zuri and occasionally red Hondarribi Beltza grapes, the wine, fermented in stainless steel, usually contains some C02 and is lightly bubbly. Pair Txakoli with salads and seafood, and always seek the freshest vintage possible; i.e., the just-released 2015s. —Michael Schachner
Two Txakoli to Try
Txomín Extaníz 2015 Getariako Txakolina; $25. Typical papaya and stone-fruit aromas appear on the nose. With golden apple, white grape and green plum flavors, this is spritzy, minerally stuff. Fine Estates From Spain.
Ameztoi 2015 Rubentis (Getariako Txakolina); $22. This pale pink rosé is a 50-50 blend of Hondarribi Zuri and Beltza. Expect currant, raspberry, strawberry and citrus flavors. De Maison Selections.