We're finishing off the year with something delicious, Sourdough by Robin Sloan. The novel tells the story of Lois Clary, a software engineer turned baker, and the clash of new and old technologies in the food industry. It's thoughtful and fun, a little weird, but also charming. This is the second book written by Sloan, the first was a bestseller called Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
This month wine was selected by Jenny Dorsey, a professional chef and sommelier-in-training based in NYC. She runs a popular popup series named Wednesdays and just started a not-for-profit culinary production studio to create dining events fused with augmented and virtual reality. You can findmore of her work (and foodporn) here.
Jenny's wine pick: Txakoli
What is it? Txakoli is a very lightly sparkling but dry, white wine popular in Spain (particularly in the Basque County, so you'll see it everywhere in San Sebastian!). It's very fresh, sometimes a tint green, and usually served as an aperitif. If you're familiar with Portuguese Vinho Verde, you'll find txakoli to be its more structured, more mineral-y cousin.
Why it's awesome: Txakoli is a great way to start off any meal, but I find it especially lovely when gearing up to eat a big, richly flavored meal. Its salinity sets up your appetite (a good reason for its popularity at pintxo joints!) and its acidity cuts through hearty, intense foods like anchovies or charcuterie or anything fried.
Ideal pairings: Seafood is the classic pairing in Basque County, where you can find a plethora of tasty dishes like tuna in oil, sardines, shrimp skewers on bread, anchovies with olives. But the brightness of txakoli makes it a great contender for meat and cheese plates, fried finger foods like croquettes and calamari, or even heartier main courses like tomato-based tripe stew (a San Sebastian favorite of mine).
Jenny' s note: There are many types of txakoli to try, so since they are relatively low-alcohol you can buy a few extra bottles! They should be drunk young (no aging!) and if you're feeling froggy you can pour it the traditional way: hold the bottle a few feet in the air and pour straight into the glass tumbler to help it aerate and fizz.