I like to think of myself as an unofficial ambassador for the Basque wine, Txakolina. Apart from making it a chapter of my dissertation, which demonstrates how Euskara is used to market locally produced foods, I also just love drinking it. So, when this libation is celebrated right here in Reno at Craft Wine and Beer, it’s time to make some noise!
This year, Craft Wine and Beer’s Txakolina Fest will be on Friday, May 25th from 5-9pm. Ty Martin and his crew put on this Basque-inspired event, and seem to amp it up every year. Here is his sneak preview of what is to come this Friday:
Between graduation parties, the first BBQ’s of the season, and all the yard work (so much yard work), we also cram in a bunch of seasonal events, and my favorite event we do might just be TXAKOLINA FEST! It’s always a hustle to get the fresh vintage of our favorite Basques wines to Reno before everyone checks out for summer, but the stars aligned this year. For your sampling pleasure, we’ll be pouring AT LEAST six Txakolina from Bizkaia, Getaria, and Alava alongside various Basque ciders. Glasses can be had all evening on Friday, May 25th, from 5pm until close with a more formal(ish) flight offering from 5p-7p. We will also smoke some chorizo from Villa Basque down Carson way. Rumor has it that some dancers from Zazpiak Bat may be just loose enough by the evening to cut a rug and show you a few steps. Lastly, in the spirit of Basque competition, we’ll have a “Best Porron Pouring” contest and lots of dancing as the night wears on. Ladies, bring your best war cry!
For the oenophiles and foodies out there who would like to learn more about this Basque wine, check out the headlines that list several must-try “Txakolinak“:
Food and Wine’s “Thirty Roses to drink this summer”
Hope to see you all at Craft Wine and Beer this Friday for some Txakolina sippin’!
This semester Center for Basque Studies student, Kerri Lesh, was awarded a Bilinksi Fellowship for 2018-2019 by the College of Liberal Arts. She has been the first student from the Center for Basque Studies to be awarded a Bilinski Fellowship. A reception was held for the eight awardees who were announced May 3rd. Associate Dean Jane Detweiler presented the awards after a short welcome speech provided by Dean Debra Moddelmog. The previous year’s recipients were present to share their work with a poster presentation as they noshed on cookies and fruit.
Kerri was awarded $30,000 to support her in writing her dissertation, which focuses on the use of Euskara alongside the marketing of local gastronomic products of the Basque Country.
Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski’s goal in life was to be independent and challenged intellectually. They strongly believed in people being self-sufficient, ambitious, and above all, responsible. Both Russell and Dorothy were true intellectuals, as well as being adventuresome, independent and driven. Russell was a researcher, academician, and an entrepreneur. Dorothy was an accomplished artist and patron of the arts. Russell and Dorothy believed that education was a means to obtain independence, and this is the legacy they wished to pass on to others.
In furtherance of that goal, when Russell and Dorothy died, they left a significant gift for the formation of a nonprofit corporate foundation. The Bilinski Educational Foundation seeks to fulfill this legacy by providing fellowship funds for post-secondary education for students who have demonstrated, and are likely to maintain, both the highest academic achievement and good moral character, but who lack the financial resources to complete their post-secondary education.
Not only in honor of Valentine’s Day, but to show some love from the Center of Basque Studies, one of our new visitor’s, Iñaki Etxaniz Tesouro, decided he would brave the cold weather this last weekend to benefit a local korrika -the Reno Run 4 Love. Iñaki and I decided to partake in this run that benefited Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada and St. Vincent’s this last Sunday morning. It was brisk weather to say the least, but with chocolate and champagne waiting for us at the end of the race, we were able to finish strong.
Here is some information about our new arrival from the Basque Country and some good memories already made from before, during, and after our race:
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you are here:
I am Iñaki Etxaniz Tesouro, graduate in History from the University of the Basque Country. After the degree, like many other history students, I decided to do a Master’s in Secondary Education, which is necessary to be able to work as a high school teacher. After finishing this first M.A., I decided to do a second in Contemporary History. All three of my degrees were earned through the University of the Basque Country. I have gone through all three campuses of this university, but if I had to choose, I would stay with Araba’s (Vitoria-Gasteiz) campus, to which I keep a special affection and in which I made great friends.
After finishing this second Master’s degree, I had to decide if I wanted to start as a high school teacher, or if I wanted to do a PhD. I decided to start with a PhD., and in January 2015, the University of The Basque Country granted me with a pre-doctoral contract for the realization of my research. I am in the last year of my PhD program, and hope to present my thesis titled, “The labor crisis and employment policies during the Second Republic: The case of public works in Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba”, around mid-December.
What brings you to the Center for Basque Studies?
Currently (January 31-April 30), I am doing an international stay at the Center for Basque Studies, at the University of Nevada, Reno where I have coincided with some great PhD students. During the stay at the Center, I will make a comparative analysis between New Deal policies and the employment policies initiated by both the city and provincial councils of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, and Araba.
What are some of your hobbies, or things you like to do in your free time?
I will say that my hobbies are mountain climbing, running and reading a good novel (quite typical). Not forgetting to be with friends and people whose company I enjoy. I suppose I will also have to include History among my hobbies.
It’s great to have your energy and enthusiasm here at the Center for Basque Studies, Iñaki (and as a running partner!) Ongi etorri!
This past month, in between traveling from Bilbo to Donostia for the II. Sagardo Forum – Sagardoaren Lurraldea, I was interviewed by Lander Muñagorri Garmendia from the Basque newspaper Berria about my dissertation project. As I am constantly improving my Basque-speaking skills, we switched back and forth between Spanish and Euskara over a beer at a local bar while I described my project and findings over the last year as a doctoral student.
Here is a translated portion of the interview from Basque paper:
How did you come to start researching about the use of Basque on labels?
I am a [Teaching Assistant] teacher at the Nevada School of Basque Studies, and I have a small obsession with txakoli: I really like it. I study sociolinguistics, and they told me why I did not connect the two areas. In Northern Europe there is a group [of researchers/scholars] that investigates minority languages and labeling, and from there I started researching. I started with txakoli, and I continued with labels of Rioja Alavesa wine, milk, craft beers….
Which products are used more in Basque?
Milk, and then cider. And it is interesting what language is used to export outside the Basque Country, there is a lot of Basque. It is true that it is difficult to make different labels and each with their own destination. [In the case of wine, for example, which is why so many producers make a label focusing on the languages used by the majority, such as English or Spanish].
You have studied the languages chosen on beverage labels. Did you have to try a lot of wine and txakoli?
Yes, a lot. I think that I have chosen a good subject (laughter). I went to several cider houses and txakoli bodegas to study local products, and to consumers as well. For example, I carried out interviews in the txokos [gastronomic societies] of Bilbao, where they serve Rioja wine. Many people know and ask for local products, but most just ask for any Rioja wine, and not specifically from Rioja Alavesa. It was interesting to observe that.
Does the geographic area affect [language use on labels]?
Yes, I think that in the Northern Basque Country they use a lot of symbols and it’s more folkloric. But this difference is still to be investigated, what people consume and how this language is utilized. As for the difference in the marketing of the Southern and Northern Basque Country, I think that there is a different way of living a language. I am now seeing and starting to understand how people that speak a minority language live. I previously did not understand [how this affected daily life], and from an anthropological point of view I think it’s important to see how this affects many people and causes frustration.
It was so great to hear from so many of you after reading the article-thank you all for the love, support, and opportunity to continue learning…
Before heading across the better half of the continental USA, I had a chance to reintegrate with a little action in Washington DC just a couple of weeks ago. I was nervous and excited to chair, present, and co-organized, alongside Anne Lally, the panel “Taste and Terroir as Anthropological Matter” at the annual American Anthropological Association meeting. My panel was titled “The sociolinguistic economy of terroir: constructing and marketing identity in the Basque Country”. In this paper I discussed how the concept of terroir was directly and indirectly translated into Basque within various gastronomic contexts. The result was to show how this multi-faceted concept of terroir provides a lens for looking at which components become most salient to Basques in the process, and what that in turn shows about the values portrayed in social, linguistic, and gastronomic production.
It was an amazing opportunity as I was luckily enough to secure Amy Trubek, one of my academic idols and author of “Taste of Place; A Cultural Journey into Terroir”. It was well attended with questions to follow that provide further food for thought. Afterward, it was everyone to the bar for a round of drinks, which was my favorite part-not because I love wine, but because it is at these AAA meetings that I feel I have found my academic family. Cheers, and stay tuned to see what becomes of the panel! Rumor has it, it’s not over yet…
I arrived in the town of Ondarroa on the second Saturday of May to observe the celebration of Antxoa Eguna 2017. My bus had arrived a bit early, so I had the opportunity to see everyone setting up their booths in preparation to serve pintxos-all of which honored the anchovy. As I walked around in the lovely weather, admiring this quaint little coastal town in the province of Bizkaia, I was quickly transported back to my home state of Kansas.
The sound of an air-raid siren filled the air with an ominous howl. Unlike the famous Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz, I was lucky enough to grow up with warnings of this kind when a tornado had touched down back home in Wichita. A small part of me instinctively felt the urge to go hide in a basement as I observed people strolling around in the sunny warm weather, free of any funnel clouds. I later learned that the siren was a call used to notify people that fishermen were returning from sea with the catch. As my roommate later told me, this signal meant that all hands on deck were needed to unload and get the fish prepared for their auctioning off at the market.
Pretty soon the action started with people arriving at the booths to buy their fried anchovies, croquetas made of anchovies, tortilla with anchovies, and the famous txakoli to wash it all down. As with many celebrations in the Basque Country, plenty of eating and drinking in the street alongside the sound of the trikitixa (and a good amount of Basque-speakers I might add!) ensued. The celebration lasted a few hours with families heading home before dinner. Final observations: I’d take anchovy season over tornado season any day.
…Walk into a bar?
No! “Un restaurador, un ganadero, y un cura…” make Txakoli! At least that is what the label of Txakoli Uno from Goianea Bodega says. The Bodega GOIANEA produces wine through the collaboration of Juan José Tellaetxe (priest), Jose Cruz Guinea (restaurant owner), and Jose María Gotxi (rancher). I met two out of these three guys this last weekend here in the Basque Country during the Arabako Txakoli Eguna 2017 celebration. This wine uses the autochthonous grapes (Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia) from the Designation of Origin of Álava, and is quite tasty I might add! They had another version aged on its lees and in barrels that was also being served up on Sunday, but I settled on just buying a bottle of the crisper version. The words seen on the label Bat Gara, meaning “we are one,” caught my eye as I have an appreciation for those that decide on using Basque in their advertising. Check out the video to learn more about Txakoli Uno from Goianea Bodega, below!
It’s that time again! If you are in the Reno area (or feel the need for an adventure to the “Biggest Little City”) this month, Ty and his gang at Craft Wine and Beer are putting together quite the Basque gastronomic experience. I have learned over here in Euskal Herria that tasting is enhanced when able to simultaneously embrace multiple components of the Basque Culture, so check out the shindig Ty Martin has organized this month to eat, dance, and celebrate one of my favorite wines and the land from which it “stems,” the culture in which it is “rooted” ( bad wine jokes anyone?).
Check out Ty’s announcement as seen in his newsletter:
Next, Txakolina. It slipped out of our normal comfort zone last year but we’re back on track this season. As you can see from the photo that greeted you at the top of this missive we’re loaded for bear. We’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeve, including smoked chorizo from Villa Basque Deli, cidre’ on tap, and if we’re lucky, a few dancers from the Zazpiak Bat dance club. We’ll also be celebrating some May birthdays so if you want to toast some fantastic wine and shake a leg come on down on Sunday,
It appears the three provinces of the Basque Autonomous Community are represented well here, and the warmer weather is the perfect time for indulging in this juice..so hit up Craft, drink txakoli, dance and be merry!