Ahh Sherry… far too much to talk about in one blog but let’s make a start…. Sherry is firmly shaking off the stuffy image of the past, but still remains unexplored by many people. It offers those that wish to explore an exciting and diverse range of wines. Sherry is a delicious aperitif but also matches with charcuterie, cheeses and fish, among other foods. There is amazing complexity to be had from older Sherries and they can be a great bang for your buck. Sweet Sherry also offers a great value dessert wine that will keep well in most instances once opened.
Some styles of Sherry
Fino is a crisp, yeasty, tangy and slightly nutty style of sherry. It is a light and fresh wine that should be served chilled and is great with food. Fino is developed under a cloak of ‘Flor’ yeast, which contributes to its unique flavor.
Manzanilla, like Fino is matured under ‘Flor’ in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. It is characterized by a salty tang and a fresh flavor.
Amontillado is a distinctively nutty and complex sherry with a beautiful amber colour. It is made from aged Fino that has lost its ‘Flor’ allowing oxygen into the aging process. It is also fortified.
Palo Cortado is fresher and more delicate than Amontillado but shares it nutty complexity. Some aged Palo Cortado can offer some of the most interesting drinking experiences balancing intensely deep flavours with a fresh finesse.
Oloroso develops without ‘Flor’ resulting in rich dry and nutty wines. They often have leather and dried fruit aromas and last well once opened.
Pedro Ximénez is a sticky and sweet wine that pairs really well with sweet dried fruit desserts, vanilla ice cream and goats cheese. It is made with the partially dried aromatic Pedro Ximénez grapes and then fortified with spirit.
Some of our team’s favourites….
Sam’s Favorite: El Maestro Fino
“This wine is so fresh and zingy on the one hand but has a great a savoury salty bite on the other. I can’t keep from going back for more. It’s a great BBQ wine in the summer with shellfish and crustaceans and at other times of the year I drink it with anything rich, salty and savoury such as charcuterie.”
Paul’s Favourite: Emilin Moscatel Solera Reserva
“This Moscatel has deep marmalade and fig flavours but still retains some freshness, making it the ultimate sherry to drink with trifle. I also make a version of ‘Tinto de verano’ by pouring a bottle of young fruity Spanish red into a jug with ice, sliced orange and lemon, a good splash of Moscatel and soda (much better than the usual lemonade).
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
400g cashews and pecans
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp maldon sea salt
Heat oven to 140C. Mix the oil with the spices, syrup, salt and sugar then stir in the nuts. Spread over a baking sheet and cook for 20- 30 mins stirring from time to time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
And now for a sherry cocktail…
Believe it or not sherry makes a good ingredient for cocktails such as the Bamboo cocktail and the Adonis. One of our favorites is simply called ‘The Sherry Cocktail’ its super simple and really shows off the main ingredient. This recipe is adapted from ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’ first published in 1930. The best thing about it is that you only need few ingredients and it is low in alcohol for a cocktail.
75ml dry sherry (we recommend Colosia Fino Del Puerto)
5ml dry vermouth (we recommend Blackdown Sussex Bianco Vermouth)
4 dashes of orange bitters
Stir for 15 seconds in an ice filled tumbler and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, sherry glass or champagne saucer. Garnish with a lemon twist or an olive.