Word of Sherry Day 20 – 26th May 2013

World Sherry Day

The first ever World Sherry Day takes place this month from 20th to 26th may – yes, that is six days – and will be marked by Sherry-fuelled celebrations across the globe. While I understand that not everyone shares my enthusiasm (this could be bettered only by an International Champagne month!) this will be a wonderful opportunity to reacquaint yourself with what are probably the most under-appreciated and best value wines on the market today.
Sherry dayThe whole Sherry making process is fairly involved but is notable for several steps – these are fortified wines, so grape spirit is added to the base wine to increase the alcohol content. Fino – the lighter, very dry styles are fortified to about 15%, allowing a layer of yeast called flor to protect the wine from oxidation as it ages. The Oloroso styles, which are fortified to a minimum of 17%, do not develop flor, and this accounts for the deeper, darker colour.
Probably the most important process is the Solera system, a method of continuously blending younger Sherries with older, reserve wines to produce a constant supply of non-vintage (multi –vintage) wines, not unlike a Champagne ‘House style’.
Fino sherry and the similar Manzanilla from the town of Sanlucar are the dry wines. Similar in appearance to a very pale white wine, and with aromas of fresh almonds and sometimes salty, briny notes. They are the perfect accompaniment to tapas, olives, salted almonds, calamari and much more. We suggest that you try one while you’re thinking about what to drink, and see where it goes….
Oloroso and the rest of the sweeter Sherries (cream, PX, Moscatel etc.) are varying shades of caramel, tawny and treacle, with a range of sweetness to match. Aromas are typically nutty- walnut, hazelnut – with fig, toffee, date, raisin and remarkably intense. Wonderful with nutty desserts, bitter chocolate and cheese. Or try this most simple of desserts- good quality vanilla ice-cream topped with a measure of Pedro Ximenez sherry. Perfect.

For more information about Sherry Day visit http://www.worldsherryday.com/

 

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