Drinks Cabinet

International Sherry Week – Sherry is far from fusty

Cast out thoughts of your grandmothers bottle of sherry that came out once a year and forget about some of the dreadful drinks that were passed off as sherry that used to exist,(such as British Sherry) for modern day sherry is exceptional.  Indeed now only wine produced in a very tight geographical region of Andalucía known as the sherry triangle, can be termed sherry. The wines of Jerez can only be vinified and aged in the three towns of Jerez de la Frontera (the largest sherry producing town), neighbouring El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda. This is not the stuff of dark drinks cupboards that should be confined to Christmas, sherry is interesting and complex.

Indeed when embracing Spanish cuisine, you can enjoy no better companion than sherry and there is no better time to get trying wine than during International Sherry Week. There are so many rich dishes that sherry is just the perfect partner for.

Now in its 4th year, International Sherry Week brings together thousands of sherry-lovers in a multitude of events in more than 25 countries every year.

This annual celebration showcases Sherry Wines through a network of public and private events in bars, restaurants, hotels, bodegas, universities, tabancos, and wine clubs around the world simultaneously during the week of November 6th – 12th, 2017, well it all sounds like a jolly good reason to indulge in a tipple.

Sherry has never really deserved its fusty reputation and it is for so much more than old aunts and trifles,  for served in the correct manner and with the right food, will enable you to enjoy the true character of this wonderfully varied and versatile wine.

The great thing about sherry is it’s versatility when it comes to enjoying it with savoury food. There is probably no wine that offers such versatility with savoury dishes than a fino sherry. Indeed a chilled fino in Spain is the natural partner to tapas and once you’ve tried this with tapas I assure you that you will be a convert. If you want to enjoy a simple supper then you really can’t go wrong with a glass of chilled fino with rustic bread and baked eggs or even baked, smoked cheese.

To think tapas is to think big flavours. Whether it be jamón ibérico with its salty, creamy texture or gambas al ajillo with its strong chilli and garlic flavours or even the the hot mojo sauce or the slightly acidic Spanish olives they are all challenging matches for most wines. Though for fino these bold culinary combinations are a heaven sent dream.

Take the most famous of them all, Tio Pepe – It has a deeply dry and distinctly savoury character which means it will happily compliment rich, oily, fatty foods and deep flavours. Not only that, but it will also act as a palette cleanser,  which will enhance your enjoyment of the flavours in each dish; stimulating your taste buds and bringing out more flavour in the food it accompanies.

So during International Sherry Week get down to your local bar and start sampling the sherry they have on offer and work out what you like. Better still rustle up some tapas dishes and get some sherry in your glass and have a relaxing evening sampling Spain’s finest.

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