Ba, Ba, BA. It was a play on words, because the Sherry wines that I love are not sweet at all. Sherry is a fortified wine made in Spain that refers to a specific process and system to it’s production. Sherry is a white wine, made from white grapes in the Jerez region of Spain. Where wine in France is made at a Chateau, Sherry in Spain is made at a Bodega.
How it’s made:
The system to make a wine so enthralling, spunky and expansive on the sense, is referred to as a solera. From the website SherryNotes, this system is fractional. The barrels are arranged in criaderas which hold all wines of the same age in each row. This system is a method of aging and blending between years and years of Sherry. When blending, you will take wine from the oldest criadera, you will then replace it with the same amount of wine from a slightly younger criadera and so on. A Sherry is a “blend of many vintages”.
Dry or Sweet:
The reputation of Sherry is typically that it’s an extremely sweet and pungent wine. Which it can be. Sherry has three more general types which refer directly to the length of their solera system, dryness and time aging.
The key to wine exploration is to try them all! Everyone has their own palette and understanding which (if any at all) your palette fancies the most is not going to be understand reading a blog post, but instead trying and understanding each and every bottle available to find out which one is perfect for you! A Fino sherry is my favorite but when I am dining out I love a good Manzanilla.
What to pair it with:
- Fish, white fish (tilapia, halibut) or even salmon and tuna. Pair this dish with sautéed spinach or rainbow chard. Add a side of white or brown rice. The simplicity of the dish pairs extremely well with the tangy and sharpness of the Sherry.
- White sauce pasta or a seafood pasta
- Pair a dry Sherry with any form of dessert, it combats the sweetness and pairs very nicely
If you are looking for a specific producer, Gutiérrez Colosía is carried by Coeur Wine Co in New York City / New Jersey. This fino was the sole fire starter for my love affair with Sherry.
If you are in Los Angeles, fear not! I have again returned to Silverlake Wine and found another delicious option! But give Sherry a shot, try it the next time you see it on a menu, ask the Sommelier about the producer, educate and expand your knowledge of it.
Forewarning: Sherry can be sold in smaller 75ml bottles for typically $10+, this is because there is a higher alcohol content and it’s not a guzzler, you sometimes only need 75ml. At restaurants, they can sometimes pour only 3oz, so ask your waiter ahead of time what the price on the menu refers to.
Have you had Sherry before? What other producers are a MUST try?