Sherry, Spanish fortified wine, has to be one of the most underappreciated wines out there. Though it has a wide range of taste and goes well with almost any food, it has largely been ignored by the wine drinking population outside of Spain. But, according to Winemag.com, sherry is surging in popularity with the millennial generation.
So let’s take a look at five of the sherries Spain has to offer. If you want some good recommendations on what to buy check out the most recent edition of the buyer’s guide.
First, what is sherry? It’s a fortified wine, meaning a distilled spirit, usually brandy, is added to it. Sherry comes in a myriad of colors and tastes, sometimes it is a dry aperitif, and sometimes it is an after dinner taste.
In Spanish, it is called jerez, named for Jerez de la Frontera, where it is exclusively made.
Fino is the lightest sherry, quite dry and slightly acidic, with a significant flor, which is the film of yeast that blankets the top of the liquid while it is in the barrel (shown below). It is typically 15% or so abv (alcohol by volume), and food for pre dinner appetite whetting.
Manzanilla is also a light sherry, much like its close cousin the Fino, but slightly less harsh and chalky. It’s pretty much perfect when paired with seafood.
Not only a fine drink, but also a great ploy if you need to trick your friend into coming down to your dungeon with you so you can immure him for some unnamed offense (yes I just made a Poe joke). When the flor does’t hold up and the yeast blanket falls through, the nutty, rich taste of an amontillado is the result.
Careful with it, though, it´s about 18% abv on average.
Oloroso is the ‘strong smell wine’ according to it is name, and is made when the wine maker purposefully skims or breaks the flor in order to let air into the brew. It´s about the same abv as the amontillado, but can be sweet or dry depending on what grapes are used.
5. Palo Cortado
No one is quite sure how a palo cortado happens. It loses its flor much like an amontillado but then somehow becomes much thicker and tastes more like an oloroso, because of a mysterious process that no one is quite sure of. So it is kind of the rebel, doing it’s own thing.
Most decent brands, Tio Pepe, or Gonzalez Byass to name the big ones, won’t even run you much money. So take it from us, try out a sherry with your next meal, and you’ll be hooked on it, too!