Sherry isn’t just for cooking. If you find yourself shopping for a cheap bottle to deglaze your pork chop pan with, consider upgrading and discovering a whole new world of deliciousness. In Spain, people drink sherry like fine whiskey. It can be sipped on its own or whipped up into a festive cocktail for the holidays. Here is a very brief summary of the different major styles followed by a few fun cocktail recipes and a guide to some of the good sherries we have here in the store.
Pale and dry, Finos are aged in barrels uner flor yeast cap which prevents oxidization. Finos make a great aperitif as they are known to stimulate the taste buds.
Manzanillas are a very light variety of the Fino style produced from the region around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The climate influences the special type of flor that develops over the wine giving it it’s unique character.
Darker than a Fino, lighter than an Oloros, Amontillados are aged under flor then also exposed to oxygen which oxidizes the wine, giving it complexity and deepening the color. Because of the dual nature of the process, some Amontillados are paler than others.
Olorosos age for longer in the oxidative stage than Finos or Amontillados. Thus, the result is a richer, darker more structured and complex wine with higher alcohol levels. The darker the color, the longer the wine has been aged.
Aged like an Amontillado, these wines ultimate have the characteristic closer to an Oloroso due to the flor either dying or being killed during fortification. Palo Cortados have a delicate bouquet but a full body.
Cream sherries are semi sweet made from th blending of a Oloroso and a Pedro Ximénez. These wines have a strong bouquet with sweet, roasted nuts, nougat or caramel and have a balanced sweetness in the mouth. Cream sherries are great served on the rocks with a slice of orange.
This style of sherry comes from the use of overly ripe grapes of th esame name which are dried in the sun. This results in a must with a very high concentration of sugar. The aging process is exclusively oxidative giving the wine exceptional complexity. The nose is sweet and rich with dried fruits, honey and jam as well as coffee, dark chocolate and liquorice. Very sweet on the palate, this wine is syrupy and velvety but still retains enough acidity to balance the feel.