I am very excited to be attending the grand tasting at Sherryfest in a few days. To prepare for the event, I’ve been reviewing some basics on sherry…
- Sherry is a fortified wine made in the Andalucia region of Spain, specifically within 3 towns: Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
- Sherry is made from Palomino grapes, although some sweet styles use Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes.
- Sherry may be aged under a blanket of flor which is a layer of yeast that creates a seal over the wine and prevents oxidation.
- Sherry is blended using the solera system. This is a method of fractional blending where wine for bottling is taken from the oldest barrel, and the barrel is replenished from younger barrels.
- Sherry comes in many styles:
- Fino – The driest and lightest style of sherry, Fino is under flor for the entirety of its aging.
- Manzanilla – This is a fino-style sherry made in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The climate of the town leads to a thicker flor, which results in an even lighter wine.
- Amontillado – This style of sherry goes through 2 stages of aging: first under flor and then without the flor, to let the wine oxidize.
- Oloroso – This style of sherry is aged without flor, which allows for oxidation and results in darker and nuttier flavors.
- Palo Cortado – This style is a bit of a cross between Oloroso and Amontillado, and the winemaking varies across producers.
- Cream – This is a sweet style created by blending Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes with an Oloroso sherry.
- Pedro Ximenez (PX) – The sweetest style of sherry, PX is made from dried Pedro Ximenez grapes.
I will report back soon with some sherry recommendations. ¡Salud!