Change your life with a glass of sherry
Every day offers you chances to change your life with new ways of experiencing the world, expanding your awareness, changing your perceptions.
Almost all the wine produced in the world comes from a single species of grape called Vitis vinifera. We identify grapes of the species as the best grapes for wine. Vitis vinifera offers us more than 10,000 grape varieties, offering us more than 10,000 ways to drink quality wine. And yet, most of the wine we drink consists of a few Vitis vinifera grape varieties. For the reds, it’s Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. For the whites, it’s Muscat, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Every day we reduce our chances of drinking quality wine from over 10,000 grape varieties down to nine.
The grape variety called palomino made in the style called sherry gives you the opportunity to experience wine differently, expand your palate and change your ideas about wine. A glass of sherry invites you to savor its style, which can be light and dry, as well as rich and round. A glass of sherry asks you to sip it in three-ounce portions and with any type of food. A glass of sherry can even be a lifelong change for you.
A Short Guide to Sherry
The name Sherry is anglicized from the name of a town in the province of Cadiz in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. The main grape variety in Jerez is palomino, which thrives on the chalky and limestone albariza soils of the region.
Jerez ferments and ages its wine in warehouses called bodegas. While a barrel of fermented palomino juice is light and delicate, the wineries classify the wine according to the biologically aged style called Fino. If the wine barrel is rich and heavy, the bodegas classify it for the oxidative aged style called Oloroso.
Fino and Manzanilla: Biologically aged sherry
After the bodegas designate a wine for the Fino style, they fortify it lightly with grape brandy up to an alcoholic strength of around 15%, which is ideal for growing a yeast. called flower. Flor caps the Finos in their barrels, which prevents the air from oxidizing the wine.
The Bodegas mix new Finos with Finos from older vintages. The practice of blending sherry fractions from different vintages – a system the Spaniards call solera—Create reliability, quality and style. The Bodegas age the Finos in soleras for three to five years, then bottle the wine.
The qualities of a Fino flower dictate the character of the wine. Because the seaside town of Sanlucar de Barrameda has a cooler climate than Jerez de la Frontera, the flower of its soleras are active every month of the year. The Sanlucar path flower behaves gives its Finos a more delicate texture and a more salty flavor than the Finos de Jerez. It also refers to Fino de Sanlucar with the distinctive name of Manzanilla.
Finos and Manzanillas are light, dry, yeasty and nutty. They are ideal as aperitifs. It is best to drink them chilled, not cold, and with tapas, olives, almonds or young, mild cheeses.
Oloroso: Sherry aged by oxidation
After the bodegas designate a barrel of fermented palomino juice for the Oloroso style, they enrich the wine with grape alcohol up to an alcoholic strength of 18%, which prevents the growth of flower. The Bodegas mix and age the Olorosos in soleras for at least two years. Because bodegas oxidize an Oloroso from the start of its life, the wine has a reddish color, full body, and robust aromas and flavors. Serve the Olorosos lightly chilled, with starters or rich, mature cheeses.
Amontillado and Palo Cortado: Sherry aged biologically and by oxidation
An Amontillado is a sherry that begins its life like a Fino or a Manzanilla, but that the bodegas age in its cask until its flower dies. As early as the flower breaks and sinks to the bottom of the barrel, the wine begins to oxidize, which begins its life as an Amontillado. The Bodegas then assemble and age the Amontillado in a solera for at least three years.
An Amontillado is dry and rich, with nutty aromas and flavors imparted to the wine by its oxidative aging. Serve the wine slightly chilled, with aperitifs, light starters or ripe cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano.
Palo Cortado is a rare style of sherry that begins its life as a Fino, but which, spontaneously and not by the design of its bodega, fails to maintain its flower. Due to its exposure to oxygen, the wine ages as if it were an Oloroso. The aromas and flavors of Palo Cortado are similar to those of Amontillado, but its mouth has the full body of an Oloroso. It is best to drink Palo Cortado slightly chilled, with spicy curry or high cocoa chocolate.