Wine Guy: Sherry, Sherry baby

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The Wine Guy offers three perfect bottles for the sherry season

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As the temperature drops, the purpose of a bottle of fortified wine naturally increases. And while the old adage “any port in a storm” holds true, it is not the only option.

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Sherry, the fortified wine native to southern Spain, is too often overlooked. Too bad, because Sherry is a versatile and wide style in itself. Sherry strikes with styles ranging from dry bone, the savvy aperitif to creamy and sweet, closer to liquid dessert. In short, it’s sherry season!

Tio Pepe Extra Dry Palomino Fino Sherry, Spain ($ 20.99 CAD for 750 ml, # 242669)

Certainly, super dry ‘fino’ sherry is excellent any time of the year, and if you’re looking for an easy on-the-go appetizer, it’s worth keeping a bottle of classic Tio Pepe ready in the fridge door. This is a primo palate cleanser that will tease the taste buds with nutty and brackish notes. For full satisfaction, serve it with a plate of grilled almonds, a wedge of manchego cheese, or just sip it solo with a feeling of nonchalance.

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At the end of the line : B +, Classic Fino

Callejuela Manzanilla Origen Sherry, Spain ($ 29.49 for 750 ml, # 40422)

So, let’s talk about Manzanilla. Manzanilla is a type of fino sherry, although it is not technically “sherry”, as it comes specifically from the seaside cellars of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Hence the Manzanilla DO, or denomination. Manzanilla means ‘chamomile’ in Spanish and it’s an apt name for this particular style of fortified wine, which, although produced from the same Palomino grapes, tends to be a bit lighter and more lively. The Original Manzanilla de Callejuela is aged in solera and full of citrus, herbs, flowers and salinity.

At the end of the line : A sleek, manzanilla

Lustau East India Solera Sherry, Spain ($ 32.99 for 500ml, # 761841)

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On the other side of the Sherry spectrum, it’s worth stopping for a moment for Lustau’s decadent East India Solera. This is a blend of old dry and sweet Pedro Ximénez Oloroso sherry that is purposely kept at humid and warm temperatures in an effort to mimic the historic conditions of sherry loaded ships to the Americas in the 16th century. The result in the glass is smooth, sublime and reminiscent of dried fruits and crème brûlée; a perfect sip to end the night – whether served with blue cheese or vanilla pudding, or sipped solo by the fireplace.

At the end of the line : A, Sumptuous Aged Solera Sherry

The Swirl: Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival

The Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival returns on Saturday at the Pipe Shop in North Vancouver (115 Victory Ship Way). Showcasing the best of global and local cheeses, meats, pickles, breads and other deli accessories, paired with wine, beer and cider, this grazing festival showcases the best of artisan foods and their pairings. Three “tastings” are available throughout the day – starting at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. – with all-inclusive tickets for each session $ 94.93 per person (all fees and taxes included). Visit cheeseandmeatfestival.com for all the details.

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