Sherry indisputably has a tough time, although now enjoying a slight resurgence with the number of high-end tapas and Sherry bars (polpeto) but, even those who know more than the average about wine often don’t know that much about Sherry. It’s not widely understood or appreciated and in some ways that is completely understandable, it’s not straight forward and that gives it its charm. With 10 recognised styles ranging from the intensely sweet to the eye wateringly dry it’s one complex category!
Now Sherry is becoming increasingly more ‘fashionable’ in certain outlets styles, it’s worth remembering the category when it comes to working through your Christmas menus. We’re keen advocates of highlighting Sherry within the On-Trade to recruit people into and move away from its reputation as an old persons tipple; lets get it selling over the bar and accessible to the newcomer!
Education, sampling and recommendations are all things we can do in a restaurant environment. Below are some snippets of information that can be passed on, some food matches and serving suggestions to help you sell Sherry this upcoming December.
The light, dry Sherry has nutty notes and it can take the place of an aperitif wine at the table. Classic pairings are with jamon, anchovies, sushi and my personal favorite; salted almonds. Serve well chilled.
Manzanila is a Fino that’s produced only in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a city in Jerez and tend to have more roundness and richness and therefore great to match with dishes like a crab mayonnaise or fish and chips as it cuts through the rich, sweet seafood. Serve well chilled.
Oloroso is naturally dry but like Cream can be sweetened and therefore comes in a range of colours from amber to mahogany. Dryer versions work with anything with a umami factor like mushrooms or game meats so can replace red wines. The sweeter versions try with dried fruit and desserts such as bread and butter pudding, gingerbread, Crème brûlée or treacle tart. Serve at room temperature.
Served drizzled on ice cream Pedro Ximenez is pretty amazing but also rich foods such as blue cheese or chocolate and an absolute winner with Christmas pudding. Serve at room temperature. It's full bodied and luxurious!
The dry Sherry starts as a Fino under flor and then becomes an amontillado. Amontillado can take the place of white wine at the table especially with those hard to pair foods like asparagus, artichokes and brussel sprouts because they have that tannic quality, its also great with cured meats, or spicy foods with some heat. Best served slightly cooler than room temperature.
The dry wine begins as a Fino and then spontaneously loses its flor and becomes a palo cortado. It has the dryness of a fino but the richness of an Oloroso. There is a wide range of foods to pair with; nuts, black pudding, smoked sausage, offal, red meats and game. Serve at room temperature. A great tip is to try a Cream with fresh brioche with foie gras or Roquefort. Desserts such as crème brulee or gingerbread and fresh fruit are also a great match. Serve lightly chilled, also excellent on the rocks with a slice of orange or as a digestive at the end of a meal.
Hopefully by now you will be salivating at the thought of adding some Sherry to your Christmas menus, click here to discover more of our range of sherries.