Debunking the Sherry Myth: My Quest to Redeem the Maligned

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In June I had the pleasure of attending the grand tasting of Sherry Fest, and event that made evident the wide range of sherry available to us wine loving folks.

WARNING [from the program]: “…But we would also like to remind you that the Sherries at this tasting contain anywhere from 15 to 22 percent alcohol by volume. Please taste responsibly and make liberal use of the provided spit bucket.”

‘Nuff said. I was not preparing to swallow anyway and wanted my “trusty red cup.” Alas, they had none on hand, leaving me to the spit buckets with their nasty splash back. ‘Nuff said on that as well.

Now on to the debunking. As a blogger I want to redeem if at all possible those wines that have been maligned such as Pinot Grigio and in this case, the whole class of wine called sherry.  To get you started on your wine journey, here’s

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Sherry is made with the solera system in which wines of “varying ages are stored in barrels and fractions of the contents of the oldest barrels are combined with pulls from newer barrels to create the house blend. In the case of sherry, the oldest barrel of wine—called the solera—can be 50 years old or more. There are typically a multitude of maturity levels to be found within a solera system, and as wine is removed from the oldest barrel, it is replaced with wine from the second-oldest barrel, and so on. It is, essentially, a trickle-down method of maintaining style and quality, as well as a way to imbue younger wines with depth and character and older wines with freshness and fruit. “ (Imbide Magazine, 2013)
  • Because of this all sherry is usually old and age is an average because the wine can be blended with barrels of very different ages
  • Sherry runs from bone dry (fino) to sweet (cream sherry) and sweeter than sweet (pedro ximenes – made from raisined grapes)

AND NOW FOR SOME MYTH BUSTING!

MYTH BUSTED!
Sherry is SWEET Most of the Finest are DRY
Sherry does not go with food and is best as an aperitif See myth above – these dry wines go great with food
Sherry is just bad, oxidized wine Sherry is aged biologically (oxidized) OR like Fino or Manzanella – under flor (a layer of yeast on the surface of the wine in the barrel. Sherry is oxidized by intent and is not the result of sloppy winemaking.
Sherry is my grandmother’s drink Sherry can and should be YOUR drink

So you have all you need for your sherry adventure. Please let me know how it goes and above all, have fun!

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