Not Your Grandmother’s Sherry

Sherry?  Who Drinks Sherry?
I don’t know about you, but not many people I know are drinking sherry (me included). It seems both unfamiliar and a little bit old fashioned, a grandmother’s drink.

The Wrong Way to Learn About Sherry
Always curious, I tried a bottle last spring when my blogging buddy, Mike,  offered up sherry as a New Wine This Week selection.

I gave it a good effort, but I just didn't get it

I gave it a good effort, but I just didn’t get it

Even though I took the advice of pairing it with food, I found the flavor so different that all I could think was “Huh??” I don’t get it, and I guess I don’t like it.

Why is Sherry so Weird?
The process for making sherry is unique in the world.  After the base wine is made and fortified, it enters a solera system where new wine is gradually mixed into barrels of older wine.  The unique part is that in this environment, a yeast cap is encouraged to grow and protect the wine from oxygen.  Sherry produced under this “flor” cap is fino sherry, and you’ll know it as the light colored sherry.  Oloroso sherry is either sherry that never developed a flor cap, or was never intended to do so. Fino sherries are always bone dry.  Oloroso sherries can range from totally dry to super sweet. I can’t explain any better than this excellent sherry 101 article by Ryan Opaz, I’d encourage you to go and read it.

The Only Way to Learn About Sherry – A Guided Tour
Fast forward to last week.  I try to keep abreast of interesting tasting opportunities locally, and I saw a post on an introduction to sherry being held at a new wine shop in our area, Wine Republic.  The class was being led by April Amys, a wine person I follow on Twitter, and this would be a chance to meet her in person, always fun. Through the course of the evening, we learned sherry the best way, by instruction along with a guided tasting.

Conclusion
If you have any interest at all in sherry, get yourself to a class and tasting guided by someone like April.

(click on any photo to start slideshow)

Thanks to April Amys, our sherry professor,  and to Patty of Wine Republic for hosting the event!

Comments
4 Responses to “Not Your Grandmother’s Sherry”
  1. Once you love it, there’s no way back!!! 🙂

  2. chef mimi says:

    I love sherry and port both! What a fabulous primer into sherries!!! Wish I could have been there!

    • Thanks Mimi. I’m a big port fan, still working on understanding and appreciating sherry. The sweet Oloroso was very nice, it’s the dry ones I need to figure out.

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