French Onion Soup with Manzanilla Sherry

Sherry Intro
If you’ve never tried sherry, you’re not alone. Are you curious or looking for something new? Now is a great time to give sherry a try! Sherry wines range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Even though most sherries start as a pale white wine made from the Palomino grape, they diverge greatly due to a variety of aging schemes unique to this region. Aromas and flavors cover an exceptionally wide range. Manzanilla and Fino Sherry are aged under a protective veil of flor; they retain their bright color and take on sharp acetaldehyde and bruised apple aromas. These might be familiar if you have cooked with sherry vinegar or enjoyed classic French Onion Soup!

A Food Wine Click! Sherry introduction post with links to other background

Disclosure: The wine for this post was provided as a sample, no other compensation was involved. All opinions expressed are my own.

Bodegas Lustau Manzanilla Sherry “Papirusa” NV (sample, $18 typical available online) 15% abv
Eye: Pale lemon
Nose: Pronounced aromas of sharp bruised apples, almonds, acetaldehyde, hint of salt air and seashells
Mouth: Bone dry, medium acidity though there is a sharp element to the flavor that suggests more acidity, medium body, medium alcohol (for a fortified wine), long finish. Flavors follow the nose with a refreshing quality.
Observations: For many wine drinkers, Sherry is an acquired taste, but it will grow on you if you give it a chance. This Sherry is dry dry dry.

Bodegas Lustau
Today, Bodegas Lustau is one of the major sherry houses, producing a full line of sherries. Founded in 1896 as a grower/producer known as an almacenista in the sherry region rules. In 1931 they were able to acquire a Bodega in Jerez de la Frontera, but it took until 1950 for them to graduate to exporter status. Lustau sherries are widely distributed and they have invested the style by creating a sherry certification for wine enthusiasts and professionals.

Sherry in the Winter – French Onion Soup!
One of the key flavors present in a good bowl of French Onion Soup is thanks to dry Fino or Manzanilla Sherry and/or a dollop of Sherry vinegar. Why not spend a couple of hours slowly cooking down a pile of onions, simmering them in stock, finally topping with cheese? French Onion Soup is not difficult to make but it cannot be rushed. A cold winter afternoon is the perfect opportunity and it certainly is soup season! There are lots of recipes available online, New York Times Cooking has this classic version.

For more Reading on Sherry

Sweet Sherry Side-Note
Manzanilla and Fino are just the tip of the sherry iceberg. There are several oxidized dry styles and of course sweet sherries. I fell in (secret) love with Cream Sherry during my WSET Diploma studies. My son, Peter, kidded me mercilessly about my love for sweet fortified wines, especially Cream Sherry. That is until he started his WSET Diploma studies. Now we have two sherry lovers in the family!

One Response to “French Onion Soup with Manzanilla Sherry”
  1. Lisa Denning says:

    That sounds like a great pairing!!

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