Tag: sherry wine

World Sherry Day

 TAGS:On World Sherry Day we should organize a pilgrimage to the area and plan it ahead to have time enough to visit several wineries. I propose to extend this day at least forty eight hours because between fino wine, sherry, sweet sherry, a plate of olives, pastries, etc.. with just twenty four hours we will only have time to get started. Wait, good news: the World Sherry Day already lasts a week long. Hurra!!!

This is something else. That is the way I like it. Then we can even use our favorite social networks to inaugurate a new pilgrimage, the pilgrimage of Jerez bringing together all its fans from all parts of Spain. As we are planning it with time enough the pilgrim infrastructure should provide for the possibility of hosting visitors coming from the other side of the Pyrenees.

I am sure that many British citizens would be encouraged because this wine is trend in the whole UK, the most modern drink in the pubs all over the country and we can even say that today sherry is on everyone’s mind. Cheers!

When packing for the event prepare your tasting set and your swimsuits to end the hottest days on the beaches of Cadiz. El Puerto de Santa Maria, Rota and Chipiona will be the chosen ones by proximity, beauty and spaciousness. We are going to be many people who we get to there for celebrating together the World Sherry Day. Blind tastings will take place but also tasting with open eyes will be allowed. The music will not stop and the fun will be guaranteed.

But, while we finish outlining the World Sherry Day pilgrim project you can enjoy the true World Sherry Day which will take place on May 26th. It offers  irresistible pairing trends like sherry and manzanilla wine with sushi among others; it will be dancing, tastings and guests coming from everywhere around the world to rediscover the Sherry wine. And it all will take place during a day, an intense one.

The rebirth of the Sherry and the manzanilla wine is a global event because around the world there are thousands of this wine enthusiasts who come from latitudes as diverse as Japan, Australia, Colombia, the Faroe Islands or the United States.

Those who include sherry wine in their usual routines must make room in their schedule to enjoy this day and those who do not yet will also have to sign up for the event, which will give them the opportunity to learn about fine wines and all the culture that surrounds them.

 TAGS:Manzanilla La GuitaManzanilla La Guita

Manzanilla La Guita

 

 

 TAGS:Tío PepeTío Pepe

Tío Pepe

Sherry wine: trend on the UK again

 TAGS:The retro is trendy and it is quite interesting to see that all those things that were in years ago, are suddenly back into fashion even in a stronger way than originally. I’m not talking about music or neither clothes, I mean the sherry wine which is gaining prominence in the UK, at any party and after work that rules.

In spite of that the famous song and world hit Macarena which since the Barcelona Olympics 92 is biding his time for a global return in 2.0 (or 3.0, as to baptize many era we live) will still have to wait for its return time, the fact is that Spain is on everyone’s lips, if not for one thing, for the other.

And I’m not talking about the crisis, which also makes us the gossip of many of our continental neighbors, not for good precisely, but the Spanish football team, the tapas, the Costa del Sol (a classic which never dies) and the sherry wine, the last in the list, which gives so much joy to people from Gibraltar up all over Andalusia.

The thing is that when you are away from Spain and start to remember your vacation, the first thing that comes to your mind are those lunches, those dinners, the vermouth time, the snacks in the middle of the afternoon: Spanish omelette, paella, Iberian ham (Guijuelo, Jabugo or Extremadura: all excellent). It is true that a vast majority of us can be won by a good meal.

And there’s that little wine from Jerez (or Sherry), that goes with everything. And it is not because it is more versatile than others, if not that, although many have not yet noticed, there are different types of wine within the PDO Jerez.

Let’s see, who can say no to a plate of prawns from Huelva accompanied by a fine wine from Jerez? Or, who is reluctant to take some cakes while taking a few sips of sweet wine from the same land?

Perhaps the result with the fish and chips is not the same, but the variety is the spice, so we have to experience the British way, and try to make a trade and plan for an afternoon watching Premier League with a beer from the UK to help digest potatoes with mojo picon, a Galician empanada, a Rioja spicy sausage tapa, etc…

 TAGS:Tío PepeTío Pepe

Tío Pepe

 

 

 TAGS:Canasta Cream Canastilla 1LCanasta Cream Canastilla 1L

Canasta Cream Canastilla 1L

Digestive cocktails to be able to face more Christmas dinners

 TAGS:Christmas sometimes does not give us a breath and we might think that we are being stuffed to be taken to the slaughterhouse on January… Have you never had that feeling that you could not eat anything again in a day? Yes, you can be so full. Normally this usually happens at Christmas and when it happens, sometimes there is no choice but to replace next day fasting required for one more day?s journey stuffing oneself. The solution to get back to a table full face is choosing the right wine aperitif.

Sometimes, a good cocktail is the ideal remedy to reopen appetite so we can have the strength again to face three courses, dessert, candies and digestion. Today, however, we will not talk of liquors and spirits, but instead we will focus on the wines, which can also perform this function to get us to go hungry again.

I will divide my suggestions for wine aperitif in three parts: vermouth, sherry and manzanilla.

Vermouth: since I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about the Catalan traditions at snack time, among which there are taking some chips with salsa Espinaler, I quickly joined it. How good it is!. But of course, as what helps prepare the stomach for another feast is to drink something, we will replace this snack for its drinkable version: Espinaler Vermouth Blanc and Espinaler Vermouth Negre. There is something for everyone.

Manzanilla: Manzanilla Fina Barbadillo and Manzanilla La Gitana. As soon as you have the glass in your hand you feel like for asking for olives. Oh! I already forgot that I was full. It must be the Sanlucar de Barrameda effect which makes us ready for party and revelry, no matter where we are.

Fine wines from Jerez: Lustau Palo Cortado Peninsula 2010 leads a list in which Tio Pepe or Fino La Ina cannot be missed as they are two of the leading exponents of this type of wine. For those who prefer to run away of classic in order to embark on other adventures, I would recommend Sauci S’Naranja, an outstanding alternative in color, flavor and nuances with its combination of Pedro Ximenez and Palomino Fino grapes.

5 DOs from Iberian Peninsula and their best food pairing

 TAGS:The Iberian Peninsula gives us endless possibilities to pair its culinary offerings with its excellent wines. I am a fan of most of them both and so in the following lines we will do a review mini pairing guide style going through 5 denominations of origin from the peninsula with their best culinary combinations.

We will start by DOCa Rioja. My proposal is Azpilicueta red wine and potatoes with chorizo stew. Chilies cannot be missed for this combination which for me is irresistible even during the summer. The Azpilicueta is a typical Rioja wine and gives the aroma and exact sweetness to the strong flavors of such a delicious and easy dish with which we match it here today.

Do Rias Baixas: Organistrum, from Bodegas Martin Codax. It is perfect to pair with any delight coming from the sea as everybody was already imagining. For example some grilled clams, a fish stew or a good plate full of cockles. Caution: one bottle is not enough, this wine is highly addictive, like happens with seafood.

DO Jerez: Lustau Solera Reserva, ideal for desserts. This is the best way to put the finishing touch to a great evening. Here everyone can let their sweet tooth instincts take over but I would recommend some ?tocino de cielo? (a heavenly mixture of egg yolk and sugar which cannot be any better).

Portugal is also part of the Iberian Peninsula, so let’s finish this mini food pairing guide with two of their wines.

From DO Douro: Quinta da Soalheira, a wine which mixes three grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz from vines over twelve years old. It is an excellent representative of the wines from Douro region. I would combine it with a ?canja a Doentes? (a type of soup which is cooked with chicken meat) or with a ?bacalhoada? (cod and potatoes, not to be confused with the ?feijoada?, a meat dish similar to a stew and therefore much heavier than the other one).

And from DO Porto: Vista Alegre, Bodegas Vallegre, perfect for desserts. I hereby would make a selection tasting including some of the most famous Portuguese sweet treats like candies from Setubal, with that orange taste, Belém pastries and a black bolus portion, chocolate could not miss in this pairing, because I think it’s the flavor that best goes with Porto wine and the one which contributes best to highlight its nuances.

Elaboration and variants of sherry

The sherry is not a single wine, but its appellation includes 4 variants that come from a base liquid elaborated in the same way:

By law, the initial 70% of the pressing is used to develop fino wines and light or common sherry, the next 20% goes to the production of oloroso and other wines of lesser quality, while any remaining liquid should be distilled (converted in a spirit like cognac).

In developing these wines the important thing is to get -after the harvest of grapes, grinding, pressing, fermenting and fortification (addition of wine alcohol to raise their graduation)- that in the barrel where it rests grows what is known as “flor“, a yeast that develops a layer that gives the wine unique properties while protecting it from the harmful effects of oxygen. However, unlike what happens with the traditional wine, here oxygen is not always a bad company. On the contrary, sometimes the deterioration caused by its presence is intentional. Such is the case, for example, of the “amontillado” sherry. The alcohol content of the fortified shall determine the wine. In the case of the “fino” “amontillado” and “oloroso”, it will be 15 volumes and, in the “palo cortado”, 17 volumes (the ?flor? can not develop in this atmosphere).

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The ultimate expression of these wines is the “fino“, pale golden color and almond aroma. This is a very dry drink with a smooth flavor. Here, the ?flor? avoids the oxidation of the liquid for at least 3 years of biological aging. For many the perfect aperitif, this wine is consumed at 8° C, and goes well with fish and seafood, as well as with the typical Spanish tapas.

The “amontillado” sherry reminds for his part to hazelnuts, and its color is amber. Also dry flavored, this drink comes from a double aging, biological and oxidative, since its development began as a “fino” with ?flor?, but with time it disappears and oxygen begins to act on the liquid marking its own characteristics. Served optimally at 14° C, experts advise drinking this wine with soups, white meat and oily fish.

Oloroso” is the term used to identify a sherry darker than the others, with notes of nuts and toasts in mouth. With higher alcohol content than “fino” or “amontillado”, this sherry comes from a prolonged contact of the wine with the air inside the barrel. Habitually is consumed with game meat because of its pronounced flavor, at a temperature around 14° C.

Among the “amontillado” and “oloroso” is the “palo cortado?, which is obtained when the tasters identified citrus notes during aging of fino sherry, and they fortify it with more alcohol in order to remove the ?flor? and give way to an oxidative phase that will enhance the special features found in the barrel. This wine is consumed at 13° C, and is ideal for drinking it alone or maybe with nuts.

In the area of Sanlucar de Barrameda, the winters are warmer than in Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera, since the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean moderates the cold. Nature does that here the ?flor? is active all year round offering a special feature to the “fino”, so actually it is known as manzanilla.

Sherry and Pedro Ximenez

 TAGS:Pedro Ximenez and Palomino Fino are the grape varieties which define the character of the regions of Cordoba and Andalusia in Spain, respectively, since in these hot and dry lands are produced the country’s most recognized wines, sherry and Pedro Ximenez. In the sixteenth century, long before the world knew of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, two of the most famous appellations, these two drinks were already successful exports, being the UK their main destination.

In fact, it was the marriage of Catherine of Aragon, the eldest daughter of the Catholic Kings, with Prince Arthur of England which boosted the trade in these products outside the borders. To the extent that much later, in the nineteenth century, sherry accounted for 40% of wine imports in Great Britain.

For ignorance is common to confuse sherry with Pedro Ximénez, due to their identical color and provenance from very close areas. However, the differences between the two are not minor. The first is an aperitif dry wine, made from Palomino Fino grapes. In contrast, the second is a sweet wine produced with the variety Pedro Ximénez, ideal to accompany desserts. The union of these drinks is given by the soil, since its cultivation requires many hours of sun and little water. In addition, in both cases these products are fortified, i.e. wine alcohol is added after fermentation, and then the liquid is transferred to oak barrels for its aging in sills.

Once in the cellars, the barrels are arranged in a pyramidal shape, being always the oldest below and the newest on top, and for bottling the ?venenciador? (cellar master) takes a portion of each container. Finally, the barrels are filled using younger wine. Thus, the sherry and Pedro Ximenez are always kept fresh. A Pedro Ximénez can get to rest for so long that there are still labels on the market from 1924, which are eagerly sought.

The sherry wines, elaborated always dry from the Palomino Fino grape variety, are named after the town of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain, in Andalusia. Typically the wineries, owned by large companies, produce the drink in this city or in two nearby villages, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa Maria.

Seeking to raise its image, in recent years the production of sherry was defined by a set of rules. Among other things, the amount of wine that each winery can sell each year was restricted, the sale of bulk wine was banned and was allowed the incorporation of the vintage on the label for premium wines.

Development and variations of sherry

Sherry from JerezSherry is not a single wine, it embraces 4 variants at denomination of origin made from a base fluid prepared in the same way: 

  • Fine
  • Amontillado
  • Oloroso (Odorous)
  • Palo cortado 

By law, the 70% of the initial pressing is used to develop the fine wines, light sherry or ordinary sherry, the next 20% goes to the odorous wines and other wines of lesser quality. While any remaining liquid to be distilled (become a spirit, like brandy). 

In developing these wines, it‘s important to go though these procedures; after the grape harvest, the grinding, crushing, fermenting and header (addition of wine alcohol to raise their graduation), which lies in the barrel where it grows is known as “flower”: a fungus that develops a layer that provides unique properties to wine protecting it from the harmful effects of oxygen.

Anyway, there’s a difference with what happens with the traditional wine and oxygen is not always a bad company, on the contrary, sometimes the deterioration caused by its presence is wished, like in this case for example, to obtain“Jerez Amontillado”. “The alcohol content of fortified wine shall define it. In the case of the “Fino” “Amontillado” and “Olorosos” requires 15 volumes and the “Palo Cortado”, 17 volumes (the “flowe”r can not be developed in this environment). 

The ultimate expression of these wines is the “fino”, pale golden color and nutty aroma. This is a dry mild flavor drink. In this case, the flower is kept for at least 3 years of biological aging of the liquid oxidation. For many, the perfect aperitif, is consuming this wine at 8 ° C, and combines well with fish and seafood, as well as typical Spanish tapas. 

The “amontillado” Sherry’s color reminds amber and has like hazelnuts flavor. This dry drink is a double ageing, biological and oxidative. Beginning its development as a “fino” with flower, but as it loses it; oxygen starts acting on the liquid printing new characteristics. Better Serve at 14 ° C, the experts recommend drinking this wine with soups, white meat and oily fish. 

“Oloroso” is the term used to identify a darker sherry than the other ones, with notes of nuts and toast in the mouth. With higher alcohol content than the “fino” or “Amontillado”, this sherry wine is the result of a prolonged contact with the air inside the barrel. It is usually consumed with game meat for the pronounced flavor, at around 14 ° C. 

Among the “amontillado” and “oloroso” we have the “palo cortado, which is achieved when the tasters identify citrus notes during aging of fine sherry, and add more alcohol to remove the flower and give way to an oxidative phase that leads to potencial the special features found in the barrel. This wine is taken at 13 ° C, and is great to drink it alone or with nuts. 

In the area of Sanlucar de Barrameda, winters are warmer than in Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera, because of the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean which moderates the cold weather. Nature does the flower to be active all year in this area to provide a special feature to “Fino”, actually known as Manzanilla.