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sherry for the uninitiated


pattimw
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I know a fair amount about wine and would like to branch out into sherry. The ones I have tried were not very good. astringent and mouth puckering. Clearly, a bad sherry, right?

Any aficionados who can guide me?

Recommendations, etc.?

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First

STAY OUT OF THE GROCERY STORE for sherry! Go to a good wine shop or better liquor store with a good wine selection. Buy only real sherry from Xerex Spain. Don't buy the junk made in the US and called sherry, I wouldn't even cook with it.

Fino- very dry, light and slightly nutty (makes a nice apertif before dinner)

Amontillado - a little bit sweet, more nutty (my personal fave)

Cream - sweet, heavy and a bit toffee like.

It gets more complex than that, for sure, so consider this the "reader's digest" version, which I think is what you are asking, before someone far more knowledgeable than I about sherry jumps my case for leaving the rest out...

To me, a fairly easy to find, reasonable priced "intro" sherry of good quality is Tio Pepe. Pedro Domecq also makes good products as does Lustau.

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Thanks RobInAustin!

just what I wanted. Something to get the ball rolling.

Is there a price consideration? $10-15 will get you something decent (in general)?

Visiting BIL this weekend and they are foodies and winos like myself. :wub:

Wanted to pick up a nice aperitif and sherry sprang to mind.

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Wanted to pick up a nice aperitif and sherry sprang to mind.

Go with a Fino or a Manzanilla (a subset of Fino, which has a slightly salty tang). Cream is just too sweet for an aperitif, and Amontillado also heavier than you'd want.

There's no reason why you can't find a good one for under $15; you might even find something drinkable for $8 or $9. Just be sure to follow RobinAustin's advise and stick to a product from Jerez.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Price wise, most decent sherry is not very expensive. The Tio Pepe is around $15 for a 750ml.

There are alot of decent ones sold in 375ml bottles for $8-15 so they are a good way to start experimenting.

One caveat about Finos: they deteriorate very rapidly even in the bottle before opening. This is one wine you really DO want "Fresh" and "New". ASK the retailer how long ago they got in the Finos on the shelf. If they are a year old or more. Pass for SURE. If less than 4-6 months then go for it. Once you open the bottle, plan to finish it in a day or three else save for cooking.

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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For something surprisingly full, rich yet bone dry, with complex caramelly, butterscotch, dried fruit, wood and more, and with a finish that can just go on and on, try and get your mitts on a bottle of good dry oloroso. Most usually oloroso is blended to make the sweeter cream sherries, but a pure bone dry oloroso can be a revelation. Lustau's almacenistas can be very good, but don't overlook wines from the big names like Domecq, Osborne and the like. Sip and savour with a handful of nuts in front of the fire. Or in bed.

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I can have a very sweet tooth. As an aperitif, I adore a sweeter Oloroso with some freshly roasted then salted almonds. I wasn’t aware of the dry variety, but it sounds delicious.

so you go with Pedro Ximenez with dessert as well? I have had a bottle open for a year in the fridge and although it has lost a tiny bit of fruit over that time it is still fantastic. I think that the 75cl bottle cost under £10 and is made by Valdespino. Also very good on ice cream.

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At this time of year a good PX sherry with a mince pie or christmas pudding is sublime.

In the UK, sherry has an odd reputation. I think partly because of some very poor quality high street brands and also because the lighter sherry oxidises quickly and becomes unpalatable. But really great thing about sherry being (essentially) unpopular is that it is almost always fairly priced. So if you're paying a little more for something, you generally are getting something of superior quality. And as has already been mentioned there are some really stunning quality producers who are not too hard to source. There are some 30 year old half bottles of PX available for about £12 and they are just amazing value for money.

When we had the tasting menu at the Fat Duck the first two of the matched wines that arrived were sherries. For interest, here is the selection they serve. Some of these are ratehr hard to find, but it's an interesting check list of quality.

I agree, PX on ice cream is inspired.

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