Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bound for Spain: Sherry!

I will soon be consuming many glasses of Sherry, accompanied by some delicious Spanish cuisine. And in the ideal setting, in Spain itself.

Tonite, I board a plane to Spain, first from Boston to Madrid, then from Madrid to Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is one point of the “Sherry Triangle,” the other two being El Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This area is located within the Andalucia region of southern Spain in the province of Cadiz. It is a very historical region, as you can read about in my own History of Sherry articles.

I'll be journeying to this region as part of a journalist trip, sponsored by the Sherry Council of America, with five other writers from across the country. We will be staying in Jerez, traveling a bit in the sherry region. Our tentative itinerary includes visits to nine sherry bodegas, including Bodegas Harveys, Bodegas Tradición, Bodegas Grupo Estévez, Bodegas Osborne, Bodegas Sánchez Romate, Bodegas Williams & Humbert, Bodegas González Byass, Bodegas Lustau and Bodegas Barbadillo. We will hopefully taste a wide range of sherries, from simple inexpensive finos to pricier and more complex, aged Olorosos and Amontillados.

Many of our meals will be paired with sherry, which will be quite interesting and educational. Though many people outside of Spain see sherry as more of an apertif, it actually pairs well with a full range of foods, and can be drank throughout your meal, from appetizer to dessert. I hope to return with a better understanding of pairing suggestions.

There is free time allotted to us on some of the days of our visit, so I will be able to explore some of the area on my own, trying to get by on my limited Spanish. It will be a splendid adventure, exploring a part of Spain I have never visited before. I have been doing my research on Jerez, as well as seeking recommendations, so I have some ideas of the places I want to visit while I am there.

Though I already enjoy sherry, I hope to gain a deeper insight into it, and maybe a deeper appreciation as well. Plus, I hope to taste some sherry styles which I have only a passing familiarity with, as such styles are difficult to find locally. Hopefully, I can buy some of the sherries I most enjoy, and transport them home.

So, as I will be in Spain until returning home next Friday, my blog posts might be scant this week. But I hope to return with many new stories and adventures to relate.


sherry wine club said...

Thanks for sharing this post, I l like the taste of this red wine aroma, and also the marvelous fruity smell of red cherries and strawberries.

Sandy said...

Thanks for this post, jerez sherry is very tasty.

Joaquin said...

If there is anything I can help you with while in Jerez do not hesitate to contact me. Apart from being a Jerezian myself I am absolutely in love with Sherry. There is one more bodega in Jerez that in my view you should visit. There is also a few restaurants that have some real character and little bars with sherry from the barrels, almost like going back 60 years in time.
have a good trip.

Ken Sternberg said...

I've been to Jerez and loced it. It's really a great learning experience. I favor oloroso in general, but also love sherry made of Pedro Jimenez (sp?).

It's interesting that the flor, or yeast cap, that forms on sherry in the casks does not occur outside the region.

Richard Auffrey said...

It was such a great trip, with plenty of excellent sherries, from finos to oloroso, and everything in-between.