Monday, June 2, 2014

Rant: Stop Neglecting Sherry

"There are only two kinds of sherry, the good and the better."
--Jerez saying

What is one of the tastiest, most intriguing, and unique wines that you are probably not drinking? Sherry, a fascinating fortified wine from a small region of Spain.

Today is the start of International Sherry Week, an effort to elevate the image of Sherry, to attract more people to savor this delicious wine. As a lover and fervent advocate of Sherry, I want to take this opportunity to spread my passion for this wine, to intrigue others to give it a try. Sherry remains a niche beverage in the U.S., and most of the Sherry imported into the U.S. is sweet. As such, many Americans have not encountered the joys of dry Sherry. Even many wine lovers have little experience with dry Sherry. It is dry Sherry which is enjoyed the most in Spain, and there must be a very good reason for that fact.

Hopefully, we can change matters and get more Americans drinking more Sherry. Here are some items that hopefully will motivate you to discover more about Sherry.
  • The Sherry region has a lengthy, fascinating history, extending back a few thousand years and may even the source of the Atlantis legend. 
  • Palomino, the primary grape of Sherry, may have been planted by the ancient Phoenicians. Every sip of Sherry is a taste of history.
  • Sherry may have been the first wine brought to the New World.
  • The Mayflower, before it sailed to the New World by the Puritans, was used to transport Sherry.
  • Aged Sherry is one of the best values in the wine world. You could buy 50 year old Sherry for $50-$100, far cheaper than almost any other aged wine on the market. 
  • Francois Chartier, who has written on the science of food and wine pairings, states that Fino Sherry is the King of Food Pairings.
  • A Sherry Bodega is radically different from the average wine cellar, helping to make Sherry possess its distinctive nature.
  • Here are 10 Things you should know about Sherry.
  • And here are 5 More Things you should know about Sherry.

Locally, Sherry is starting to get a little more visibility, albeit more in the form of Sherry cocktails. I enjoy such cocktails, but I would like to see more people enjoying Sherry on its own too. If you enjoy the flavors of Sherry in cocktails, then why not try the flavors on their own, without other flavors clouding the issue. Try a Fino or Manzanilla, an Amontillado or Oloroso. Or maybe even a Palo Cortado

The best place to enjoy Sherry is at Taberna de Haro in Brookline, which has over 60 Sherries on their list. Order a few tapas and get a flight of Sherries to compare and contrast. Other places with Sherry to check out include Merrill & Co., Tres Gatos, The Hawthorne, and Toro,  

Stop missing out on the wonders of Sherry. Take a chance and order a couple dry Sherries, to taste something new. You can thank me later when you find a new favorite.

1 comment: said...

Richard: We at Tres Gatos couldn't agree more with you. Sherry, especially the drier varieties, is a highly overlooked and under-appreciated wine in the U.S. We love tasting and talking about sherries, and encourage all wine lovers (and beer lovers too!) to give sherry a try. Most likely, it will NOT be what you expect. A glass of cold fino in the summer is really hard to beat!