Last week I attended an event to commemorate the appointment of Jerez as the European City of Wine 2014. I am sure to many people in the UK this could sound quite odd; Jerez a City of Wine? You just buy a bottle of Bristol Cream for Grandma every December, so what has that got to do with wine?
Luckily, the President of Sherry himself, Señor Beltran Domecq, was on hand to explain why we have been so wrong all these years in relegating this complex tipple to the dusty back of our drinks cabinets.
Hailing form a long line of prestigious sherry makers, Domecq introduced us to the full spectrum of sherries, from the lightest Fino to the stickiest Pedro Ximenez with an intriguing combination of science and passion. Both analytical chemist and loyal enthusiast, Domecq explained that above all we must remember that Sherry is a wine. Fashion (or lack thereof) has dictated its reputation for many years, but things are changing, including here in London, where Sherry bars serving solely chilled Fino and Manzanilla are popping up, and the restaurant industry is opening its eyes to the exquisite food pairings sherry offers.
From cocktails to ice cream condiments, there are so many ways to enjoy this fascinating drink. I think I’ll start with a nice, cool Palo Cortado and cold cuts on this lovely summer evening…
* Click below to read an interview and overview from Beltran Domecq: