Sherry oh baby...

PUBLISHED: 10:39 29 May 2014

WSET 2013 Reception

WSET 2013 Reception

Images: Copyright Rob Lawson Photography Limited 2010

Hot on the heels of English Wine Week this week, next week beginning Monday, June 2, is not only the start of London Wine Week including the London Wine trade Fair, but International Sherry Week will also be celebrated throughout the world, uniting thousands of sherry lovers across the globe.

The one-week event will coincide with Jerez winning the prestigious title of European Wine City 2014. It is anticipated that more than 30 countries will participate, with more than 300 events taking place throughout bars, restaurants, hotels and wine clubs, showcasing these unique wines through events such as tastings, sherry-inspired menus, sherry cocktails, seminars, sherry and tapas pairings, and flamenco.

During London Wine Week, a number of sherry bars and other venues will be involved with a week-long sherry offer to help sherry lovers celebrate International Sherry Week in style. Check out tapas bars and wine shops who will be offering tastings and offers in this week. For those who are new to sherry why not join in the tasting fun, you may be surprised to find there are styles to match your tastes too!

Sherry has always been an ideal ingredient in and accompaniment to food. This is currently highlighted by the recipe books now available that use sherry in which recipes from notable chefs are often found including Heston Blumenthal et al. Finos, Palo Cortados and Amontillados are great in light soups and fish dishes often used as marinade or in a ‘broth’ for poaching fruits such as cherries in a recipe I found recently for poached cherries, goat’s cheese salad with parma ham – delicious!

The richer sherries also have a part to play in robust casseroles instead of wine, as a marinade for stewed fruits such as plums or as in the case of PX they can simply be poured onto Christmas pudding.

There are myriad different sherries available in all styles from light and dry finos to rich and complex Cream sherries and Pedro Ximenez and often in the great value half bottle size too – easily stored in the fridge and drunk before showing signs of oxidation as a result of being open too long.

Besides the classic traditional sherry style of fino, amontillado and oloroso sherry producers are offering special selections of distinctive sherries such as En Rama fino, the 2014 version of which was launched a month ago. The Tio Pepe En Rama is the fifth bottling of this delicious fino sherry which is unfiltered and unclarified and thus in its most natural state and very fresh and has a lovely minerality and gentle fruity notes on the finish. At the other extreme are the rare special aged finos that are selected from the best casks and kept in the solera casks under flor (natural sherry covering) until they have gained the complex nutty maturity whilst retaining a fresh delicate aroma.

Why not try some sherry and join the sherry tasting fun and celebrate International Sherry Week.

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