Sherry and tapas at Bar Pepito, London
Thanks to the authentic tapas joints popping up all over the UK, Sherry has emerged from decades of being Grandma's tipple to become a massively trendy drink. Exploring the spectrum of Sherries (from so dry it's salty to intensely syrupy sweet) and the food matching which comes with it is now a cutting edge cool foodie thing to do.
QUICK GUIDE TO SHERRY TYPES
Sherry is wine fortified with distilled grape spirit, made in the area around the Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera.
Fino & Manzanilla - Pale, dry and fresh, protected during the 'solera' ageing process by a layer of yeast.
Pale Cream - Fino sweetened with grape juice.
Amontillado - Fino or Manzanilla with spirit added during ageing. This kills off the yeast layer and the Sherry begins to oxidise, making it darker in colour and giving it nutty flavours. Amontillados are dry but are sometimes sweetened before bottling.
Palo Cortado - Initially aged under a yeast layer to become a Fino or Amontillado, the yeast dies off and the wine begins oxidising. The resulting Sherry has some richness like oloroso as well as some amontillado crispness. This is a very rare occurance, with only 1-2% sherry developing into Palo Cortado.
Oloroso - Fortified before ageing, so oxidises straight away. Deep brown, full-bodied, very nutty. Frequently sweetened before bottling; these are sometimes labelled Dulce or Cream.
PX or Pedro Ximénez - Extremely sweet, made from sun-dried Pedro Ximénez grapes . The Sherry is almost black, with intense dried fruit flavours (e.g raisins, not surprisingly) and a syrupy texture.
Here’s our new collection of sherries...
Tio Pepe Fino Sherry - £10.95
The world’s best-selling sherry - a crisp, fresh and uncompromisingly dry Fino. Served chilled, straight from the fridge as a pre-dinner drink. Tio Pepe is also fantastic with food. It has a natural affinity with fish
and is perfectly suited to tapas-style
dishes such as air-dried ham, chorizo, olives
and manchego cheese.
Gonzalez Byass ‘Viña’ Amontillado Seco Sherry - £11.95
Pale amber in colour and bone dry on the tongue, Viña is a young, dry Amontillado. The Amontillado is a perfect sip with the pre-Christmas lunch nibbles, matching well with roasted nuts and seafood starters. We like to serve it slightly chilled but not ice cold, to allow the aromas to develop.
Gonzalez Byass ‘Leonor’ Palo Cortado Sherry - £11.95
Leonor Palo Cortado is the latest addition to the Gonzalez Byass family. Aged for over 12 years, it has aromas of sweet wood, vanilla and almonds. The palate is nutty and perfectly balanced with a long finish. We like this with mature cheeses, good ham and nuts but it would go perfectly with the Boxing Day buffet.
Alfonso is a delicious Oloroso with a deep mahogany colour, warm spicy aromas and pronounced nutty flavours. The surprise? Refreshingly dry and not sticky. A rich, smooth wine with a long, lingering finish. The perfect partner for game pie, strong pâtés and creamy cheese.
Gonzalez Byass ‘Nectar’ Pedro Ximenez Sherry - £11.95
Decadently rich, sweet and velvety smooth, this Sherry is like Christmas pudding in a glass; dried fruits, figs,
mocha, nuts and spices, and is a perfect match for all desserts. We like it most with treacle tart and ice cream.
Gonzalez Byass ‘Solera 1847’ Cream Sherry - £11.95
This one won't stay in the back of the cupboard until next Christmas! A superior dark Cream Sherry, aged for around nine years.
Solera 1847 has a velvety texture, with concentrated sweet
raisins and figs from the addition of a little sherry made with Pedro Ximenez grapes. It's best as an after-dinner drink, and we love it with a square of dark chocolate.