They say Sherry is, well… the new Sherry.
Finally back on the cool drinks radar, most people now know the fortified wines of Jerez.
The lighter styles, Fino and Manzanilla are having a renaissance as an alternative to dry white wines for aperitif or with seafood. Currently fashionable is ‘en rama’ (natural). Gonzalez Byass, well known for Tio Pepe fino, put this style back on the map. Only available for a few months, to buy it this spring, see Adnams.
For a step up in quality, Fernando de Castilla and Equipo Navazos are artisan producers well worth seeking out. UK Stockists include The Sampler. Gonzalez Byass also has limited edition Palmas finos, available from Lea & Sandeman.
In London there has been a Sherry revolution with numerous tapas bars and restaurants opening. The slick, bustling Fino and Barrafina have been joined by lively, authentic Bar Pepito in King’s Cross, to name just three. See Time Out for bar listings.
The Moorish city of Jerez makes a great visit via Ryanair. In the centre, Hotel Nuevo and 10 minutes walk away, the luxurious Jerez Hotel & Spa (see booking.com) are both highly recommended places to stay.
For a list of bodegas and a map, see here and see the tourist office in the town centre for bodega visit times. For an extensive introduction to Sherry wines, Gonzalez Byass has daily tours.
Sanlucar de Barrameda, one of the three ‘sherry towns’ (along with Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria) has one of the most beautiful hotels in the world at Posada de Palacio and miles of stunning, sandy beaches to wander along after touring the paradisical bodegas.
Recommended bodegas to visit include Cigarrera, Pedro Romero, Argueso and Barbadillo. Hidalgo is the biggest in town. See the tourist office in the centre for bodega visit times.
For Andalucian tourist info see Jerez.org.
(photo – Ryan Christopher VanWilliams / Flickr Creative Commons)