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Jerez A Neglected Treasure?

In a previous post, "Unexpectedly Enjoying More Than Washington", I commented on how much I enjoyed the Jerez (Sherry) tasting at Wine Bloggers Conference 10. Today I'd like to share some of the information I've collected about Jerez.

Enjoying a Solera 1847 at home

A Little Background

First, Sherry is only Sherry if it comes from Jerez, Spain. Just like Champagne can only be called Champagne if it comes from Champagne, France. In the province of Cadiz, in southwestern Andalucia, Spain is the D.O. Jerez, or Xérés, the origin of this fortified wine known as Sherry.

After fermentation is complete, Sherry is fortified with Brandy. The Palomino Fino grape is used in the production of sherry wine. Because the wines are blended, there is typically no vintage dating of Sherry. Though frequently aged longer, the minimum aging for Sherry is three years.

There is a wide range of styles of Sherry, from the very dry, Finos or Manzanillas to the very sweet, Olorosos.

How To

As I recall, my mother-in-law and I used to drink sherry at room temperature, out of small wine glasses. Isn't that how it's done? I've learned recently that Sherry should be served chilled, in a standard wine glass. This allows the Sherry flavors and aromas to fully express themselves better than a small, traditional glass.

One serving of Sherry is about three ounces. Serve the Sherry cold right from the fridge - remember that it is a white wine. Fino and Manzanilla styles should be served very cold - as cold as you would serve champagne - and Palo Cortado Sherry and Amontillado Sherry are best consumed at slightly cooler than room temperature. Fino and Manzanilla should be consumed within one week of opening, while all of the other Sherry styles should be enjoyed within a month of opening.

My bottle of Solera 1847 is kept in the fridge. Serving Sherry cold completely changes the flavor profile and honestly makes Sherry more interesting for me. I've been enjoying the Solera after dinner.

Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce

Tasting notes: coffee color, sweet, nutty nose, full in the mouth, rich, sweet nutty finish and 18% alcohol. Quite good and works with coffee, cheese and nuts. Dried pineapple and almonds worked for me, especially the preserved pineapple. I have not tried pairing the Solera with the recommended: foie gras, game meat, red meats, smoked meats, rich foods, or savory desserts - it's on my to do list. This is a reasonably priced Sherry and worth the money. Pick up a bottle, chill it before serving and enjoy some new food pairing discoveries.

I've neglected Sherry for 10 years. But now I'm embracing this Spanish treasure - I'll have more Sherry reviews in future.

Learn more about Sherry at the Sherry Council of America web site. I've found them to be extremely friendly and helpful.


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