Forget cream sherry. And please forget Dr. Frazier Crane sniffing it with his brother, Niles. Sherry is not cream sherry. It’s a crisp, light, slightly oxidized white wine, and it’s great. It goes with almost everything you could want to eat. There are other types of sherry as well – manzanilla, amontillado, oloroso, for example – offer deep, rich, aged flavors you will not find in any other wine. If you need a new challenge and a new learning experience, sherry is where it’s at.
Its high acid content lends a crispness that cuts through meats and cheeses, and it can easily stand up to spicy food. Sherry is made in Jerez, Spain and other small, surrounding towns. There are entire books written on the subject (see below), so I dare not go into much detail here. But just think of the best tapas you’ve ever had. Each dish different, but flavorful, typically spicy, and many times rich. Sherry is born to go with these dishes. Any tapas bar in Spain will be serving this with some of the best tapas you’ve had (dream trip).
Decanter.com recently attested to sherry’s unsung role these days as well. Probably no thanks to grandma’s cream sherry, much of the US – and probably much of the world – has forgotten what real sherry is.
I cannot recommend Talia Baiocchi’s recent book, Sherry, enough. It’s impressive how one can make a book on sherry easy to understand, fun to read, and not remotely boring in any way. Talia somehow manages to hit on sherry basics, history, personal anecdotes, important sherry produces to know, and even cocktail recipes. It’s a wonder she got it all in one book without losing anything on each topic. If you’re a true wine lover, I beg you – please add this book to your collection. I won’t ever recommend a wine book on this blog more than Sherry.