Recently we did a very interesting tasting at the store with Sherries. Most people don’t consider sherry for drinking with appetizers, desserts even some main courses. Well, everyone was blown away with the food pairings we prepared with the sherries listed here. Try some! It’s a fascinating beverage you will likely want to include at your next gathering.
Here’s what we tasted…..
1. Bodegas Gonzales Byass Tio Pepe
This Fino is produced from Palomino Fino grapes. Once in barrel, it is aged for a minimum of five years in the solera system. Winemaker’s Notes: A crisp, fresh and incompromisingly dry Fino. Fantastic with food, it has a natural affinity with fish and is perfectly suited to tapas style dishes.
2. Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla Classic Fino
100% Palomino Fino. The grapes are grown on the estate vineyard ‘Pago Balbaino’, on white albariza soils comprised of 70 – 80% limestone. It is aged in the solera for an average of four years. Winemaker’s Notes: Pale in color with just a hint of straw yellow at the rim. Powerful and acute on the nose, yet aromatic and inviting. Sensuously textured rather than brittle, absolutely bone dry. Its profile is seamless right until the finish where savory, nutty ripples conjure subtle, final flavors.
FOOD PAIRING FOR THE FINOS – green olives, sushi, sardines, potato chips
3. Bodegas Alvear Carlos VII Amontillado
100% Pedro Ximenez. Literally, Amontillado means ‘in the style of Montilla’, making this a doubly true Amontillado. It has developed through long ageing, more than 15 years in oak butts both during and after the flor. Winemaker’s Notes: Color: light chestnut, bright gold. Nose: pungent, well developed bouquet, inimitably nutty and notes of dried fig. Palate: complex, deep, dried fig, character both soft and strong, silky dry on the palate with a long finish.
4. Bodegas Gonzales Byass Apostles Very Old Palo Cortado VORS
After 10 years aged as a vintage Palo Cortado, Apostles is blended with Pedro Ximenez grapes before further ageing. In total, it has seen approximately 30 years of ageing: 20 years as vintage sherry, and a further 10 years in the solera system. Winemaker’s Notes: Amber color. A fruity intensity, mellowed by old oak wood. Well-balanced, deep, full, and harmonious. Off-dry, aromas of old oak and caramel.
FOOD PAIRING FOR THE AMONTILLADO & CORTADO goat cheese, cured meats, walnuts
5. Bodegas Gonzales Byass Nutty Solera
Tasting Notes: This Oloroso sherry is imbued with great amber color and nutty nuances from its unique oxidative ageing process. Whiffs of caramel and Fig Newton are complemented by a languid walnut-skin finish in this medium-dry fortified wine.
FOOD PAIRING – spicy meats, smoked gouda, mixed nuts,
6. Bodegas Williams & Humbert Walnut Brown Oloroso
This wine is classified as a sweet oloroso or ‘Cream’ sherry. The grapes used in its production are palomino, Pedro Ximenez, and Muscatel. The vineyards where the grapes are sourced: Jerez Superior, Pago Balbaina, and Carascal. The grapes undergo a controlled fermentation, and the wine is fortified at 19.5%abv. The wines are blended and racked into clean casks before entering the criaderas and solera system. Tasting Notes: very sweet oloroso. Dark mahogany, almost ebony. On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel, and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.
7. Bodegas Lustau East India Solera
This wine is made in the ‘Cream’ style, and is a blend of 12 year old Don Nuno Oloroso (80%), and San Emilio Pedro Ximenez, also about 12 years old. After blending, it is aged for a further 3 years in solera, in a special, slightly warmer part of the winery. Winemaker’s Notes: East India is an appealing deep tawny brown, and offers a complex, mature nose of burnt sugar, spices, raisins, chocolate, walnuts, and orange peel. It is sweet and full-bodied, with a smooth treacle-like consistency, but good balancing acidity. There is a faint rancio character that adds complexity.
8. Bodegas Gonzales Byass Noe Pedro Ximenez VORS
Pedro Ximenez (PX) epitomizes the adage that a little goes a long way. Made from the grape with the same name, this wine is crafted by drying the grapes on esparto grass mats under the hot Spanish sun, concentrating sweetness and raisinating the grapes. The wine is fortified and aged in the solera system. The Byass Noe (Spanish for Noah) is exceptional. One of the world’s oldest and rarest dessert wines, its average age is 30 years. Winemaker’s Notes: In the glass, a walnut mahogany core stretches to a glowing orange rim. Rich molasses, fig, and spice aromas are followed by flavors of roasted figs, nuts, and raisins. The texture is smooth and unctuous, creating a long and layered finish. Not cloying sweet, but powerfully decadent.
FOOD PAIRINGS WITH OLOROSO, SOLERA & PX – Nanaimo Bars, Pecan Tarts, Butter Tarts, Chocolate
9. Casa Dos Vinhos Fine Old Madeira
This wine is classified as a ‘Malmsey’, an English corruption of the word Malvasia, the grape variety that is used in making this wine. It is an extremely rich and luscious wine, with a full bouquet; it is the sweetest style of madeira.
Not from Spain, but Portuguese, from the island of the same name, the wine has its own unique character and method of production. Like sherry, it has seen days of great prosperity and fame, and periods when it has languished, seemingly forgotten. Without question, it is one of the longest-lived wines in the world; almost to the point of being indestructible. Tasting Notes: amber copper color. Rich, baked/smoke, mincemeat, toffee and butterscotch aromas. Sweet, with balanced and crisp acidity, dried fruit and burnt sugar flavors with hints of rancio and a long, warm finish.