I’ve been on a little bit of a
kick lately and I don’t know why! With the weather getting hotter it doesn’t really make much sense gettinginto fortified wine! I guess it’s just that I’ve tasted a few really goodexamples lately, and it got me thinking that the last time I tasted a Sherry was probably about 5 years ago! For a Sommelier, that’s a littleridiculous…Sherry is unfortunately one of those wines that you don’t hear muchabout, kind of like
and I certainly wouldn’t consider it a
beverage, especially here in Florida. Sherry is also a little bit of anightmare to understand, therefore I’ve collected information on thedifferent types of Sherries and in the coming weeks I’ll also be postingsome reviews on different types of Sherries, so hopefully you can gain a better understanding!
Sherry is most easily understood as a fortified white wine that is made in
.There are 3 grapes permitted in the production of Sherry:-
: the principle grape for production.-
also known as PX, the primary sweetening agent-
also known as Muscat d’Alexandria, the main coloring agent
One of the key terms in understanding Sherry is the term
. Flor is simply a layer of yeasts that develop on the surface of the wine, forming a thick, white blanket. These flor yeasts feed off the acids and alcohol in the wine and make a barrier that control the oxidationof the wine. In order for these yeasts to thrive, they require a very specific type of environment.
Sherry is made into many different styles and can yield an end product that iseither dry or sweet. The following are the most common types of Sherry:
Crisp, dry, yeasty, nutty and tangy, fino is the freshest and most delicate of sherry styles, ataround 15% alcohol. Protected from oxygen during its development by the
needsto be treated like white wine once it has been opened. It’s a highly versatile food companion,and should be consumed chilled.
This is a type of
and because the more humid environment encourages a thicker
layer, these winesare usually lighter than regular
, often with a distinctive salty tang.
This is aged fino that after the development of flor has gone on todevelop oxidatively,
is an amber-colored sherry that isnutty and complex, with a long finish. It is fortified to around 17.5 °alcohol to protect it during its development, and because it has been agedoxidatively it will last for longer once opened.
Kind of a cross between a
isthe result of a
sherry losing its
. Nutty, fresh and complex.