Sherry is one of the most multi-faceted and versatile wines on this planet. There is no other wine like it and cannot be duplicated anywhere else. A good analogy would be the sourdough bread from San Fransisco. The one of a kind climate creates bread that many have tried to copy but cannot duplicate.
Sherry directly reflects the unique area of Jerez, Spain called The Sherry Triangle. The air, land, climate and the Atlantic Ocean effects come together to create fortified wines that are perfect for pairings with a multitude of food such as nuts, cheese, meat, seafood and even dessert. The styles range from dry, slightly sweet to intensely sweet. Although there are two types of wine which are oloroso and fino, there is much variation in the styles of these unique fortified wines.
The flavors and aromas of the wine are influenced by exposure to the climate/air in the bodegas and the results are richly complex wines like no other.
I love all the different styles of Sherry. One of my go-to sherries is Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado. Amontillado starts off with flor aging then is matured longer with oxidative aging. Because it has a touch of both styles of aging its flavor is rich and complex with a crisp, clear amber color. It is dry with flavors of toasted hazelnuts, slight salinity(reflecting the Fino flor fermentation it began with) and a perceived hint of caramel and continues with citrusy notes, toasted oak and slightly savory with hints dried herbs.
This complex and intriguing wine enhances the flavors of food instead of competing. The flavors of toasted salty Marcona almonds, salty creamy smoked blue cheese and briny meaty olives are a perfect match with Amontillado. Seafood paella mixta – with rich flavors of seafood stock, shrimp, lobster – layered with smoky Spanish chorizo is elevated to another level with this pairing.
Future posts will include the many selections of Lustau Sherries and how they will enhance your food and wine experiences. The House of Lustau has a rich family history beginning in 1896 and continues today to be a producer of the finest Sherries available on the globe. Check them out and see for yourself and enter the wonderful world of Sherry, a gift from Spain.