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For over a decade the Crane brothers championed sherry in the sitcom Frasier, but finally the rest of the world is beginning to catch on with the opening of London’s third dedicated Sherry Bar later this month.
José on Bermondsey Street is just one of a series of bars now challenging the image of sherry as a drink reserved for your aunt at Christmas. To explain why, The Hour’s wine expert Tom Cannavan joined the show with a few delicious sherries of his own.
From bone-dry Fino and Manzanilla to rich, warming Amontillado and Oloroso, there is a sherry out there for everyone, but as with all of Tom’s drinks it’s about knowing what you’re buying.
1. Fino Pale Dry Sherry, £5.99 at Marks & Spencer
Nutty, but dry and totally refreshing Fino Sherry is one of the most popular as an aperitif, eaten with a bowl of Spanish salted almonds, and fantastic with oily fish.
This one has only 15% alcohol too - so little more than your average Australian table wine, and it a fantastic example at the price.
2. Jerezana Dry Amontillado Sherry, £8.49, Waitrose
Named after the Montilla region of southern Spain, Amontillado Sherry is darker and more mellow than Fino.
It can range from dry to medium-sweet, and this dry example has been aged for many years in oak barrels to emphasise the walnutty and lightly raisined flavours.
3. Gonzalez Byass Noé 30-Year-Old Sherry, £18.95,Peckhams
Some of the most unique wines from the Jerez region are made from the Pedro Ximenez grape (PX), like this one which also comes from a 'solera', a kind of nursery where Sherries and blended and aged, with the average age of wines in this blend being 30.
It is super sweet, super concentrated stuff that is a delicious dessert wine - and a little goes a long way.
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