Let’s take a quick vicarious holiday to the town of Jerez de la Frontera and its surrounds, a fascinating part of southern Spain. I visited a few years ago to learn about my favourite wine style, Sherry, and discovered there’s so much more to this very special spot just over an hour’s drive from the Strait of Gibraltar and North Africa!
Jerez de la Frontera City Guide
Top 5 Jerez de la Frontera
Most people come to the town that gave Sherry its name to visit bodegas, but its ancient, cobbled streets have much more to offer. Here’s my run down on the rustic bars (tabernas) serving simple food and flamenco music, wonderful Moorish architecture, and a great hotel with a charming rooftop terrace.
Sherries Wine Style Guide
Top 5 Sherry Styles
Here’s my dummies guide to the (mostly) fortified wines made around the town of Jerez. Sherry covers an incredibly diverse range of styles, all except the sweet ones made from palomino grapes. They range from pale minerally fino, through richer nuttier amontillado and oloroso, to quirky palo cortado. Then there’s chocolate-loving PX!
Manzanilla A Fino by Any Other Name
Top 5 Manzanilla
When fino is aged in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (just 25km from Jerez), the sea breezes turn it into Manzanilla, so distinctive that it has its own appellation. Its unsurpassed elegance makes it the wine that gets many hooked on Sherry and the favourite of many Spaniards.
Marco de Jerez But Wait, There’s More
Top 5 Marco de Jerez
All dry Sherry is palomino, but is all palomino Sherry? No … nor is all Sherry fortified. Confused? Some finos make it to the requisite 15% alcohol with just a little help from the sun, while some delicious lower alcohol wines are made from palomino grapes. This Top 5 list explains.
Sherry Cocktails Recipes
Top 5 Sherry Cocktails
Sherry has been used in cocktails since at least the 1600s, so don’t limit your appreciation of it to its pure form; it’s a versatile cocktail ingredient, adding nuance without too much extra alcohol. Here are recipes for five of my favourite Sherry Cocktails.
Where is Sherry made? Where does Sherry come from? What is the Sherry Triangle?
Sherry is an appellation covering wines made within the ‘Sherry Triangle’ an area between the towns of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María in the region of Andalusia in south western Spain. Learn more at the Sherry Consejo website.
Where does the name Sherry come from? What is Sherry called in Spain?
The name Sherry is an anglicisation of the Spanish word Jerez, referring to the wine made around Jerez de la Frontera and neighbouring towns. The official name for the appellation is Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, which covers the name in Spanish, Castilian, and English.
Are Manzanilla and Fino the same?
Manzanilla and fino are virtually identical. Manzanilla is a fino-style wine that has been aged in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where the sea breezes are said to add a finesse and slightly salty tang.
Are all Sherries fortified? Is Sherry always fortified?
In order to be called Sherry, among other things a wine had to be at least 15% alcohol. Most Sherries are fortified with neutral grape spirit to reach this strength, but this is not essential and sometimes grapes are sun-dried to concentrate the sugars so that the required alcohol content can be achieved without fortification.
What are the main styles of Sherry? How many types of Sherry are there?
Sherry can be split into five main styles: Fino/Manzanilla; Amontillado; Oloroso, Palo Cortado; sweet (PX, moscatel, cream).
What grapes are used to make Sherry?
All dry Sherries are made from palomino grapes. Sweet Sherries are made from either pedro ximenez (PX) or moscatel.