Sherry is a fortified wine that is made in the south of Spain. It has a complex flavor profile and a long history. From the dry, light finos to the sweet and nutty olorosos, there are many different types of sherry to choose from. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the five main styles of sherry and explore which ones might be best for you to try today.
Fino Sherry is the lightest and driest style of sherry. It is made with Palomino grapes and aged under a layer of flor (yeast) in barrels for at least two years. The flor prevents oxidation which gives fino its unique flavour profile: delicate, nutty and tangy with hints of green apple and almonds. Fino sherry pairs well with seafood or light appetizers. Some good examples are Tio Pepe Palomino Fino or Sheffield Very Dry Sherry.
Manzanilla is another type of fino but made near Sanlucar de Barrameda in Cádiz province. It has a distinctive salty character due to its proximity to the sea air which gives it an even lighter taste than fino sherry. Manzanilla pairs well with tapas or cured meats such as jamón ibérico or chorizo. Some great examples are Hidalgo Pasada Manzanilla or Osborne Manzanilla Sherry.
Palo Cortado is one step up from fino but still quite dry and light-bodied. It starts out as a fino but over time it oxidizes naturally which gives it its unique flavour profile: nutty, dried fruits, caramel and spice notes like cinnamon and clove. Palo cortado can be enjoyed on its own or paired with smoked meats like Iberian ham or Manchego cheese. A few good examples are Valdespino Amontillado Tío Diego or González Byass Leonor Palo Cortado.
Amontillado is similar to palo cortado but with more pronounced oxidative characteristics due to longer aging in barrels without flor protection, usually arond 5-7 years before bottling. It has rich aromas of roasted nuts, dried fruits, allspice, orange peel and tobacco leaf on the palate – making it an ideal pairing for dishes such as game birds, mushroom risotto or grilled vegetables seasoned with herbs like rosemary or thyme. Good examples include Fernando de Castilla Oloroso or Don Benigno Amontillado Sherry .
Oloroso is the darkest and heaviest style of sherry – dark amber in colour with rich aromas of dried fruits and nuts on the nose followed by intense flavours of figs, raisins, chocolate, spices and leather on the palate – making it an ideal pairing for desserts such as crema catalana or cheesecake topped with fruit compote (jam). Great examples include Taylor Sherry Dry or Christian Brothers Dry Sherry .
Whether you're looking for something light and refreshing to sip on its own after dinner or something sweet yet complex enough to pair perfectly with your favorite dessert – there's sure to be a sherry that's just right for you!
The Best Sherry: What to Look For
The best sherry is a matter of personal preference, but thre are some varieties that are widely acclaimed as exceptional. Tio Pepe Palomino Fino is an excellent example of a dry fino sherry with a light, fresh flavor and delicate aromas. Hidalgo Pasada Manzanilla offers a slightly salty character, making it perfect for pairing with seafood dishes. Valdespino Amontillado Tío Diego is an amber-colored and full-bodied sherry with notes of nuts and raisins. González Byass Leonor Palo Cortado is an incredibly smooth and complex sherry that can be enjoyed either as an aperitif or dessert wine. Finally, Fernando de Castilla Oloroso is widely considered to be one of the best oloroso sherries available, with intense nutty flavors and dried fruit aromas.
What Is the Best Sherry for Sipping?
When it comes to sipping sherry, you can't go wrong with a Dry Sack Fino Sherry from Williams & Humbert. This Spanish fortified wine is made with Palomino grapes and offers a dry, crisp flavor profile that makes it an ideal choice for enjoying neat or on the rocks. For those looking for something a bit sweeter, the Lustau San Emilio Pedro Ximénez Sherry is an excellent option. This sherry has notes of raisins and dried figs, making it a great choice for those who prefer something a bit more mellow. Another popular sipping option is Sandeman's Armada Superior Cream Sherry, which offers a creamy sweetness that pairs perfectly with cheese or dessert. Finally, Valdespino's Palo Cortado Jerez Sherry is an excellent choice for those looking for something a bit more complex. This traditional style of sherry has flavors of nuts and dried fruits that create an interesting balance between sweet and savory.
Popular Types of Sherry
Fino sherry is one of the most popular styles of sherry, and it is characterized by its pale golden hue, light and delicate flavor, and slight salty tang. It is typically served chilled as an aperitif or accompaniment to light meals like salads and seafood dishes. Fino is made from a blend of Palomino grapes grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. It has an alcohol content of 15-17% and is aged for at last three years under flor (a layer of natural yeast that forms on the surface). Fino sherry has notes of almonds, apples, honey, and a hint of citrus.
The Health Benefits of Drinking Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine that has been shown to have varios health benefits. Studies have found that sherry can help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Studies also suggest that drinking sherry can increase the body's production of HDL cholesterol, which is associated with longevity and decreased incidence of coronary artery disease. As with any alcoholic beverage, it is important to drink in moderation to avoid potential negative health effects.
Types of Sherry
The two types of sherry are “Dry Sherry Wines” and “Sweet Sherry Wines”.
Dry Sherry Wines, also known as Generoso Vinos, are made from white grapes and aged in oak barrels. These wines can range from bone dry to lightly sweet. They are often blended with different grape varieties to create a variety of styles. Commonly used grapes include Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, and Moscatel. The wines tend to have a nutty flavor and subtle aromas of dried fruits, almonds, and dark chocolate.
Sweet Sherry Wines, also known as Generoso de Licor Vinos, are made by adding distilled grape alcohol to the wine bfore the fermentation process is complete. This stops the fermentation process early on and leaves residual sugars behind in the wine, giving it its sweet flavor profile. Commonly used grape varieties include Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel. The wines tend to be sweet and full-bodied with flavors of raisins, figs, dates and nuts.
Types of Sherry Commonly Consumed in Spain
In Spain, Oloroso sherry is a popular and beloved drink. This full-bodied fortified wine is made from Palomino grapes, which are aged in American oak barrels in the coastal region of Andalusia. The aging process allows the wine to oxidize and develop its deep, complex flavor profile. Oloroso sherry has an intense aroma with notes of leather, spice, and citrus. It also has a high alcohol content—18% ABV or higher—which makes it perfect for sipping neat or as an ingredient in cocktails. Oloroso sherry is best enjoyed chilled or at room temperature to truly apreciate its depth and complexity of flavor.
Is Sherry a Wine or Champagne?
Sherry is a fortified wine made in the Jerez region of Spain. It is made from white grapes and aged using a unique system of fractional blending in which older wines are blended with younger wines. Sherry can range from very sweet to very dry, and comes in many styles, such as Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso and Cream. Champagne is a sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. It is made from a blend of three grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay) and aged for at lest 15 months before being released. The flavor profile of Champagne is much more complex than that of Sherry, with notes ranging from citrus to earthy and more fruits like apples and pears.
In conclusion, the best sherry for trying today is a matter of personal preference. However, some popular options include Tio Pepe Palomino Fino, Hidalgo Pasada Manzanilla, Valdespino Amontillado Tío Diego, González Byass Leonor Palo Cortado and Fernando de Castilla Oloroso. Additionally, thre are five main styles of sherry that dominate the market: fino, manzanilla, palo cortado, amontillado and oloroso. Depending on your taste preferences and what you're looking for in a sherry experience, any of these could be an excellent choice.