Sherry – a lovely drink for the festive season

La Gitana’ Manzanilla

La Gitana’ Manzanilla - Credit: Archant

Fiona Taylor, of Christopher Piper Wines, discusses the joys of sherry

Pedro Ximenez Triana

Pedro Ximenez Triana - Credit: Archant

Sherry – it’s extremely underrated, perfect for Christmas, the visiting aunt, the cook and the neighbour, plus it’s extremely good value which is lucky as we tend to get through a bottle rather quickly…

At CPW, we stock the most fantastic range of sherries. From the driest, to the creamiest, to the nuttiest, right down to the stickiest.

A few to mention include: ‘La Gitana’ Manzanilla, from Bodegas Hidalgo, this is the lightest and driest, is beautifully balanced, fresh and delicate with a ‘touche’ of sea-saltiness and a pure, nutty-fruit zestiness. Perfect as an aperitif with a handful of salted almonds.

Leonor Palo Cortado is described as the wild child of Jerez. Due to its mysterious ageing process, it could be described as similar to an amontillado on the nose and similar to an oloroso on the mouth. It’s intense and complex with hazelnuts, bitter orange and mature oak aromas, a smooth and silky palate and yet, due to its power and structure, is perfect with mature cheeses and strong meats (venison).

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The Amontillado Seco is for the purist, originating from Manzanilla sherry and obtained from years of ageing. Dark with an aroma redolent of peanuts and caramel, a full complex flavour, it is completely dry with a crisp, long finish. Add to a beef consommé for an enriching experience!

Hidalgo Oloroso Seco is dark amber with an aroma of walnuts and has an almost exotic smooth, velvety flavour and texture with an underlying flavour of pine nuts. Dry but with a hint of creamy roundness, acquired from long ageing in ‘botas’.

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Cream Delgado is beautifully silky with a rich, ripe sweetness perfectly balanced by a fresh acidity. Long in the mouth with full-bodied raisiny fruit. A good swap for ‘that’ one in the blue bottle..

Pedro Ximenez Triana is made from sun-dried grapes and left for over 40 years to mature. It is dark, rich and opulently sweet with a dried plum flavour and a nuance of raisins on the nose. A delicious alternative to Port as a digestif and quite the most wonderful thing poured over the finest vanilla ice cream.

All (and more) of course available online or in store at Christopher Piper Wines.

Happy Christmas !

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