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HOME > TAIPEI > DINING

TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE > November 2008
 

A brief look at sherry

A brief look at sherry

By Dionysus Translated by Ann Lee
Photos provided by Consejo Regulador of the
Denomination of Origin "Jerez-Xeres Sherry

When most people think about Spanish food and drink, they think of tapas, paella and sangria. Often overlooked is the sweet offering in a small, tulip-shaped glass that is sherry. With an ancient history, plenty of character and just a little brandy, this Spanish wine is now taking Asia by storm.

Sherry has its roots in Phoenician wine-making techniques that are over 3,000 years old. Though the production of this particular wine spans the last 2,000 years, its beginnings, history and present revolve around the area near Jerez, Spain. Much like the fact that true champagne only comes from the northeastern region of France with the same name, only bottles created in Jerez can be called sherry.

The process for making this fortified wine, like any wine, is a complicated and delicate work of art. After the grapes are harvested and pressed, the juice is left to ferment. Because sherry is fortified with brandy, the winemakers' own taste buds play an important role in the final product. A post-fermentation test gives the winemaker an idea of the sherry's potential, and he or she decides what the future of the each cask will be.

Warm, round oak barrels stacked in neat rows are a usual sight at vineyards that produce the drink. Some barrels have sat for three years, some for hundreds. Sherry is made with a "solera" technique, in which the product of many barrels--which include wine from different age groups--is systematically blended together over several years.

Perhaps the most distinguished characteristic of the wine is that its flavor varies from quite dry to the very sweet sherry, made from Pedro Ximenez grapes. The color also varies from light gold to dark amber to deep brown. Because it is fortified with pure, distilled liquor, it has a higher alcohol content than the usual bottled wines.

Here in Taiwan, sherry is available all over. Daniel, the executive chef at El Toro Restaurant, highly recommends the wine because it is such a multi-faceted accompaniment to all kinds of food. El Toro's Roasted Baby Pig is the perfect partner for a dry sherry. Foie Gras goes delightfully with PX (Pedro Ximenez) Sherry. Another chef's specialty dish, Crab Salad (Donostiarra) with Raspberry Vinaigrette, blends well with Palomino Fino.

 

Type of Sherry:Gonzalez Byass, Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce
◎ Where can I taste it?
Gusto Tapas & Wine
3, Alley 5, Lane 107, FuXing S Rd, Sec 1
(02) 2731-3267
Type of Sherry:Gonzalez Byass, Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce
Type of Sherry:Gonzalez Byass, Tio Pepe Fino, Gonzalez Byass, Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce
Sommelier
(02) 2532-4707
553, MingShui Rd
Type of Sherry:Gonzalez Byass, Tio Pepe Fino, Gonzalez Byass, Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce
Type of Sherry:Osborne, Medium Sherry
Hestia Tapas Bar
3, Alley 18, Lane 130, MinSheng E Rd, Sec 3; (02) 2715-3707
Type of Sherry:Osborne, Medium Sherry

A brief look at sherry

A brief look at sherry
Chef Daniel & his Roasted Baby
Pig (6.4kg)


EL TORO
508-2, ZhongXiao E Rd, Sec 5
(02) 2726-4902
Type of Sherry: Call to inquire

◎Where can I buy it?
Drinks Wines & Spirits Co., Ltd.
(02) 2562-8000
190, SongJiang Rd (SongJiang Branch)

P&P Food & Spices Ltd.
(02) 2365-0633
9-14, JinMen St

New Century Wine & Spirits
(02) 2521-3121
7, Lane 156, SongJiang Rd

Breeze Super
39, FuXing S Rd, Sec 1 (Breeze Center B2F)
(02) 6600-8888

Flavor/Testure
Type of Sherry
Alcohol Content
Dry
Fino
15~18%
Manzanilla
15~19%
Amontillado
16~22%
Oloroso
17~22%
Palo cortado
17~22%
Semi-dry
Medium
15~22%
Pale cream
15.5~22%
Cream
15.5~22%
Sweet
Moscatel
15~22%
Pedro ximenez
15~22%

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