My Current Sherry Favorites


Today is my birthday. I have a bottle of my favorite Palo Cortado from Valdespino waiting to be opened. I’m still quite the novice when it comes to knowing all that’s available for consumption, but here is my current list of favorites:

Mazanilla: Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa, La Guita Mazanilla

Fino: Valdespino Fino Inocente (rare because it’s been aged for ten years.)

Amontillado: Lustau Los Arcos or Plaza Vieja; Grant La Garrocha

Palo Cortado: Valdespino Viejo CP; Fernando de Castilla Antique

Oloroso: Bodegas Tradicion VORS; Lustau Oloroso de Jerez Pata de Gallina

Cream: Valdespino Isabela; Lustau Deluxe Cream “Capataz Andres”

Moscatel: Cesar Florido Moscatel Pasas or Moscatel Especial

Pedro Ximenez: Fernando de Castilla Pedro Ximenez Antique

What’s your favorite? What do you recommend?


Pure Poetry

When I first decided to dive into the world of sherry, I came across this website. I was so captivated by the words Peter Liem spoke on their Vimeo clip. Naturally, I purchased the book and it’s been my Sherry Bible ever since.

“It’s easy to fall in love with Andalucia – its sights, its sounds, all of its wonderful things to eat. For me, sherry encapsulates all of this in a glass. One whiff of its salty, tangy fino or manzanilla can instantly transport you to the sherry region.

Sherry is one of the world’s greatest wines, but it’s also one of the least understood. I think that one problem is in recent times we haven’t had a lot of good resources for educating wine drinkers about sherry. But what’s good to see is that in export markets such as the US we’re realizing more and more that sherry is a serious wine and we’re quickly shedding this notion that it’s this old fashion beverage. I would say on the contrary, among the knowledgeable wine consumerists, sherry’s becoming down right hip.

Sherry also represents an incredible value. For now anyway, you’re able to get these remarkably old and complex wines with such incredible personalities for a fraction of the price that you would pay for all equivalent quality in other wine regions. And for me, there’s no question it is the most food friendly wine on the planet.”

~ Peter Liem

Great Overview of Sherry Wines

I loved this overview picture posted on Vinos de Jerez facebook page. I’ll do my best to translate, but please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.


FINO: straw yellow in color – dry, delicate & light on the palate – 15 & 18% vol alcohol – best served at 45-48ºF – best to drink as an aperitif & paired with tapas, olives, anchovies, ham…

MANZANILLA: straw yellow in color – feeling of freshness and lingering aftertaste & slightly bitter – 15 & 18% vol alcohol – best served at 45-48ºF – divine as an aperitif especially paired with seafood or salty foods.

AMONTILLADO: caramel or butterscotch in color – nutty aromas of hazelnuts, hints of aromatic herbs & black tobacco, dry – 18 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 55-57ºF – drink it with soups, white meat, blue fish, vegetables & cheese curds or soft cheeses.

OLOROSO: dark caramel in color – dry, nutty aromas of walnuts & hints of hardwood & blond tobacco – 17 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 55-57ºF – pair with whichever red meat you prefer, meat stews, mushrooms & hard cheeses.

PALO CORTADO: caramel in color – a combination of the aromas of an Amontillado & the body of an Oloroso; dry on the palate – 17 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 55-57ºF – for that moment of delight & meditation; pair with nuts and hard cheeses.

PALE CREAM: light butter scotch in color – light & fresh, but slightly sweet – 17 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 50ºF – pairs perfectly with pâte & foie gras.

MEDIUM: caramel in color – the smell of liquor, starts dry & finishes sweet – 15 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 54-57ºF – a luxurious pairing with pâte or even spicy dishes like curry.

CREAM: dark caramel in color – the body of a greasy oloroso; sweet with hints of caramel – 15 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 55ºF – goes wonderfully with dessert even though it could go very well as an aperitif with blue cheeses & foie gras.

MOSCATEL: the color of molasses – appearing thick & very sweet in flavor – 15 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 54-57ºF – pair with desserts that aren’t too sweet like fruit & ice cream.

PEDRO XIMENEZ (PX): the color of molasses – a thick sensation & notes of dried fruit (raisins, figs, dates); very sweet – 15 & 22% vol alcohol – best served at 54-57ºF – pair with yummy desserts, ice cream & blue cheeses.