I’m not a wine expert, but I enjoy learning from the experts. My husband really doesn’t like sherry, but is so proud of me and how I’ve grown to understand it beyond the glass. He says I’m Portland’s expert. I don’t always agree because there’s so much more to learn!
As I prepare to go back to Jerez this spring, I’ve been reading through my stack of sherry books (almost all Christmas presents from my husband this past year). I’m fortunate to have caught the sherry-revolution fire in a time where books are more readily available.
Not long ago, I received the latest edition of Julian Jeffs’ Sherry from a fellow sherry lover in Scotland. Until recent years, this was one of the few, if not the only book to really dive into the ins and outs of Sherry. I’m not sure I’ll finish it before April, but I’m excited to continue my sherry education!
When I realized my love for sherry was more than just sipping a glass here and there, I wasn’t sure what resources were available. I started with Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla by Peter Liem and Jesús Barquín.
This is what I affectionately refer to as my Sherry Bible. It’s more like a textbook for understanding the industry from past to present. It was a slower read for me simply because I’d get lost in the details and would need to reread paragraphs a couple times. What I really appreciated about this book was the contact information for bodegas, as well as, information for traveling within the Sherry Triangle.
I recently finished Talia Baiocchi’s SHERRY: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-kept Secret with Cocktails and Recipes.
This is the book EVERYONE should read! It’s full of humor and specifics that make sherry relatable. The beautiful pictures are a great reference when a visual is necessary. They also serve as a reminder of what I miss most about Andalucia.
Before reading this book, I thought mixing sherry in cocktails was a disservice to the wine – like taking a really fine Bordeaux and turning it into sangria. What changed my mind was Talia’s explanation to save the top-shelf sherry for the wine glass, yet allow sherry to be accessible to those who would not drink it otherwise. I loved that she also included cocktail history, pointing out that the United States had been fans of sherry in the past. My hope is this book will encourage the masses become fans once again!
I’m not sure what truly defines one as being a sherry expert, but I highly recommend these books to get one started!