Sherryfest + I’m Obsessed!

unnamedSherryfest is in full swing in New York City this week! I’m unable to attend, but I’m not bitter. I owe my passion, or should I say obession, for sherry because of Sherryfest!

I love this picture from Sherryfest West 2013 of Peter LIem, Cheryl Wakerhauser + Jaime Gil  photo by Motoya Nakamura/The Oregonian
I love this picture from Sherryfest West 2013 of
Peter LIem, Cheryl Wakerhauser + Jaime Gil
photo by Motoya Nakamura/The Oregonian

In March 2013, Sherryfest West, Galaxy Wine and Cheryl Wakerhauser, the owner and chef of Pix Patisserie/Bar Vivant invited several sherry ambassadors to represent their wines in Portland, Oregon. Cheryl is the trailblazer for putting sherry on Portland’s radar. She has the largest sherry menu in town with some of the best the Marco de Jerez has to offer!

Had I not attended, I never would have met Jan Pettersen from Fernando de Castilla or Jaime Gil from Grupo Estevez. Out of several representatives, these two men took time to talk me through their wines, and made sure I slowed down to enjoy each one. You can read more on that night in my first sherrysips post.

Last June, Sherryfest returned to the west coast in San Francisco. I was only able to participate through Twitter feeds. However, a small Sherryfest after-party came to Portland only hours before I had to board a flight to Costa Rica, but I was determined to fit it in!

Jan Pettersen and Jaime Gil set up tastings at Great Wine Buys – a wonderful wine shop in NE Portland that has an amazing sherry selection! Jaime shared wines from Valdespino: Manzanilla Deliciosa en Rama, Inocente Fino, Palo Cortado Viejo C.P., Don Gonzalo Oloroso VOS and Moscatel Promesa. I’m a huge fan of anything from Valdespino – this tasting made me a happy camper!

Jan shared his some of the best from his bodega: Fino en Rama, Amontillado Antique, Oloroso Antique and Pedro Ximenez Antique. His wines are refined, aged to perfection and in my opinion, worth way more than their price tag!

After my quick visit with them, I zipped over to Pix Patisserie/Bar Vivant. I love that Cheryl Wakerhauser always provides opportunities to learn about sherry from the wine makers on her menu! This time it was Lorenzo Garcia-Iglesias of Bodegas Tradición, the first bodega I toured, and Peter Liem, co-author of my “sherry bible” Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla.

This was a unique, intimate setting for Peter and Lorenzo to share the basics of sherry, allowing those attending to taste along and ask their questions. The flight included La Gitana Manzanilla from Hidalgo, Fino from Bodegas Tradición, Amontillado VORS from Bodegas Tradición, Palo Cortado Viejo C.P. from Valdespino, Oloroso VORS from Bodegas Tradición, and Pedro Ximenez Antique from Fernando de Castilla. As soon as the class ended, I had two hours pack and fly to Costa Rica for eight weeks with 25 high-schoolers. I think three sherry tastings did the trick to calm the nerves!

Sherryfest Get Flor'dNow one year later, I am celebrating Sherryfest NYC through social media streams. I love what Sherryfest does to bring sherry into mainstream drinking scenes. Someday, I will attend again and hope to meet the many sherry lover connections I’ve made in the past two years. Until then, I raise my copita from Portland and encourage everyone to Drink More Sherry & Get Flor’d!

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