Like everything this year, the holidays are far from normal. I’ve been in my new coastal town for exactly one month now. Looking back on 2020, I raise my glass this year with prayers of gratitude, and requests for mercy for those who are grieving the loss of normalcy, financial security, housing, or even of friends and family members.
Thanks to Enramistas Sherry Club, I have my annual holiday bottle of Palo Cortado. I love the unique style of this wine. It marries what I love about the smell of an Amontillado with the body of an Oloroso on the palate. If you’re a member of Enramistas sherry club, you’ll find a glossary of terms included. As they explain, a Palo Cortado means “cut stick,” but to me it’s like watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. This delicate wine begins as a Fino under flor, the veil of yeast that grows on top of the wine. It loses this veil early in development, which allows oxygen to interact and begins a new life aging more like an Oloroso.
This month’s shipment included a bottle of Leonor Palo Cortado from González Byass. This 100% Palomino varietal has an average age of twelve years and fortified to 20% alcohol. Don’t let the butterscotch notes on the nose fool you! This is a bone-dry sherry that hits your tongue with notes of orange peel, apricot and salinity. Have fun with pairing this to your holiday meal! Think poultry, mushrooms and consommé.
I love too that the tasting notes from Enramistas suggests pairing each wine with music. They offer paring this wine with Dinah Washington’s This Bitter Earth. Yet, it was still a winner with my Kacey Musgraves’ A Very Kacey Christmas as we tucked into our Christmas honey spiral cut ham.
Wishing you all a very safe and healthy Sherry Christmas 2020!