10 things you might not know about sherry

3 November 2014 by in Sherry, Wine and spirits

Julian Jeffs’ book Sherry (6th edition), is due to be published on 20th November. We’re very excited and to get you in the mood, here are some facts about the drink that you might not know. Before you pour the last drop in your Christmas trifle, perhaps this year you’ll discover how exciting sherry is as a drink.

  1. Firstly, let’s get our bearings. For such a famous wine, sherry is only produced in the ‘sherry triangle’ in Spain, consisting of three towns,┬áJerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda.
  2. Sherry has been connected to Britain for over 600 years. This is partly due to Catholics being exiled to Spain and setting up as wine traders who sent sherry back to Britain. Essentially, it has been part of British culture for over half a millennia.
  3. This wine is growing in popularity, particularly in the United States, where there is a trend for sherry cocktails in restaurants and even sherry tasting clubs have emerged, such is the appreciation for the wine.
  4. Rather than stick it in your trifle, how about having a glass of chilled fino with your tapas. Sherry is widely regarded as the perfect accompaniment to the Spanish meal.
  5. The wine was considered to be Shakespeare’s favourite drink. Perhaps a swig of amontillado will have you composing sonnets too.
  6. Legally, only sherry produced within the ‘triangle’ is allowed to be called ‘sherry’. However, it is produced in America and must be sold with the label, ‘California Sherry’ or ‘American Sherry’ so that consumers know the difference. This is due to a Spanish law that was created in 1933 to protect the term ‘sherry’ and make it exclusively Spanish.
  7. Christopher Columbus is thought to have stocked up his ship with many barrels of sherry before departing Spain for the New World, which, if true, makes it the first wine to make it to America. No wonder there is a growing popularity for it.
  8. Given that sherry is not as popular as other wines, it is often cheaper to buy and therefore you’re likely to get your hands on a quality bottle for a relatively low price.
  9. It can be split into different categories depending on their colour, oxidisation and blending.
  10. Rather than putting the cork back in the bottle and leaving it on your shelf for another year, sherry should ideally be treated like a white wine and consumed within a few days of opening, otherwise the wine becomes too exposed to oxygen and loses its flavour.

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