I love Sherry! These were not my words although I am very fond of Sherry. This was a phrase that I kept hearing during a Spanish wine tasting that I gave in London last week in aid of the Albert Kennedy Trust (www.akt.org.uk) *.
The conversation turned to Sherry as we were setting up: I looked down at the table to see two decent wine glasses sitting alongside the tiniest Sherry glass. This prompted a conversation with Tim Sigsworth of the Albert Kennedy Trust who likes a glass of Sherry especially at Bar Pepito (www.camino.uk.com), a Sherry bar in King’s Cross. He often meets friends or family off the train and welcomes them to town with a chilled glass of fino.
But back to the tasting… We started with Codorníu’s refreshing Selección Raventós Cava which is a blend of Chardonnay, Xarello and Macabeo. We then moved on to a couple of vibrant wines making their debut from the 2011 vintage – the deliciously fruity Marqués de Riscal Verdejo white from Rueda and Marqués de Cáceres Rosado from Rioja which was brimming with red berry fruit.
After a break to enjoy some tapas, and with the party in full swing, we continued with the red wines. Urban 2009 from O. Fournier in Ribera del Duero was an instant hit with its generous Tempranillo fruit and a touch of oak while the estate Rioja El Puntido 2008, a contemporary wine from the region, offered great depths of flavour and, we agreed, a wine which will be even better over the coming years.
Finally Lustau’s Old East India Sherry took a bow. This Sherry is an ideal choice to end a meal as it has some sweetness; it is a blend of dry oloroso and sweet, dark Pedro Ximénez Sherry. Slightly chilled, this is a Sherry to savour at the end of a meal on its own or with blue cheese or crème brulée.
The tiny Sherry glasses were left to one side. This Sherry’s wonderful aromas, mahogany tones and long dried fruit and candied orange flavours were fully appreciated in a wine glass. Sherry won a few more fans that evening.
*An auction following the wine tasting raised £19,000.
Other places to enjoy Sherry and good Spanish wines in and around London:
Capote y Toros, www.cambiodetercio.co.uk
Salt Yard, www.saltyard.co.uk
Tapas Brindisa, www.brindisa.com