The Wine Advent: 23 December: My Favourite Sherries
The Wine Advent is a series of 25 posts in the run up to Christmas day where I will give you an insight into my favourite festive wines. Follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss opening up the advent!
If you didn’t catch the memo, sherry is making a comeback! Gone are the days of Bristol Cream and tacky sherry, because as sales fall the quality often goes up to win back drinkers. Which is only good news for Christmas 2015 because now you can get some really exceptional sherries without paying through the nose for them.
I’ve recently been raving quite a bit about the sweet and nutty Harvey’s Signature 12 Year Old Cream (£10.49, Waitrose Cellar). It’s a raisin-gold with prune notes, peel and honey. Super with icecream.
A really smart sherry to enjoy with some cold food on Boxing Day is M&S Manzanilla Sherry (£7.50, M&S). Dry and yet remarkably nutty & salty, it has a long lasting lemony finish. It’s very versatile and quite moreish, showing the complexity some dry sherries can achieve.
Yet for most of us we’re looking at sweet sherry alongside the Christmas pudding. So to go with those raisins, brandy and cake character we want something as dazzling as the best Olorosso. A medium dry sherry, they’re often rich and nutty so they’re ideal alongside your xmas pud.
If you’ve got the cash then Gonzalez Byass Matusalem Oloroso Dulce Muy Viejo Sherry (£19.00, Waitrose Cellar) is near unbeatable for quality. Dark and brimming with dates, caramel and nuts, it’s simply sublime. However I can only find it online so you might be a touch late for Christmas day, so perhaps serve it alongside some cake on New Years.
Whatever you do, this Christmas season is definitely the time to get back on to sherry and try out some styles. If you like the dry or sweet, I guarantee the more peculier sherry brands are producing some fantastic quality at an under-cut price. So get buying!