We have reached dessert wines…a very lovely section to reach.
The reviews are going to be a little brief, since I don’t have the money to buy all the different types, and I am not sure my liver would survive, either. That being said, there are a few you should REALLY know about!
Cream Sherry doesn’t have any dairy in it, but it is sweet and dark, in the oloroso style. How did it get its name? The story goes that a woman attending a Sherry tasting in the late 1800s sampled a variety of traditional Sherry, which was nicknamed “Bristol’s Milk” (named after the British port of Bristol, where Sherry was routinely shipped). After tasting the new, sweeter, more unctuous (and as-yet-unnamed) Sherry, she declared, “If that is milk, then this is cream,” and the nickname stuck. Because of its style, cream Sherry is recommended as an after-dinner drink, served over ice or perhaps on the side with a cup of coffee.”
Types of Sherry: (according to wikipedia)
- Fino (‘fine’ in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry. The wine is aged in barrels under a cap of flor yeast to prevent contact with the air.
- Manzanilla is an especially light variety of Fino Sherry made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
- Manzanilla Pasada is a Manzanilla that has undergone extended aging or has been partially oxidised, giving a richer, nuttier flavour.
- Amontillado is a variety of Sherry that is first aged under flor but which is then exposed to oxygen, producing a sherry that is darker than a Fino but lighter than an Oloroso. Naturally dry, they are sometimes sold lightly to medium sweetened but these can no longer be labelled as Amontillado.
- Oloroso (‘scented’ in Spanish) is a variety of Sherry aged oxidatively for a longer time than a Fino or Amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine. With alcohol levels between 18 and 20%, Olorosos are the most alcoholic Sherries. Like Amontillado, naturally dry, they are often also sold in sweetened versions called Cream Sherry. As with Amontillado “Sweet Oloroso”, “Rich Oloroso” and “Oloroso Dulce” are prohibited terms.
- Palo Cortado is a variety of Sherry that is initially aged like an Amontillado, typically for three or four years, but which subsequently develops a character closer to an Oloroso. This either happens by accident when the flor dies, or commonly the flor is killed by fortification or filtration.
- Jerez Dulce (Sweet Sherries) are made either by fermenting dried Pedro Ximénez (PX) or Moscatel grapes, which produces an intensely sweet dark brown or black wine, or by blending sweeter wines or grape must with a drier variety.
- Cream is a common type of sweet Sherry made by blending different wines, such as Oloroso sweetened with PX.