Known for its unique production methods and diverse range of styles, sherry-style wine offers a fascinating array of flavors, ranging from dry to sweet, and a distinctively complex character.
Sherry-style wine is produced using a solera system, which involves blending wines from different vintages and ages. The base wine is fortified with grape spirit, and it undergoes a unique aging process known as "criaderas y soleras," where the wine is gradually blended and aged in a series of barrels called "botas."
Sherry-style wines are renowned for their food-friendly nature. Dry sherries like Fino and Manzanilla are excellent as aperitifs and pair well with seafood, tapas, olives, and lighter dishes. Amontillado and Oloroso sherries complement more robust flavors, such as grilled meats, aged cheeses, and savory stews. Sweet sherries like Pedro Ximénez are exquisite with desserts, dark chocolate, and blue cheeses.
They are best served chilled or at cool room temperature. Dry sherries like Fino and Manzanilla are typically served cold, around 7-10°C, while richer sherries like Amontillado and Oloroso are served slightly warmer, around 12-15°C. Use small, tulip-shaped glasses to concentrate the aromas and flavors.