Sherry in the summer?! It depends on what kind of Sherry. There are nine different types of Sherry. Made with all white grapes, primarily Palomino, but sometimes Pedro Ximenez, and Moscot, all genuine Sherry comes from the southern region of Spain called Andulusia. Though all are fortified wines, the stylistic differences run from light and food-friendly, to heavy, sweet and rich. Sherry is truly a wine that can be enjoyed all year round.
Fino Sherry is made with a flor yeast, a special type of yeast that covers the wine, and prevents any oxygen from getting in. It is fermented completely before being fortified, leaving no residual sugar in the wine. This Sherry is completely dry. Lemon yellow in color, Fino has aromas of almonds, aldehyde (the telltale aroma of a Fino) with a saline quality. One of the lighter Sherries, Fino makes a nice accompaniment to shell fish.
Made in the same fashion as Fino, but in a different region of Andulusia Spain, Manzanilla is one of the most interesting wines to taste. It is named for the region from which it comes and displays its terroir like no other wine. Manzanilla the region lies on the coast of Spain. Manzanilla the Sherry has aromas of sea air and tastes crisp and salty. It is perfect with sushi.
Not as common is Pale Cream, which is a sweetened version of Fino. It has similar nutty aromas, but can be served as a dessert wine.
Oloroso does not use flor yeast. It is allowed to oxidize as it ages, giving it a bronze color, and caramel aromas. It is higher in alcohol than the flor Sherries, but fermented dry like the flors. Cream is an Oloroso that has been sweetened.
Amontillado starts out with the flor yeast, but the surface is broken, and the wine is allowed to age with oxygen. It is dry and light amber in color, with a rich, nutty in flavor. Palo Cortado, like the Amontillado, also has qualities of both the Fino and the Oloroso Sherries. Medium is a sweet Amontillado.
The heaviest and sweetest style of Sherry is Pedro Ximenez, or PX for short. Px is a dark brown fortified wine with aromas of caramel, raisins, coffee and chocolate. It is dessert in a glass that goes well with vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie.
Sherry in the summer? Yes! …if it is a Fino or Manzanilla. In the spring have an Oloroso. Save the Amontillado for fall. And on a cold winter night, warm up with a glass of Pedro Ximenez. A good Sherry can be enjoyed all year round.
Many of the nine styles of Sherry can be found in our local Reno stores.