What to drink this week

True dry amon­til­lado

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

The days are get­ting longer, but the ther­mome­ter re­fuses to budge. Fe­bru­ary’s only virtue, a drily hu­mor­ous English teacher who in­cul­cated the rules of gram­mar and the rudi­ments of a sense of style once told me, is its brevity. He also alerted us to its et­y­mol­ogy as the month of fevers. At this dif­fi­cult time of year, you need Dutch courage—a wine that’s not just for­ti­fied, but for­ti­fy­ing.

A brac­ing sherry is just the thing to warm the bones, ad­vises

Harry Eyres

Why you should be drink­ing it

If sweet, dense Port is the per­fect wine for those dark months from Novem­ber to Jan­uary, then dry but warm­ing amon­til­lado sherry is ide­ally suited to this lighter, yet still bonechilling, time. True amon­til­lado, as read­ers of this col­umn well know, is brac­ingly dry, not medium-sweet. Medium amon­til­lado is a bas­tardi­s­a­tion—the real stuff is, in fact, dry fino sherry that has gained a cer­tain weight and nut­ti­ness through a decade or more’s age­ing in cask.

What to drink

The rel­a­tive un­fash­ion­abil­ity of sherry means you can get su­perb-qual­ity, aged amon­til­lado at a very rea­son­able price. Sains­bury’s 12 Year Old Amon­til­lado Taste the Dif­fer­ence (£8 per 50cl; www.sains­burys.co.uk, be­low) from Lus­tau is bril­liant stuff and as­ton­ish­ing value; pun­gent, nutty, quite rich-flavoured, but dry, it’s per­fect with soups or cheeses. You get more length and in­ten­sity with Valde­spino Amon­til­lado Tio Diego (£16.83; www.cam­bridgewine.com). Longer-aged amon­til­la­dos can be finer still: the An­tique Amon­til­lado from Fer­nando de Castilla (£22.95 per 50cl; www.slurp.co.uk) is a beau­ti­ful, cop­pery-gold colour, ex­tremely tangy and long on the palate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.