Stockport Express - - Leisure - ANDY CRONSHAW

LAST week was In­ter­na­tional Sherry Week.

There were tast­ings and food match­ing events to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion across the city cen­tre. Un­for­tu­nately I re­mained of­fice or home bound.

I did how­ever re­cently taste a wine re­vived by sherry pro­ducer Bar­badillo that I’d sug­gest is one of the best sher­ries for the uninitiated or the doubters to try. Why? Be­cause it has an el­e­gance and del­i­cacy that many might not as­so­ciate with sherry; par­tic­u­larly if your mem­o­ries of the drink are coloured by a dusty bot­tle of sweet sherry that was pulled out of the cup­board at Christ­mas.

And if there’s any­thing that Sherry Week might teach us it’s that sherry is not just for a week in Novem­ber or for a week over Christ­mas for that mat­ter.

Af­ter giv­ing Man­zanilla a whirl why not try an Amon­til­lado? It’s a sherry with a more pow­er­ful punch that is brilliant with Ser­ano ham. For even stronger flavours try a Palo Cor­tado. Bar­badillo Man­zanilla Pasada Pas­tora En Rama 2017 (£9.99 from Ama­zon, Cam­bridge Wine Mer­chants, Taurus, Roberts and Speight, The Dorset Wine Co, Mum­bles Fine Wine)

This his­toric wine was the very first to ap­pear on the mar­ket in 1827 when it was shipped to Philadel­phia.

Then in 2015 the ●●Bar­badillo Pas­tora Pasada 2017 Bar­badillo fam­ily de­cided to re­vive the wine and pro­duced an aged Man­zanilla that would re­sem­ble the same style. The la­bel was taken from a retro-look­ing ad­ver­tise­ment and very much looks the part. The dif­fer­ence be­tween Man­zanilla and Fino, as you prob­a­bly al­ready know, is that the for­mer is fer­mented in the small sea­side town of San­lú­car de Bar­rameda as op­posed to the later which is pro­duced in Jerez. The Palomino grapes used to make the wine are how­ever taken from vine­yards in up­per Jerez and har­vested at night or in the morn­ing to avoid the grapes sit­ting around in the heat of the day. Pas­tora makes its way though the stacked bar­rels of the sol­era sys­tem for six years but Bar­badillo take the fur­ther step of age­ing the wine for an­other three years be­fore bot­tling with just min­i­mal fil­tra­tion to give it that ‘en rama’ or straight-fromthe-cask style.

Only 500 cases of this wine are pro­duced each year.

As a true Pasada, Pas­tora has a bur­nished golden hue and an aroma of bread bak­ing in the oven. The palate is soft and rounded with a sa­line tang and notes of citrus fruits.

This wine is the per­fect aper­i­tif and will match Span­ish bites such as olives, padron pep­pers and tor­tilla.

Per­haps its best food pair­ing how­ever would be seafood such as prawns or any­thing in­volv­ing crab.

It may be over­whelmed a lit­tle by re­ally pow­er­ful flavours such as strong cheeses, or meat­balls, for in­stance. Tesco Finest Amon­til­lado, Bar­badillo, Jerez (£7 for 50cl)

This Amon­til­lado from the same pro­ducer, but avail­able through Tesco, is brilliant value and su­perb with Ser­rano ham or Manchego cheese.

It’s got a lot more of a for­ti­fied feel to it with a spicy boot pol­ish tang to its aro­mas of wal­nuts and caramel. Serve it nicely chilled in a de­cent size white wine glass. Mor­risons Sig­na­ture Palo Cor­tado (£6 for 37.5cl)

An in­cred­i­ble bar­gain in my book. A Palo Cor­tado cask loses its flor cap early in de­vel­op­ment and is marked with a slash.

This a nice ex­am­ple of the style. Rich and pow­er­ful.

‘This wine has an el­e­gance and del­i­cacy that many might not as­so­ciate with sherry’

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