Pete Stewart chooses the drinks to accompany Shirley’s recipes:
CALL me a traditionalist, but I do like a wee sherry with my soup. It should be dry for preference as you can save the sweeter styles for afterwards with a slice of fruitcake or the cheeseboard.
Jerez de la Frontera is a beautiful town in Andalusia and it really is where the magic happens. If you ever get the chance to visit the area, I promise you will fall in love with the town, the tapas bars, the people and, of course, the sherry.
Jerez (pronounced “Hereth”) is the biggest of the three sherry towns. The other two are El Puerta de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda, the second of which makes a noticeably different style which is fresher, lighter and saltier than those from the other two towns.
Sherry is currently not popular with the young drinkers in Scotland, as they associate the style with something their parents or (heaven help us) grandparents would drink. This is a real shame, as a good sherry stands tall amongst the best wines in the world.
In fact, as it is currently out of fashion, it also represents fantastic value for money.
Many people in the drinks industry are trying to increase the popularity of this amazing drink (#makesherrycoolagain), although bear in mind that this will eventually increase the prices on your wine emporium shelves.
The key is to get in ahead of the curve, and enjoy a very decent bargain while you can.
Also, remember you should serve your sherry cold but not frozen as that would mask the delicate flavours in the glass. The drier the sherry, the colder the suggested serve; just remember not to overdo the chilling.
Also, the type of glass is important. Use a normal wine glass as this will allow the magnificent nose to come to fruition.
An old-fashioned sherry glass (an Elgin, or a schooner) will mask the flavours and will spoil your enjoyment of this excellent drink. You can also get more volume into a normal wine glass.
I also love the philosophy in Jerez: “Solo hay dos clases de Jerez, el bueno y el mejor” (there are only two types of sherry, the good and the better).
Here’s a good one to try with your soup this weekend.
Pedro’s Almacenista Selection Fino (£9.89, Majestic). This is the perfect example of a top-quality product at a silly price. A world-class, and very food friendly wine, for under a tenner. Salud!