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Sherry and Pairings

Sherry and Food Pairings from Angela Metcalfe

Published on Friday 17 November 2017

There's been a lot of focus on gin this summer but now our wine manager Angela Metcalfe turns her attention to one of her other many loves, with a quick guide to sherry varieties and some top food pairing ideas.

First and foremost I shall administer a thorough spanking to anybody who thinks the amber nectar of Xeres is to be consigned to maiden aunts at Christmas. Bad boys and girls!

Enlightening Dry Sherries

For sheer volume of character, La Ina is tough to beat. The well-aged soleras which make this iconic Fino provide body and finesse in an almost impossible harmony. Alternatively, if you prefer the tang of Manzanilla, Barbadillo's Solear comes in handy half bottles and lifts a proper Caesar Salad to Imperial heights. Once a year, we also get to try 'en rama' Manzanilla or Fino - one of the most legendary sherries of them all. Eggs Benedict with asparagus, possibly the one meal where all elements conspire against wine. Chilled Fino Sherry is just perfect.

A complex accident.

Palo Cortado is a very rare variety of Sherry. Initially put to age under Flor yeast to become a Fino or Amontillado, but after the inexplicable demise of flor, oxidative development takes over in the lines of Oloroso ageing, and this is where the magic happens. Bright mahogany-coloured, it combines the delicate savoury character of Amontillado with the rich vinous qualities of Oloroso. Its alcohol content varies between 17ºand 22º. Palo Cortado is a great apéritif served with olives, nuts, cheese, or foie gras. It can also accompany fowl, red meats, or game.


(Amontee-ado) A full and generous wine, this can come as bone-dry or a medium-dry blend of amontillado and P.X. Definitely not just for drinking when nights draw in, its mellow complexity is impressive at any time. Dried fruit and nuts are a civillised combination with a lightly chilled glass.

Cream Sherry

Sweet Oloroso is the backbone for ‘serious’ cream sherry. Dark mahogany colour, with a delicious mix of caramel and nut flavours. Probably best chilled, and fun with crème brulée, or walk on the wild side and try it with Bell’s Blue Monday cheese for a taste sensation.

Pedro Ximinez, possibly the most intense thing you will ever put in your mouth?

Hedonistic, super-rich stickie, the Pedro Ximenez grapes for this unusual Sherry have been dried in the sun to intensify all of those sugars and flavours, then aged to produce what some describe as ‘liquid Christmas Pudding. Rich and full-bodied, this golden brown, viscous Sherry offers abundant aromas and flavors of prunes, raisins, figs, roasted nuts, and exotic spices. Sweet, smooth and luscious on the palate, it's delicious when sipped or poured over vanilla ice cream.

We stock a large range of sherries in store, for full details and even more information call into our shops or email wines@lewisandcooper.co.uk or call 01609 766707.