What is Dry sherry?

Dry Sherry is a kind of wine that is not sweet and many of them are dry. Dry Sherry is a splendid white wine from Andalusia in southern Spain. It’s produced for centuries and it’s expected to be combined with food.

Dry Sherry has long been an excellent ingredient for popular cooking, but it expires a few days after opening. Cooking with Dry Sherry must be preserved with salt so that it endures longer. It is high in sodium, which dissuades many from using it, as cooking with it can add a sweeter flavor.

History of Dry Sherry

The authentic Dry Sherry is made in southern Spain. In other words, the greatness of the true Dry Sherry emerges from the fact that, like Champagne, it can only be made in a tiny corner of the world.

Throughout history winemakers have tried to replicate the salty, nutty, and aromatic profile of this wine; but the humidity, the ground, the winds, and the season changes unique in Andalusia give a particular characteristic to the wines obtained there.

Several of its sweet forms are exquisite dessert wines or sips in front of the chimney. Americans, in their demand for sweet soda-like beverages, gave this sweet Dry Sherry a market in the mid-20th century; besides, the Spanish and the British adopted for themselves the best, complex and dry.

Dry Sherry is a well-known and respected wine made from the calcareous ground of the region, from its native grapes (particularly Palomino and Pedro Ximénez).

The action of the flower is substantial. Yeasts in the form of mold graced by a quick exposure to the air after fermentation, consequently resulting in a peculiar nutty flavor.

Types of Dry Sherry

It can be found as two types of Dry Sherry, or three, eight, or eleven… It all depends on its source and angle.

  • Fino & Manzanilla: is the mildest sherry and their aging is for only two or up to ten years under a layer of the flower and being bottled, their consumption must be immediate.
  • Amontillado: It is a Fino or Manzanilla that began with biological aging under flower approximately during the first three to eight years and matured oxidatively without flower. A fine barrel is called amontillado as soon as the layer of the flower stops unfolding because the flower cannot get enough nutrients in the wine to not perish, also the amontillado sherry characterized for its nutty, aromatic herbs, and tobacco essences, often ethereal and polished notes of oak.
  • Palo Cortado: It is a beautiful, strange, and unusual style of sherry that happens in some circumstances when the yeast of the flower dies suddenly and the wine begins to take oxygen.
  • Oloroso: This Sherry does not produce a flower, besides all the flavor of these wines comes from the interaction of air and wine. Generally, oxidized wine is considered deficient, but when allowed five to twenty-five years, the wine in a Sherry solera will transform into a full-bodied, expressive, and dark substance.

Pairing Food of Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry is a fine wine. You can serve it very cold with fish and shellfish, smoked salmon, or Iberian ham. Anything with tomato allows it to become a star pairing. It can also be accompanied by classic snacks: sandwiches, quail eggs, anchovies, fish patés, or olives. It is all a matter of discovering what symbolizes the intensely pleasant and rich singularities of Sherry wines like a Fino and Manzanilla Dry Sherry are excellent with fish and shellfish. Sherry Fino is dry and fresh, although it is an impeccable aperitif to sip before a meal, its complicated palette of fragrances also makes it the best of food and wine pairings. Manzanilla Dry Sherry is similar, it is usually a little milder, but without ceasing to show its coastal essence.

To have a clear idea of ​​mixtures, it is necessary to consider that Fino and Manzanilla Dry Sherry depend on acetaldehydes (ham, walnuts, fennel or apples are also available; on terpenes (chamomile, citrus); on lactones (coconut, apricot), as well as diacetyl and acetoin (yogurt, buttery notes, but they are also found in cabbages, asparagus or strawberries).

dry sherry with smoked salmon
Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Manzanilla Dry Sherry Perfect Mix

  • Sushi and sashimi (it is a traditional pairing that cannot be missed).
  • Fish and shellfish: mackerel, prawns, octopus, baked anchovies, smoked salmon, oysters, fried sardines, and squid.

The Fino Dry Sherry Combinations

  • Cold soup, salmorejo, or gazpacho
  • All kinds of savories, such as spicy potatoes, omelet, and snacks, such as croquettes, nuts, olives
  • Ham and other sausages
  • Young and tender cheese: young manchego or feta
  • White asparagus.

Amontillado or Palo Cortado Sherry

The Amontillado Sherry is an older kind of Fino. It brings with it high levels of phenols and vanilla, therefore giving way to more nutty aromas. On the other hand, Palo Cortado is a lighter type of Oloroso that mixes extremely well with spicy foods.

The Amontillado sherry food mix

  • Anchovies on toast
  • Grilled tuna
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Rice: risotto or paella
  • Green asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Meatballs with tomato sauce
  • Mushrooms and truffle
  • Mature cheese: pecorino, Parmesan, cheddar.

The Palo Cortado sherry food pairings

  • Chocolate
  • Curry or spicy Asian foods
  • Sweet sauce
  • Partridge, pheasant, quail
  • Duck liver.

The Oloroso sherry

Oloroso means aromatic. It is an aged sherry wine and maintains double the phenols (from the interaction of the wood), the volatile acidity of the Fino sherry, and also has a tasty glycerol content that gives a tasty mouthfeel.

Oloroso sherry adequate food pairings

  • Pork Meat
  • Lamb or beef
  • Cured cheese: comté or gruyère
  • Stews
  • Pigeon and duck.

The Medium Sherry / Cream or Pedro Ximénez

Dry sherry has a wide combination of sweet styles, from lightly dry Olorosos or semi-sweet mixes over slightly floral Moscatel to sticky and thick Pedro Ximénez that can easily include a pound of sugar per liter.

Sweet Dry sherry food pairings

  • Strawberries, banana, citrus
  • Tiramisu
  • Blue cheese and pate
  • Dark chocolate: brownies
  • Sweet or medium sherry also works well with a curry or other oriental spiced food
  • Vanilla ice cream.