05-12-2014

Sherry Triangle tasting at the convent of Santo Domingo

presentation

For most, the image of Spain being exactly like Mexico but with a “lisp” (ergh…) is due to most people equating Andalusia, the furthest south region of the country, with being what Spain is and assuming that architecture in the New World went back to Andalusia instead of the other way around. Geographic correctness aside, we took a trip down to Sevilla and the greater Jerez/Cádiz region to dig in to Sherry a great deal more.

On our second day there, our friends of Paladar y Tomar took us to a tasting organized by DO Jerez at the convent of Santo Domingo in El Puerto de Santa María. A lovely setting, it was in its second edition this year. Last year, there were 12 cellars from the Sherry Triangle. This year, it had grown to 17 with 64 wines presented and it appeared that attendance was stronger than the year previous.

But the genius of the event wasn’t the fact that you could gain access to so many great Sherries for only 5€ and taste all you wanted, it was that the people manning the tasting tables were actually the students of the local enology school located at the convent. This is an aspect that is lost on a great many schools in that while it’s great to learn the technical skills to make wine, at some point, you’re going to have to tell someone about it who has encountered neither the product nor you before. And so there were these students talking about each of the wines which was a touch difficult for them as they weren’t working at the cellars. Some were quite terrified as, much like the rest of Europe, public speaking is a skill that is almost never taught–which is why an exercise such as this is so critical here.

Of course, if there’s a foreign looking person in the crowd to be spotted, that’s probably what they’ll run in the local media, which is exactly what Diaro de Cádiz did.

Otherwise an excellent chance to taste a great many Sherries, some of which we ended up buying before leaving the region such as those from Maestro Sierra to complement the Emilio Hidalgos already in our personal cellar. It is however important to note that while you can pretty much roll with drinking Sherry all day long, one small word of advice: if you can’t spit, don’t taste the creams, moscatels and other strong sweet wines after tasting all the dry wines. The alcohol in the former will knock you flat on your unsuspecting ass.