Jerez en V Cata
As part of my ongoing sherry education, stemming from my World Sherry Day ephiphany, I was thrilled to be invited to a special sherry tasting hosted by Gonzalez-Byass at Catador Sevilla. And especially as our host was going to be Antonio Flores (@Hacedordevinos), not only head winemaker and master blender for G-B but also one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met when it comes to talking about their work. And as Antonio’s work involves creating some of the most amazing and prestigious wines in the world, well, it was both a pleasure and a privilege to see the master in action.
This was a wine tasting event organised by Mónica Trujillano from El Comensal to which various bloggers, journalists and hospitality professionals had been invited. I loved the venue, Catador, which is smack in the middle of the Barrio Santa Cruz. It’s an open and minimalist space, with wall murals depicting both the famous Tío Pepe barrels and the vineyards surrounding Jerez. I’ve been to a few sherry tastings over the years, here in Sevilla, but nothing prepared me for how much I would feel engaged and inspired by Mr. Flores. He is both eloquent and passionate, and also quite a showman, knowing how to gently seduce and inspire his audience. With such an excellent product you wouldn’t think this sort of thing would even be necessary, but in fact sherry remains one of the lesser understood Spanish wines. People from abroad often assume that sherry is the sticky sickly sweet stuff their maiden aunt would haul out every Christmas but in fact there many varieties ranging from bone-dry finos to the sweet raisiny Pedro Ximenez, and I want to learn more about all of them.
On this occasion we sampled ten wines including Fino Tío Pepe, Amontillado Viña AB, Alfonso Oloroso, Leonor Palo Cortado (recently chosen one of the top 100 wines in the world by WAWWJ: World Association, Wines & Spirits, Writers and Journalists), Apostoles Palo Cortado, and Noé Pedro Ximénez. As a special treat we finished the evening by sampling Cuatro Cortador & Gonzalez-Romano, both more than 100 years old, while Catador put on a spread of some fab charcuterie and cheeses.
Watch for my Introduction to Sherry Tours, which I hope to start offering in September. Now that I am smitten with this amazing wine I really want to share the love.