…is one half-bottle-sized suckerpunch of mouthjoy — the sea-wind bite, the roll of it, the swell of it, the crescendo
Sherry, sherry. I adore sherry. I adore it in its many guises and manifestations. Whenever I’m passing through a decent wine shop or supermarket, I scour the shelves for half-bottles of sherry. Because half-bottles of sherry, my dear friend, are like anchovies: my kitchen is bereft without them.
So last time I was salivating my way round Whole Foods, I tossed a half of Fernando de Castilla Manzanilla into my basket.
And Manzanilla (oh! Manzanilla!) is possibly the sherry I adore most of all.
Why? Because of its richness, its depth and its bite. This one is a half-bottle-sized suckerpunch of mouthjoy. The impossibly woody, dense, complicated smell. The sea-wind bite — like spray from the cold Atlantic. The roll of it, the swell of it, the almost overwhelming crescendo of the flavour once you have it there in your gob.
The way it leaves you gasping for another mouthful.
This is an excellent Manzanilla. I can imagine drinking it with some of those anchovies. And lemon. Salt. Bite. Yeah. That would be fucking lovely.
Staggering, mouthwatering, delicious.
Drink it. Drink sherry. Drink!
???? 4 stars (very good)
£6.49 (half bottle) from Whole Foods, High Street Kensington; £10.95 (whole bottle) from Stone & Vine
… is delicious, extraordinary and quite goddamn sexy. Even if it *does* taste of raisins. Because wrinkles can be sexy, too.
Okay. It’s Valentine’s Day. And in celebration thereof, what better alcoholic beverage than one that tastes MIND-BLOWINGLY STRONGLY of raisins? — thereby reminding you that whilst you may be taut-skinned young grapes right now, one day, you’ll both be shrunken and wrinkly.
BUT YOU’LL STILL TASTE LOVELY.
(Realism beats Romance every time, eh? Just ask TS Eliot if you’re unsure.)
Anyway, I maintain that this is a Romantic wine. It’s big and swingeing and unashamed. It scatters your bed with petals and serenades you with sentiment-sodden ballads. And tenderly crams handful after handful of raisins into your gob.
It is sweet. Really, really, really sweet. Even as you’re pouring it, you’re thinking of molasses and treacle and whatever other viscous liquids you might find appealing. And it’s almost impossibly rich and dark when you get it into your mouth.
It’s hard to believe, in fact, that something can be as sweet as this and still seem, y’know, even vaguely grown-up. Especially when drinking it puts you in mind of cramming your stubby fingers into those little boxes of Sunmaid to extricate the pieces of fruit that’d wedged themselves right into the bottom corners. But it is grown up. Possibly because it’s so outrageously goddamn decadent-tasting. And also because it’s not sickly.
Or, at least — and here, once again, the raisin likeness holds — it’s not sickly unless one consumes it to excess.
In summary: delicious, extraordinary and quite goddamn sexy.
Oh. And may I leave you with a ludicrously specific serving suggestion? Put a glass of this alongside a bowl of rosewater and cardamom ice-cream. Buy the dried rose petals from a nice man in the Iranian deli on High Street Kensington. He may even give you a free biscuit. Then simultaneously boast and congratulate yourself for doing all of the above by photographing it and posting it on your silly little blog.
You pathetic specimen.
★★★★ 4 stars (very good)
I got mine from The Wine Society
some time ago for about £9 (half bottle). But it ain’t there no more, I’m afraid. Sozamonia.
… will show you (yet again) that sherry is not just a drink for your grannie.
Marzipan and meat and cream (so goddamn creamy I want to die). Light wood. Smooth wood. Not cheap wood. But smooth. Dried fruit. And the warm, spirity burn of alcohol caressing your throat.
Your lucky, lucky throat.
Drink it — like I did — with sweet, pink chicken livers, spinach, caramelised onion, pine nuts and the gang. There’s a recipe in the first Moro cookbook that you’d do well to follow. Actually, drink it however you want.
Because, yeah, I’ve said it before. (And I don’t care that I have.) Drink sherry. Sherry is not just a drink for your grannie (though far be it from me to deprive her of it). Sherry is lovely.
This one particularly so.
★★★★ 4 stars (very good)
(half bottle) I got mine from Wholefoods, High Street Kensington for an amount I can’t recall. Online, I see it at £6.14 from Cambridge Wine Merchants
or at £6.85 from Alexander Hadleigh