Today is a special day in the Sherry calendar: it’s the 50th anniversary of Manzanilla being included as its own entity within the denominación de origen of Jerez.
Beyond that, though, it’s been quite a year for Sherry generally with Jerez de la Frontera being crowned as the European Wine Capital 2014.
What better time, then, to indulge your loved ones with the delights of this fabulous fortified wine than now, at Christmas?
So with this in mind, I’ve done a little research to come up with a suggested Christmas gift list for the Sherry lover in your life…
1. A Sherry Lover’s Tee-shirt
Amazon have this rather splendid tee-shirt that would look fabulous with any Santa hat this Christmas. The dark colour will also hide any stains of even the darkest of PX. A must-have gift for any fashion-conscious Sherry fan. Find out more over at Amazon.
2. A Jar of Pedro Ximénez-soaked Raisins
Fill a pretty jar with some juicy plump raisins and cover with your favourite Pedro Ximénez. PX is the sherry made from the juice of pressed PX raisins so it’s only natural for a raisin to want to snuggle up in its delicious sweetness. Buy the best your budget will allow. Tie with a pretty ribbon and label it with ‘PX and raisin topping for ice cream and porridge’. Then, for maximum deliciousness, pair with my chocolate almond cake recipe.
3. A Selection of Sherries
So where to buy the stuff? You can make your own Christmas gift hamper with a bottle or half bottle each of eight Sherry styles – Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Cream, Moscatel and PX – or indeed a selection of any of the above. If you had to choose just two make it Manzanilla and PX, or if four, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Cream. Check these out over at The Wine Society, Ottonlenghi and Brindisa (although maybe not quite enough Sherry, a great selection of snacks).
Drinkmonger has the most spectacular range of Sherries including Gutierrez Colosia Fino and their unique Moscatel Soleado. Another great Christmas gift from here for a serious lover of Fino would be the three from the Las Palmas series from Gonzalez Byass.
4. A Sherry Library
There are very few books around about Sherry and even fewer that are an easy read. That was until the young editor of Punch in USA, Talia Baiocchi, came up with this fun and charming book called – wait for it – Sherry! It has earned glittering reviews and has some fab recipes for Sherry based cocktails, too. Check out Talia Baiocchi’s Sherry on Amazon.
One thing’s for sure – if you drink too much Sherry, you will eventually fall over. A packet of AS may be just the thing for the morning after – ahead of the first festive Fino of the day, that is!
Like my pick of the best Christmas gifts for a Sherry lover? If you’re a fan of Fino or mad about Manzanilla, join me on my Ultimate Sherry & Culinary Tour of Jerez de la Frontera.