You probably think of a tiny crystal glass of cloying Harvey’s Bristol Cream at your Grandmother’s when you hear “Sherry.”
Shame such a fine and well-priced drink has that reputation. Spanish Sherry (the name comes from Jerez, where the stuff originates) can offer something from bone dry to extremely sweet, and some of the best deals in wine today.
LA GUITA ($21.91 at the NLC)
La Guita is a Manzanilla from a house that makes nothing else. This is a very dry wine, to be consumed cold straight from the fridge. It is brilliant on a hot day, and works as the perfect complement to salty nibbles: with dry cured hams, chacuterie of every kind, with olives, with salted almonds, with canned fish, with pretzels and chips, with smoked mackerel, with shrimp or mussels, with salt cod preparations. It’s got a saline character itself, notes of citrus pith and almond. Not the very best example of a Manzanilla, but very very good. An absolute steal at this price. Be careful as it starts to drink easy with good snacks and at 20% alcohol, it’s no trouble to get quickly plowed. And dry Sherry is fragile, it doesn’t keep once opened, it needs to be consumed right away, so these bottles demand thirsty friends.
THE LUSTAU PEDRO XIMENEZ SAN EMILIO ($24.32; HALF BOTTLE)
The Lustau Pedro Ximenez San Emilio is perhaps the sweetest wine in the world. Sip this tooth cracking candy as desert or with really good ice cream. There are notes of raisin (the sugar-laden grapes making this are sun-dried) and toffee. Even if you don’t fancy sweet wines this, served at cellar temperature, is an experience.