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Sherry en vogue at Wines of Spain masterclass

Published:  15 April, 2016

"We have to keep the fire burning". This was the message from distinguished Jerez winemaker Beltran Domecq at the sherry masterclass at Wines from Spain's yesterday, when quizzed on the future of the category and maintaining the wave of popularity that sherry is currently enjoying.

The spotlight was on sherry during the hour-long masterclass, when tasters got the chance to sample some of the finest sherries in Andalusian cellars.

While others might be philosophical about the rise and fall in popularity of certain drinks in the wine category, Domecq is optimistic about sustaining sherry's forward momentum.

"Sherry is in vogue in Spain as well as in the UK at the moment," he said. "It's a great situation to be in. The quality of sherry is just going up. Young people aren't drinking Cream sherry, they are drinking Fino and en rama. There is a great interest in sherry biological compared with oxidative aging. We have to keep it going."

Domecq is the current president of the CRDO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda, an organisation that controls and protects the denomination of origin Jerez.

Sherry is a very Spanish drink, so it was only natural that it should take centre stage at one of the two masterclasses organised for tasters at Wines of Spain.

During the session, tasters got to sample eight sherries: Amontillado Napoleon VORS, Hidalgo La Gitana; Amontillado Tradicion VORS, Bodegas Tradicion; Palo Cortado Dos Cortados, Williams & Humbert; Palo Cartado VORS, Barbadillo; Oloroso Rich Old VORS, Fundador; Oloroso 1842 VOS, Valdespino; Cream Matusalem VORS, Gonzalez Byass; and Pedro Ximenez VORS, Lustau - all of which were either 20 or 30 year old sherries.

Domecq also gave a very comprehensive explanation of the labour-intensive solera process, whereby fractional blending is used so that the end product is a mixture of ages.