There is So Much More to Sherry than It Gets Credit For
Sherry languished in the background of American drinking culture for a long time. But no longer: These days, Sherry is one of the hottest categories among consumers and professionals alike. From dessert wine sweet Sherry like Pedro Ximenez to dry Sherry like fino or manzanilla to all points in between—Amontillado, Oloroso, Cream Sherry, and more—Sherry wine is one of the most rewarding, utterly delicious beverages in the world.
What is Sherry wine?
Sherry wine—also called Sherry—is a fortified wine produced in Southern Spain, in the region of Andalucia. There are several types of Sherry, and they range from bone dry to exceptionally sweet. When it comes to cooking, whether Sherry is used to deglaze a pan or add depth to a sauce, it can take a meal to the next level. People often ask, what's the difference between Sherry vs. Port? Simple: While Sherry and Port wine are both fortified, Port is from Portugal, and Sherry is from Spain. They are also made from different grape varieties and aged in different ways and different environments. And while you can find Sherry- and Port-style wines from around the world, the legally protected place-names for each are in Spain and Portugal, respectively.
What kind of wine is Sherry?
Put simply, Sherry is a fortified wine from the Andalucia region of Southern Spain.
How is Sherry wine made?
The are several different styles of Sherry wine, but in general, they are made by fortifying—that is, adding alcohol in the form of a spirit obtained from grapes—to the wine and then aging it either beneath a layer of yeast called flor, in the case of fino or manzanilla Sherry, or in the presence of oxygen, for the other styles, which lends it increasingly nutty, savory, and sometimes amplified sweet notes.
Is Sherry wine dry or sweet?
Both! Sherry ranges from bone dry, like with fino or manzanilla—to very sweet, like Pedro Ximenez. That's the beauty of Sherry: Its range is incredible!
Can you drink Sherry wine?
Yes, and you should! It's delicious. Just make sure it's not cooking Sherry, which you should never drink.
Do you drink Sherry straight?
Traditionally, Sherry is enjoyed straight, and usually with somewhat of a chill, depending on the style of Sherry. However, modern mixologists have been incorporating it into fantastic cocktails, too. For an easy one to make at home, try a Sherry and tonic: It's phenomenal.
Should Sherry be refrigerated after opening?
Yes. Especially when it comes to lighter styles like fino and manzanilla, refrigeration is crucial. However, even richer ones, like Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez, will last longer if stored in a refrigerator. Just make sure to bring your glass of Sherry to your preferred temperature before enjoying it.
Do you drink Sherry warm or cold?
As with most wine, a good rule of thumb is to enjoy lighter Sherry colder and richer Sherry less chilled. However, it's very much a matter of personal preference. That being said, warm Sherry will often taste less vibrant than even just slightly chilled Sherry.
What is the difference between Sherry and Cream Sherry?
Cream Sherry, like Harveys Bristol Cream, is a Sherry style that focuses on the sweeter flavors of Sherry. There's no actual milk or cream in cream Sherry, and it is more or less similar to a sweet expression of oloroso Sherry.
What is the best Sherry to cook with?
It depends on the recipe, but in general, darker, richer Sherry will add greater depth and weight to a dish, making it more well-suited to meat dishes. In contrast, lighter Sherry, like fino or manzanilla, is an excellent addition to sauces for white, flaky fish dishes.
Is cooking Sherry the same as Sherry vinegar?
No, they are not the same. Cooking Sherry is Sherry that has had salt and often preservatives added to it. Only cook with it, don't drink it as you would normal Sherry. Sherry vinegar is a vinegar that is made from Sherry wine, in much the same way as red wine vinegar is made from red wine.
Browse our full selection of Sherry online or check out our selection of highly-rated Sherry for a great new Sherry to try this week!
Want to learn more about Sherry?
Visit our Guide to Wine to learn more about Sherry.