Confession time, I haven’t slept well for about a week now. It’s summer in Madrid and for any of you that have been here during July and August, you know that the word “hot” greatly understates the degree of heat here! We have the dry heat that leaves your skin crackling and your eye’s burning. Sweaty sleep that makes life one long sticky dream. Even drinking and eating is hard to do as your body shuts down. Your body craves water by the gallon just to replace lost moisture. To help numb ourselves a bit during the heat we’ve tried beer, gin and tonics and wine, all to no avail – that was until last night. I had forgotten that I had stashed away a bottle of this beautiful Manzanilla sherry in my fridge awhile back. Not able to sleep and needing a bit of night cap, Gabriella and I broke open a bottle to see if it might help! What we experienced was more than we thought possible.
You see, honeydew is one of my favorite melons. I love sitting down to a thick slice and nibbling away at first devouring the sweet inner flesh but slowly moving to my favorite part the slightly under-ripe inner peal. This is where the melon’s flavors become subtle and ethereal with a refreshing freshness and it’s also the point where I wish the melon would continue to yield its flesh. Last night when I cracked the seal on this bottle the flavors and aromas that leapt from the bottle and into my mind almost made me cry!
Refreshing me right then and there, I quickly stuck my nose into the bottle to draw deep and I was rewarded with a cooling green crisp air smell that made me shiver to the core at its overwhelming purity. Gabriella is not the sherry nut that I am, but when she smelled the wine she immediately asked for a glass. This is what sherry is meant to be.
Right now, I sit with another glass typing this, the melon aromas seeping out and filling the room. Take that and mix in a bit of soft salt air and a raw almond like nuttiness and you have a dangerous combination. This Sherry is ethereal and at the same time physical as it winds it way down my throat chilling my inner core.
I sit thinking to myself, “maybe sherry is the antidote to Spain’s heat?” If only the doctors knew to prescribe it!