I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Sherry Wine, is it a dying breed?

sherry glass

You all know by now that we love sherry. You also know that if you don’t love sherry we probably won’t talk to you anymore. Ok, maybe not that we won’t talk to you, but we’ll eye you suspiciously anytime we discuss wine. Sherry is a heavenly treat, born of flor, and something that needs to survive, if only to feed my habit! :)
We here at Catavino have strong opinions on the subject and will continue to share them here. That said, we were lucky to meet two other highly opinionated individuals at the SITT tasting in London that we attended last month. Paul Sinnie of Vinites UK and Marcel Moreno from Moreno wines share differing opinions on the state of sherry in the UK market. Seeing that I cracked open my first bottle of Fino last night to celebrate a beautiful sunset, I figured I’d share this video with all of you. Let us know what you think!

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

Sherry Wine a dying breed? Or not? from ryan opaz on Vimeo.

Two opinions from two importers on the state of Sherry wine in the UK market. Taped at the SITT tasting in London on Feb 25th, 2009

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  • http://www.prgrisley.com michael grisley

    Great post guys, I'm so glad you touched on this!! This was VERY interesting for me because we import the Lustau Sherry line here in the US in select states, and we have experienced quite a bit of growth. Even more promising is the increase in DEMAND for sherry. What's even more interesting is that we specialize in selling to the “control” states of the US (Utah Pennsylvania, and Wyoming in particular) and the demand for the whole range of Sherries has been amazing in these markets which are not usually considered to be “with the times” in terms of what's happening in the wine world. In Utah we are selling a substantial amount of Pedro Ximenez, Rare Cream, Amontillado's, and a little Fino, but I think the smaller sales of the dry Sherries is more based on the American palate and accepting sweeter wines versus bone dry wines. As for Paul's opinion of the younger generation exploring sherries and even more importantly, buying sherries, I think we have just the opposite situation here. I think the average wine drinker in the 25-35 year old range (which I am a part of) is more willing to try new and different wines, especially wines that are completely new to them such as sherry. I think a lot of this has to do with the amazing amount of young talented chefs we have here in the US who are excited by European cuisine, especially Spain. The amount of tapas and small plate bars/restaurants that have sprung up all over the country is a testament to this. They are using sherry to cook with, pair menu items with, and they are helping to expand peoples opinions of Sherry, thankfully!! Let's hope the trend continues and more people discover this amazing product.

  • Lindsay

    My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary and treated ourselves to an 8-course meal at a top U.S. restaurant (La Belle Vie). I am pleased to report that two of the courses were paired with sherries: an amontillado and Pedro Ximenez. We were pleased. Certainly not your average restaurant, but feels like there is a growing interest in sherries in our neck of the woods. I, for one, am looking forward to drinking more…

  • Steve

    It's interesting to hear the word on the street. I would agree with Paul that the way forward is the chic/boutique route. Lustau and Bodegas Tradicion are also doing well with that strategy. I would have to take exception to Marcel calling Tio Pepe an inferior fino. Unless Julian Jeffs, John Radford, and the rest are all wrong. The Gonzalez Byass tour may be cheesy but that doesn't make the wine bad. I'm enjoying a copito of Tio Pepe right now.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    Agreed, Tio Pepe is a great little bottle of wine! Especially when it's fresh.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    Your right about Tio Pepe, it's a great sherry, especially when it's fresh!

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    La Belle Vie is not exactly average, but it's good to see resturants such as La Belle Vie doing this, since many others look to them for inspiration! Glad you enjoyed them and I definately encourage you too seek out more examples.

  • http://jerez-xerez-sherry.blogspot.com/ Justin

    VERY interesting to watch this video, and interesting comments from Steve, Lindsay and Michael. I agree with Steve, Tio Pepe should not be dismissed – I think all the own-label stuff in UK supermarkets has done a lot more damage. I also agree that bodegas like Tradicion, Lustau/Caballero, and don't forget Fernando de Castilla, are showing the way. These bodegas are producing the type of wine which made Sherry famous in the first place.Young people like, like Paul Shinnie's nephew, might not go out and buy a bottle of Fino, but there's no reason why things might not develop to a point where that will happen in the future. It's up to the bodegas, the consejo and the trade in general. There is a lot they need to get right.

  • http://jerez-xerez-sherry.blogspot.com/ Justin

    I should also have mentioned that what Equipo Navazos is doing is also all for the good! I'm glad they sell out in the UK, and I hope that continues!

  • http://www.wineanorak.com Jamie Goode

    I'm a convert. Just posted an article on the subject on my site, and as I sit I'm finishing off a remarkable Hidalgo Oloroso Viejo VORS

  • Henry Jeffreys

    Hola, really enjoy the site. Sherry is the greatest drink on earth. It always baffles me how unpopular it is when it is so delicious. I have just started a wine blog and 2 of my posts have been about sherry, hope you enjoy it.