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Robert M. Parker Jr.

Tag Archives: amontillado

Autumn Cuisine Calls for Sherry and Barrel-Fermented Beasts

So, we arrive officially at a new season, and the usual gastronomic articles appear. In the case of autumn these tend to be about the joys of mushroom-picking in the woods and fields, or getting hold of truffles if you’re rich or have a suitably trained pig. These seasonal utterances are fine, but perhaps more read about than acted upon. Autumn on the eastern Spanish seaboard brings less drastic changes than in many places. Certainly, the heat is less oppressive, but the days are often bright. The evenings are drawing in, so you wear socks and shoes instead of sandals, and maybe have a jacket or something to hand. But to my mind, it’s a chance to enjoy everything – […]

Get Me Something Refreshing Before I Melt into the Pavement! – Summer Wine Choices

It’s getting hot. My winter comforter is starting to weigh heavy on my little frame, and the hot water handle in my shower is slowly heading towards more arctic temperatures. The sound of screaming and giggling children blow through our windows like a gust of innocence, while the click of glasses rain heavy on the metal bar tables below. Even the enormous kiddy pool expanding across Parque Vallparadis, teasing us from our 5th story window, is finally clean of winter debris to reflect a shiny baby blue surface soon to be covered once again with hoards of happy tanned children. This, my friends, is the time to break open the refreshments among close friends, while enjoying long leisurely evenings under […]

Sherry in London

On a trip to London last week, I tried to get a feel for how consumers might see sherry. Just ordinary consumers,not the sorts who buy wines from expensive West End merchants.Of course, this exercise was totally unscientific. In between errands and meetings, I dropped into as many shops as I could to get an idea of what a potential sherry drinker might experience. I stupidly forgot my camera at home, and the pictures my phone produced are simply not up to scratch for this post. So you will have to do with this picture of Tio Pepe and the amusing advert down below. Anyway, the value wines account for the largest part of the steady decline in sherry sales […]

Sherry House: Emilio Hidalgo, And Ways to Change Future Generations into Sherry Lovers

In recent weeks, I have visited the Emilio Hidalgo bodega twice, and since their wines are so good, a post has become just about unavoidable. This is a small, truly independent, family-owned bodega. It was started by the Hidalgo family in the mid 1800s and is run by decedents of the founders brothers Fernando and Emilio Hidalgo and their cousin Juan-Manuel Hidalgo. The business remains at their original site, in the old centre of Jerez and the bodega is made up of a series of traditional, thick walled bodegas separated by “patios”. This is an age-old system. When a breeze moves over the buildings, cooler air sinks down into the patios and then through the open doors around them into […]

Wine Tourism in Sherry Country and a Lesson from Portugal

Two weeks ago, after a very relaxing holiday in Galicia, we chose to make our way home to Jerez via Portugal, stopping off for two nights in Oporto on the way. I’ve been to where they make Madeira, I live where they make sherry but I had never been to Oporto, so this was an exciting opportunity to visit the place where they make Port. For me, the “traditional” fortified wines are madeira, sherry and port so in a way this completes the circle. What struck me immediately on arriving at Vila Nova de Gaia, where all the port lodges are, was how geared up they are for visitors. This is starkly different to the experiences to be had at […]

Wine Blogging Wednesday #47: “S” Stands for “Spanish Sherry”

Gabriella fondly remembers when she was a child, sitting in front of the TV listening to Cookie Monster teach the alphabet, and on this particular day, words that started with the letter “S”. This episode is firmly ingrained in her head, because unfortunately, she couldn’t pronounce the letter “s” as a child, handicapped with a severe lissssp. Therefore, words like snake became th-nake and summer became th-ummer. Clearly, this doesn’t bode well when you’re watching your brother happily sipping on his vanilla shake and all you can come out with “Mom, I want a thake too!” Well, today, we’d like to thank Grape Juice for hosting Wine Blog Wednesday, by celebrating anything directly related to a bottle of wine that […]

Top Five Mistakes in Serving Sherry

If you’re the average wine drinker, what do you do when you receive a bottle you’re unfamiliar with? I would imagine that if you’re reading Catavino right now, you most likely peruse the Internet to get the most current and accurate information possible, but I fear you’re in the minority. Let’s pose an example of what your average wine drinker might do with an unfamiliar bottle or style of wine. Let’s assume that your cousin was just given a bottle of sherry for the holidays, and being your everyday wine guy, he looks at it quizzically and assumes it to be a bottle of liquor. As he’s about to put it alongside his bottle of whiskey in the liquor cabinet, […]

The Fear of Sherry

Fears take on many forms. They can come from negative experiences we’ve had in the past, or they can simply come from the unknown, an unfamiliar experience. Several years ago, my fear of the unknown was severely challenged one late Saturday evening while waiting tables in an upscale sushi restaurant. As night turned the corner to early morning, a few tables scattered about with half-drunk customers waiting for yet another bottle of sake, a customer casually inquired if I had ever tried uni. I promptly replied that, no, I hadn’t and wasn’t looking forward to trying it anytime in the near future. John, having been a regular customer of mine for over a few months, looked at me and brazenly […]

Sherry 101 – Basics of this Noble Wine!

Recently, I have seen on the web a number of wine writers who have dismissed sherry as wine “not drunk by Spaniards” and better left to “Grandma at Christmas”. I’m shocked and a bit irked. Why has such a noble beverage taken a back seat in the world of wine? Sherry should not be disregarded so off-handedly. Sherry in its seemingly infinite forms is a drink that I feel I need to defend and perhaps explain a bit. Now I’m not saying that everyone is dismissing sherry, just those outside of the 5-10% of us geeks that read trade publications, and follow wine bulletin boards more closely than our own heart rate. In fact, in Robert Parker’s last issue of […]