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

The Secret Sherry Society – A Quick Interview in the Dark

Approximately a year ago, the Secret Sherry Society appeared on our radar. An attempt to preach the wonders of sherry to a new generation of wine drinkers, its podium is a shroud of secrecy, well…sort of. The about page on their website states:

THE SOCIETY WAS FORMED BY A GROUP OF individuals whose primary concern was the artful dissemination of the secrets of their favorite beverage, Sherry. They believed that anyone could be privy to the secrets of Sherry, so, naturally, forming a Secret Society posed a challenge. A Secret Society composed of millions of people? The task seemed daunting, but the founders preserved and formed the Secret Sherry Society.

Since anyone could become a member, the bizarre initiation rituals of most secret societies didn’t exist. That slightly disappointed the founders, since bizarre initiation rituals are rather entertaining to witness, but they were more than compensated by the knowledge that there was now a forum for all things Sherry

Please note that we suggest you insert “marketers” in place of “group of individuals”, but don’t let that turn you off. Anyone who helps sherry to sell more wine is aces in our book! However, although the idea is interesting, and the parties look great, will this help the common wine drinker turn to sherry? I’m not entirely convinced. I know this approach is directed to a generation of young wine drinkers, but where is the promotion for the 40 and above crowd? My parents are a great example! They came to sherry much later in life than most, and now are mini sherry evangelizers to all their friends. That said, I see the idea and I like the effort. The main site is still content light and contains a few bugs, but there is plenty of potential if they can get some people to engage.

Now, let’s move onto their original site, which has me a bit flummoxed. Currently named, the “Secret Sherry Society Headquarters“, it’s a flash infested mess of mystery and suspense. If you have the patience and desire to see some cool graphics, this is a wonder to behold. I think they realize that this is far from practical, but if you aren’t familiar with sherry wines, it might be interesting for you. By navigating the twists and turns of the site, you can discover sherry history, recipes and other treats. You might want to open a bottle of sherry while you surf, as the load times are quite slow. Plus, if the sherry is good enough, it could potentially take the edge off while you wait.

I don’t want to be a downer. The Secret Sherry Society is doing a great job of trying to engage new wine drinkers to this often overlooked beverage. For this, we say: Cheers! Job well done!

However, I’m also of the opinion that for sherry to really take off, we might need to find a superhero, or advocate of sorts, to really spark its return to greatness. Looking at the site with its steampunk motifs and mysterious rincons, I hoped to encounter a rejuvinated Sherlock Holmes, or even the lastest James Bond.

Soon to be Bond Conquest: “James can I offer you a drink?”

James Bond: “Yes, make it a Fino, dry Fino…”

Ok, maybe not, but the idea is right: we need a Sherry advocate!

We met with Sonia Smith, programming director of the Secret Sherry Society, at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference a few weeks ago, where she kindly agreed to a short interview. The video is a little dark, unintentionally adding to the “mystery”, but the audio on Sonia is good and provides a better idea of what they are trying to accomplish.

However, before we posted this article,? I sent Sonia a quick note asking for a favorite drink for summer to which she replied, “In Spain’s hot summer days, the perfect way to cool down with the evening breeze is a crisp cool glass of fino or manzanilla. But I also love the rebujito cocktail: fino with Sprite or 7Up, fun and refreshing.” So why not mix one up before pressing “play” to find out all the secrets of the Secret Sherry Society!

Sonia Smith – Secret Sherry Society from Ryan and Gabriella Opaz on Vimeo.

A quick interview in the dark with Sonia Smith who is helping sherry to explode in the US market!

A quick interview in the dark with Sonia Smith who is helping sherry to explode in the US market!

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

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