Monday, November 4, 2019

International #SherryWeek with González Byass

November 4th through the 11th has been designated International #SherryWeek by Consejo Regulador de las Denominaciones de Origen "Jerez-Xérès-Sherry" or in short, Vinos de Jerez.  We generally skip these marketing campaigns but for Sherry, expect a steady stream of posts here and on social media all week. Let's start with González Byass, perhaps the most popular sherry producer through their Tio Pepe winery in Jerez and two of their sherries.

Vina AB Amontillado ($24.99)
This wine starts with a Tio Pepe base after the standard four years in the Tio Pepe solera system. This means that it consists of 100% Palomino Fino grapes that have fermented and aged in a process that allows for the development of flor -- a unique layer of yeast produced naturally in Jerez. This layer protects the wine from oxygen and after four years of age, provides the wine with its unique aroma and character. After four years, the wine is then transferred to the Vina AB Solera where it remains for an additional eight years which extracts elements from the American Oak such as caramel and vanilla. The wine also features the essence of dried fruits and nuts while staying relatively dry.

The Vina AB Amontillado can be consumed by itself yet for Halloween, we found that a Butterfinger pairs nicely, with the peanuts complementing the dried fruits and nuts.  However, this wine's best usage is an ingredient in cocktails with many offered by a quick search online. It appears the Gin is the most popular companion with my favorite becoming a version of the Tuxedo.  The base is 1.5 ounces of London dry gin and 1 oz of Vina AB, then .5 oz of Lusardo Maraschino, three dashes of orange bitters, and one dash of absinthe.  Not having any Lusardo or absinthe on hand I replaced these with Monarch Bitters - using Pistachio Cherry Syrup and Cayenne Ginger bitters.  A rather delicious cocktail.

Noé VORS Pedro Ximenez ($49.99)
Dessert in a bottle. The PX grapes were fermented and fortified in the Nectar Solera system where the grapes were fermented to 7% and then fortified to 15%. After eight years of aging, the wine enters the Noé Solera system for 30 years. This results in a complex and textured wine, sweet figs and lifting acidity. If you care to pair with candy, try a Twizzlers - but this is a fantastic wine solo.

Disclosure: We received samples from González Byass in order to share our opinion about their products, but this isn’t a sponsored post.

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