Monday, October 26, 2020

Gonzalez Byass Sherry & Candy - A Halloween Treat

Who likes Halloween candy and wine? Or in this case, sherry? Our friends at Gonzalez Byass wanted us to explore this concept through three of their sherries: Alfonso Oloroso, Nectar Pedro Ximénez, and Harveys Bristol Cream. These wines were all produced at their Jerez distillery in Spain which we visited in August 2019 in A Family Visit to Gonzalez Byass for Tio Pepe.  Please read this post as a refresher on sherry regarding the region, the Palomino and Pedro Ximenez (PX) grapes, production, styles, and the solera systems.

On their own, these are three enjoyable wines. The Alfonso Oloroso boasts pecans and walnuts within its dry profile. The Harveys Bristol Cream has a milder aroma, more body (nuts and caramel), and suitable acidity to balance the sugar. And the Nectar Pedro Ximénez is all figs within a savory and complex core which also includes caramel and nuts.

With the candy, we conducted two tastings featuring different candies. The first sitting paired the three sherries with Milk Duds, Reese's, Payday, and Butterfingers. The Butterfingers worked best with the Harveys Bristol Cream by adding even more nuts to the palate. The Milk Duds paired nicely with the Nectar Pedro Ximénez as the chewy caramel worked into that wine's depth. The Reese's was a huge hit with the Alfonso adding chocolate and bringing forth some orange from the wine. And the salt from the Payday helped the peanuts blend into the Alfonso.

The second tasting confirmed some of the lessons learned from the previous sitting. In general, the complex and rich Nectar Pedro Ximénez requires a candy with either complexity or chewiness. And candies with chocolates and nuts work well with the Alfonso Oloroso and Harveys Bristol Cream. 

Specifically, the Almond Joy and Tootsie Roll paired best with the Nectar, particularly the Almond Joy where the coconut added even more nuances to that sherry. Same for the 100 Grand bar - the caramel blended into that wine's depth.  The Hersheys wrapped around both the Alfonso and Harveys tasting like a chocolate nugget with nut filling. The Crunch bar was similar. The Baby Ruth worked best with the Harveys with the chewiness elevating the wine. And finally, the Whoppers didn't play well with any of these sherries. The sensation was disjointed with one sensation of candy then wine or vice versa.

Finally, a stand-alone sitting showed to use KitKats with the Alfonso Oloroso. 

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

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