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Dear Drinkology readers,

Two weeks ago we took you on a little journey through the history of sherry. Today we would like to delve a little deeper into the exciting subject of sherry and deal with the variety of different types of sherry.

So much in advance: There are many different styles of sherry, which depend on numerous factors such as the location of the bodega.

Basically, most sherries are dry. In order to obtain the semi-dry or sweet sherries popular in this country, small amounts of sweet wine or must are added to them. However, there are other ways of adding sweetness to sherry, which is why we would like to subdivide the different types of sherry into the categories "dry sherries", "semi-dry sherries" and "sweet sherries" for the sake of clarity.

Dry sherries


The best-known type of sherry is the light yellow, dry Fino sherry. Fino Sherry matures for at least three years according to the Solera process and under a thick layer of pile, which gives it its typical subtle almond aroma. The Fino Sherry is available in the following variants: Dry, Very Dry and Very Pale Dry.

The Manzanilla, which is also a Fino, comes from the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The proximity to the Atlantic gives the Manzanilla a slightly salty and slightly bitter taste. Due to the local microclimate, the Manzanilla may only be produced and bottled there.

Amontillado is the most intense variant of Fino. It first matures under a layer of pile and when this dies, it continues to mature in contact with air.

Oloroso sherries ripen without any layer of pile. Oloroso sherries go in the direction of dark brown in color and are characterized by unmistakable nut flavors.

Semi-dry sherries

Semi-dry sherries like the Golden are ideal as an aperitif and are often enjoyed by the Spaniards with Serrano ham. Golden Sherry gets its pleasant sweet taste by adding Pedro Ximénez Sherry or Moscatel wines.

The medium sherry is also sweetened by adding Pedro Ximénez Sherry. In terms of taste, Medium Sherry is somewhere between Oloroso and Amontillado Sherry. It goes well with almonds and dried fruit as well as strong cheeses.

Sweet sherries

Pedro Ximénez

Pedro Ximénez - or P.X. for short Sherry - is the cutest type of sherry on the market. It is made from particularly sweet grapes that are dried on straw mats before processing. In this way, moisture is extracted from the grapes in a natural way, which can increase the natural sugar content to just under 500 g per liter. Pedro Ximénez has an intense aroma of dried fruits and nuts and is perfect as a digestif.

If you mix Pedro Ximénez sherry with dry Oloroso sherry, you get cream sherry. Also a perfect digestif, which, depending on the quality, can have an enormous structure and depth

In addition to the classic sherries listed above, there are also some specialties that we would of course not want to withhold from you:

Palo Cortado
Palo Cortado Sherry first matures under a layer of pile for five years and then oxidatively for 15 years. In terms of taste, Palo Cortado Sherry is similar to Amontillado Sherry.

There are also special names for sherries that have matured in the Solara for a long time. So it stands VOS for very old sherry and PREV for very old rare sherry. VOS Sherry must have spent at least 20 years and VORS Sherry at least 30 years in the solera.

We hope we were able to give you a little insight into the extensive world of the different types of sherry and look forward to telling you more about sherry casks and the trade with them in two weeks' time. If you have any questions about the different types of sherry, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments.


Drinkology team

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