March 10, 2013
JEREZ AND ITS WINES
OK, so now that I have covered the ORANGES (and I am back from a weekend in the mountains with no internet) we can get on to other things I LOVED about SPAIN ..and why we chose to stay two weeks in exactly JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA. So, as most of you have noticed; ERLEND I are one food and wine loving couple ..and this love often affects our travel choices. The reason why we chose to stay in JEREZ, instead of for example CADIZ, that in many ways would be a more natural choice for us since it's a bigger city, very beautiful and by the OCEAN (which is another important factor when we travel, (I think years in BERLIN made us realize how important the ocean is to both of us), was because of its WINES; more exactly, as the spanish calls them; the JEREZ WINES ..or as we call them; SHERRY. Most of you, at lest my Norwegian followers, probably associate the drink SHERRY with a sweet heavy afternoon wine mostly consumed by OLD LADIES with BLUISH grey hair ..but the truth is that this wine is so much more, and so differently used in Spain than in our country. So here it goes; a crash course in SHERRY; it's a FORTIFIED wine (meaning high percentage alcohol is added to the wine) made from the WHITE GRAPE palomino. All wine labelled as 'SHERRY' must legally come from the SHERRY TRIANGLE (an area in the province of CADIZ between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María, all cities we visited while there). The two predominant types of Sherry are FINO (very dry with a lighter-body, very good with seafood) and OLOROSO (still dry, but much richer in both flavor and body. I especially liked to drink it with jamon iberico and cheese). If the winemaker is going for Fino, alcohol is added until it reaches just over 15%; however, if Oloroso is the goal then alcohol is added to reach an 18% alcohol content. The crappy ones we think of when we hear about sherry are the ones titled CREAM.. and they are very sweet and often heavy. The locals never drink these wines. Hope that made you a little more 'sherry smart' :) So ..the pictures in this post are from a visit we made to FERNANDO DE CASTILLA, a sherry house run by the Norwegian JAN PETTERSEN. They make many great sherries and we discovered them when Erlend was researching sherry before we left NEW YORK. Fernando De Castilla kept being mentioned as one of the best producers, and only later did we find out that it was run by a Norwegian. It also turns out that it's very difficult to find their wines in Norway, so we brought home A LOT of them.