Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Very Short Introduction - Fino

Sherry. The great thing about working with wine is that you have to try things you might normally ignore. To encourage an open minded approach you often have to try them blind, and you have to properly evaluate what you're tasting. This is where my love of sherry has come from.

Selling sherry can be a tricky proposition, we get through a lot of Harvey's Bristol Cream and Croft original at this time of year, mostly sold too, or for, people of a certain generation and whilst there's nothing wrong with either of those there is so much more to sherry than those to can offer.

Fino is at the opposite end of the sherry scale - it's bone dry with a zesty tang, and is at least (at last) enjoying something of a revival due to the popularity of tapas. Fino is a great food wine, for anyone to whom sherry means sweet it can come as a bit of a shock, but (unless you really hate dry wine) stick with it and it grows on you. The thing to know about Fino is the fresher the better. Tio Pepe now print a bottled on date on the back of their bottles and recommend drinking within a year (never buy a dusty bottle of fino, chances are it's hung around far to long) and some others are following suit. Once you have a bottle open it should be treated like wine - kept in the fridge and finished within 2 or 3 days (not left another year).

We tend to start Christmas dinner with sherry (in and with the soup, my mother is a boozy cook) so it means there's always some in want of using over the next few days. To settle down post Christmas glut with a glass of something refreshingly dry and left over party staples (a bit of air dried ham or salami, some olives, a slice of manchego) is something to look forward to.

It's tempting to associate a good dry sherry with golden age detective fiction, especially anything with an academic setting, but as much as I like a match that really immerses me in a book I'm going for something else this time. I have a fluctuating collection of Oxford's A Very Short Introduction's. They arrive unannounced in the post from time to time direct from OUP, or sometimes as presents (they make excellent stocking fillers or little extras for the book lover in your life). The collection fluctuates because D 'borrows' them, sometimes I remember to retrieve them but books which are so well suited to fitting in a pocket should have a nomadic life (but not in a shoplifty way).

I think they're the perfect books for browsing through with a glass of really good fino to hand (and maybe those olives etc). Both deserve and encourage a bit of thoughtful consideration


  1. A dry sherry like a dry champagne (Extra Brut) are favorites at our house.

  2. Love Extra Brut too, what a shame we can't meet for a good dry sherry and a bookish natter.

  3. I adore fino, but even more so Manzanilla - which I haven't drunk for ages. La Gitana from Hildalgo is a good cheaper one I remember - must now get a bottle when I pop to Waitrose this afternoon.

    1. I love it too, but have been drinking Fino more recently, so it came first to mind. Manzanilla needs its own book, maybe something to capture the almost salty by the sea feel it has

  4. A chilled dry sherry is such a thing of beauty -- there's a big tapas revival here, so lots of sherry discovering going on. A Very Good Thing.