The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 61 of 132

{ }  61 The story of Sherry's determined effort to break into the American market goes back at least half a century. "Spain's Sherry growers . . . are mapping a campaign to increase their sales to the United States," reported the New York Times in a story published on August 3, 1964. Sadly, the Sherry juggernaut didn't unfold as hoped. Finally Sherry seems poised to find a permanent place at the table, although America's embrace of the fortified wine from southern Spain has been fitful and hard to predict. Dry Sack, created by Williams & Humbert in 1906, has become a household Sherry brand name and a staple in many restaurants. The effort was helped in the 1990s by the introduction of standards for VOS (Very Old Sherry, an average of 20 years) and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry, 30 years). Sherry, like many other alcoholic beverages, was carried aloft by the premiumization move - ment. With Sherry, though, two trend lines head in opposite directions. Mirroring declines in top Sherry markets worldwide, overall Sherry consumption in the U.S. decreased from 2.3 million liters to 1.4 million liters annually between 2002 and 2011. But high-quality Sherry has gained considerable ground: for example, between 2006 and 2011, American consumption of amontillado increased from 94,000 to 146,000 liters. Bodegas Williams & Humber t, one of Spain's most respected Sherry producers, is at the forefront of the fine-Sherry movement because its products are well suited to a new generation of wine lovers who show curiosity and a love of experimentation, according BODEGAS WILLIAMS & HUMBERT IS AT THE VANGUARD OF AMERICA'S PREMIUM SHERRY TREND by Paul Hodgins Williams & Humbert's Fino Pando is a classic match for tapas. The Williams & Humbert complex in Jerez de la Frontera is home to the largest wine cellar in Europe, holding nine million casks. PHOTO COURTESY OF BODEGAS WILLIAMS & HUMBERT PHOTO COURTESY OF BODEGAS WILLIAMS & HUMBERT PHOTO COURTESY OF BODEGAS WILLIAMS & HUMBERT

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