The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2015

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Page 48 of 136

48  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2015 L et's face it: If you were asked to name the top ten most popular wines on your list, Sherry would not be the first word that rolls off your tongue. In fact, it would most likely be sequestered under the "dessert wine" category, which actually does an injustice to Sherry, for, although it is technically a fortified white wine (which automatically preordains it as a digestif) it is extremely food-friendly. That means Sherry could easily move to the front of the menu to accompany appetizers such as soups (with a splash of fino possibly added to the bowl) and shellfish. And for entrées, few pairings are as complementary to salmon and chicken as a glass of Sherry. Nonetheless, Sherry is a hard sell in America, sometimes even among customers familiar with it. Part of the reason is caused by unknowing individuals who keep it at room temperature, and then wonder why that same opened bottle remains on the backbar for months. Of course, that isn't the case in Europe, where Sherry is sipped, properly chilled, at all times of the day and night and for all sorts of reasons. During one of my trips to Jerez, Spain it seemed as if every restaurant and patio café sported numerous bottles of Tio Pepe Fino, chilling in buckets of ice. Cool, crisp, with notes of cucumbers and lemon and a slight spicy bite in the finish, I found it the perfect accompaniment to a warm sunny day or a cool, balmy evening. Small wonder Tio Pepe (a flagship product of González Byass and named after the founder's uncle) is the best-selling Sherry in the world. Even in the U.S., it reigns supreme among the limited category of Spanish Sherries. But that "limited" category is about to expand dramatically, thanks to Mauricio González-Gordon, fifth generation of the founding family and Chairman of González Byass, which is still family-owned. In fact, Mauricio González-Gordon, fifth generation of the founding family and Chairman of González Byass, which continues to be family-owned. Mauricio González LIFTING THE VEIL ON SPANISH WINES by Richard Carleton Hacker PHOTO: CAL BINGHAM

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