5 June 2018

Sherry tasting with Tio Pepe

Mention sherry to anyone, and most likely they'll describe it as a 'Granny' drink. It's certainly not a 'hip' libation; it's not a G&T, or the increasingly popular Aperol Spritz... But truth be told, I've never tried sherry. So when I was invited to a tasting, I was curious.

When we arrived at the Feria des Londres at Bernie Spain Gardens (situated on the Southbank by the Oxo Tower), the party was in full swing. Honestly, give Londoners a balmy day and a classy excuse for food and booze, and it'll be a guaranteed winner. The event was a homage to southern Spain's Feria de Jerez, a week-long party where people enter the area on horses and dress up to the nines. Sign me up for next year, please.

Oh, and at the feria everyone drinks Tio Pepe, which is where the tasting came in.

How cute?!

The Tio Pepe tent was branded top to toe, which impressed the marketeer in me. I admired it as I nibbled on green Spanish olives and croquettes.

They even had Tio Pepe pens... PENS WITH LITTLE HATS AND JACKETS ON.

The sherry masterclass was lead by Martin, who himself had attended the original Feria de Jerez a fair few times. I took a few notes to start, so can tell you that the slight saltiness in the sherry comes from the chalky soil in the vineyards where the grapes are grown. I can also tell you that the citrus aftertaste makes for a good palette cleanser between courses and/or a good choice for an aperitif, because it livens the palette.

But that's about it, because I was busy tasting the sherry...

Tio Pepe, the world's best-selling fino, originates from the family-owned Gonzalez Byass winery in Jerez, southern Spain. Here it is drunk by locals with tapas, as they've done for over a century and is enjoyed as part of a week-long celebration known as the Feria de Jerez.

Each sherry gradually got darker as the age of the sherry increased. It smells sweet, but it's actually very dry on the palette, but as it aged, the scent started to resemble the taste.

The fourth sherry we tried: Leonor, 12 year old Palo Cortado

A darker sherry, shown above.

Our favourite was the Matusalem, 30 year old cream, which was just a dream to taste. It was - and I hate to compare different alcohols, but I'm not refined enough to understand the nuances of booze - kind of like port. Would 100% buy (and you can, from Waitrose. Yum).

At the end, guests were treated to complimentary Spanish paella, but me being the awkward pescatarian, I had to request something different.

So then I was given THIS (which was unfortunately 90% salad, 5% halloumi and 5% sauce).

It looked pretty, but all I wanted was a prawn paella or just paella with veggies in it. But it's the thought that counts (and we went to Meson Don Felipe for tapas afterwards, which was divine).

Before we set off, happily merry from the sherry, I had to get a snap of these ladies...

And we took a sherry take on a mojito (so delicious and refreshing) for the road, i.e. we enjoyed it looking out on the Southbank.

**I was invited to the Tio Pepe sherry masterclass in exchange for review, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Design Created by pipdig