Types Of Sherry | From Jerez With Love

5th August 2021

In 2019 there were 55 Bodegas in the south of Spain producing Sherry for export. The Spanish town where the Bodegas centre around is Jerez. Last years sales figures show that in 2020 global Sherry sales were the highest they had been since the year 2000. Let’s take a look at the different types of Sherry on the market and what makes it such a sought after tipple.

Different Types Of Sherry Wine

When it comes to Sherry there are different types and styles. Production methods of Sherry will determine their style and range from being bone dry white wines to a dark, thick and rich dessert-style wine. A full list of the different types of Sherry is listed below.

  • Fino Dry Sherry – The lightest of all Sherry wine in both alcohol and appearance. Pairs well with salty and fatty foods like almonds, fish and cured ham. It should be served chilled.
  • Amontillado – Light & smooth in the mouth with well-balanced acidity, a dry finish with a hint of nuts and wood.
  • Oloroso – Predominantly nutty bouquet with toasted, vegetable and balsamic notes reminiscent of noble wood, golden tobacco and autumn leaves. Powerful, well-rounded and full bodied. 
  • Cream Sherry also known as Sweet Oloroso – has a dense, syrupy appearance. Cream Sherry has notes of roasted nuts, such as in nougat or caramel. Full bodied and velvety in the mouth with a well-balanced sweetness, seductively elegant with a lingering aftertaste. It is classified as a sweet Sherry.
  • Pedro Ximenez also know as PX – is extremely rich with sweet notes of dried fruits such as raisins, figs and dates, accompanied by the aromas of honey, grape syrup, jam and candied fruit. At the same time Pedro Ximenez is reminiscent of toasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa and liquorice.
Types Of Sherry
The Different Types Of Sherry Produced By Bodegas Tradicion in Jerez, Spain

The Top 5 Sherry brands on the market today are Gonzalez Byass, Bodegas Tradicion, Bodegas Fundador, Diez Merito and Lustau. Those lucky enough to visit Jerez in the south of Spain can book a tour of their Bodega’s. All the Sherry houses will provide you with information on the history of the Sherry region, teach you how they make the different types of Sherry and what makes their Sherries unique. Sherry is a very interesting drink and can vary from dry white wines to rich and sweet dessert-style wines. To book a tour just visit their individual websites.

What Type Of Grapes Are Used To Make Sherry Wine

There are three grapes used to make the different types of Sherry. These are Palamino Fino, Moscatel and Pedro Ximinez. The three grapes varietals can be blended together or fermented on their own to produce different types of Sherry. Below is a list of the different styles of sherry and the grapes used to produce them.

  • Fino Dry or Sec Sherry, Manzilla, Palo Cortado, Amontillado and Oloroso are all made using Palamino grapes
  • Cream Sherry or Sweet Oloroso is made with a blend of Palamino and Pedro Ximinez grapes
  • Pedro Ximinez Or ‘PX’ is made using sun dried Pedro Ximinez grapes
  • Moscatel Sherry – similar to PX, these Sherries are made from sun dried Moscatel grapes and a dessert style wines.

Where Is Sherry Wine From?

Sherry is produced in Jerez, Andalusia which is in the south of Spain. You cannot fly to Jerez from an international airport outside of Spain as it only serves domestic Spanish flights. The closest international Airport is Seville which is a 50-minute drive inland from Jerez. Both Seville and Jerez are both rich in history, culture and terroir. You could easily spend a week visiting the two cities, have plenty to keep you busy and try plenty of types of Sherry.

Map Of Jerez Spain
Jerez – The Home Of Sherry Wine

Should Sherry Be Served At Room Temperature Or Chilled?

Sherry should be served slightly chilled, between 10 and 12 degrees celsius. When drinking cream sherry pour it over a large cube of ice and garnish with a slice of fresh orange. This is one of the most popular ways to serve it in Jerez, the home of Sherry.

What Type Of Wine Glasses Should You Serve Sherry In?

Sherry is served in a small white wine glass, a tumbler or special short stemmed dessert wine glass called a ‘Schooner’. There is currently a big push by the Sherry body in Jerez to change the way consumers perceive and drink the different types of Sherry. All the modern Sherry Bodegas, high end restaurants and wine bars are now serving Sherry in white wine glasses and tumblers over ice. You can read more about the different types of Sherry glasses in our blog here.

Sherry Schooner
A Sherry ‘Schooner’ Glass

Sherry Cocktails

Sherry cocktails are very popular on menu’s in hotels and wine bars across the globe. The most well known is a Sherry Cobbler. Served in a tall collins glass filled with ice it is fruity, refreshing and packs a punch. A list of well known Sherry cocktails are listed below.

  • Sherry Sour – a mix of dry sherry, lemon juice, egg whites and sugar syrup served over ice
  • Sherry Valance – made with Manzanilla Sherry, Brandy, freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice and bitters
  • Ginger Snap – Fino Sherry, Fever Tree Ginger Ale and a twist of lemon zest
  • Midsummer Cup – made with Gin, Fino Sherry, lemon juice and bitters
  • Bamboo Flip – made with Fino Sherry, Dry Vermouth, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters, Orange Bitters and egg white
Sherry Cobbler Cocktail
Sherry Cocktails

Sherry Decanters

Once bottled, Sherry does not change or alter state. The fermentation process of all the different types of Sherry wine stops once it leaves the Sherry cask prior to being bottled. Unlike other still wines, Sherry will not benefit in terms of enhanced aromas or flavour from being decanted or aerated into another vessel.

Sherry wine is typically offered to guests as an aperitif after a meal. In order to present the wine in the best possible manner, it is poured into a crystal decanter as opposed to being poured directly from the bottle. There are a number of brands making crystal decanters suitable for Sherry, Port and Whiskey. Decanter Brands we recommend are Riedel, Darlington, Waterford and Royal Scot Crystal.

That is our introduction to the types of Sherry. You should now know the basics of Sherry wine and what to expect when you see Sherry wine on the menu or wine shop shelves. We have a good range of high quality Sherry in our online wine store. Feel free to look around and pick up a bottle or two.

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