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I really had intentions of blowing off this week and just regurgitating the history in the book, but the call was just too strong. If you know me, or you’ve come to know me, you know what a crafty booze loving word nerd I am.


One of my new friends here in Memphis is encouraging me to start teaching some classes on home bar basics and how easy it really can be to make good, simple cocktails. Since she planted this idea just a couple days ago, this is all I’ve thought about. Hard to believe, but I’ve been thinking about cocktails more than usual. I came up with a rather complete outline for my class in no time at all. Another girlfriend has already told me how excited she is to learn my secrets. I think that’s why I mustered for this week’s sherry. Purely in the name of research.

We are entering a period in our Year of Drinking Adventurously that baffles me a bit. For the next couple of weeks, we are going to be discussing fortified wines. To me, Nothing says summer less than a heavy wine. But what does says summer to me is rum, so when I went to the Google box searching for a recipe this combination really caught my eye.  It is with this recipe in mind that I made my purchase.  Had I actually read what our author had to say before I went to the store, my purchase most certainly would have been different.

Sherry is typically produced with white grapes, where ports usually use reds, and we will discuss that more next week.  According to our author, there are some fine sherries that are bone dry.  Historically, we think of sherry as sweet and only consumed by old ladies in England.  What I got was sweet, and to be honest, I wasn’t really willing to plunk down the dough for something really nice, that may or may not end up collecting dust.

Up to now, when I have purchased sherry, it has been purely for cooking purposes.  This leads to a tiny rant about Memphis and it’s lack of good groceries.  Finding wild rice here has been almost impossible.  Almost.  Thank goodness for Whole Foods.

According to our author, a nice dry Fino sherry can be consumed like one would a nice white wine and can pair with almost any meal. Now I wish I had made a better purchase. These sherries are aged under a film of yeast that acts as a barrier between the liquid and the air. This process helps Fino develop its signature characteristic, which is typically light in body and a pronounced minerality.

What I got was an Oloroso sherry, and in contrast to the Fino, has not been aged and tends to be richer and have a far fuller body. These tend to be paired more with red meats and stews.

The Oloroso I got was a sweet wine and I could easily see this pairing with a rich dark chocolate cake. The nose was that of a port, so I was a little surprised the sherry itself was so drinkable.  The cocktail I made was not something I’ll make again. If I do, I’ll change the proportions. I can see there is potential. This recipe paired the sherry with a dark rum. I didn’t have the best dark rum, but I could see it pairing with an aged rum better. Overall, I preferred this sherry as a sipper rather than mixed, but I’m not giving up on that avenue.

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Be sure to see what Meg drank this week. Also, please leave a comment to share your favorite home bar tricks and tools. 

Here’s to Toasting another Tuesday!

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