Drinking Sherry with the Trendy Young Things

 

Sherry tasting at the Tio Pepe bodega

Sherry tasting at the Tio Pepe Bodega

I’m not sure quite when sherry began to become fashionable again, or even if it really is.

In my mind, Sherry is always associated with elderly once-a-year drinkers. My mother always kept a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream on her sideboard. Nobody ever touched it except once a year, generally at Christmas, when my gran or an elderly Great-Aunt would visit and be coerced into having a ‘small glass of sherry’. Then my mother would get out these tiny glasses that sat in the glass cabinet all year with no perceivable function; these were the ‘sherry glasses’. Afterwards, the bottle went back on the sideboard for another year.

IMG_1552I never gave much thought to where something called ‘Harveys Bristol Cream’ would come from; I vaguely thought it would come from Bristol.  Turns out Sherry comes from this little corner of Spain where they have the right soil for growing the grapes.  Not Bristol then.

Now,  we’re being led to believe, Sherry is hip and trendy again. No longer simply the tipple of elderly maiden Aunts, instead stylish young movers and shakers are drinking Sherry, ready-chilled or over ice, when they go to the latest chic new nightspot.

Hmmm, can’t say I’ve noticed but maybe I”m just not hip and trendy enough.

The famous Tio Pepe trademark

The famous Tio Pepe trademark

There is a lot of Sherry in Jerez. You can smell it in the street and you can visit the Bodegas to see how it is made and sample the various types.

The Gonzalez Byass Bodega is the largest one, responsible for Tio Pepe and Croft brands, amongst others. Taking the tour costs anything from 13-19 euros, depending how many of the Sherries you want to taste and whether you want some tapas to help soak up the alcohol.

The bodega is so big they have a little train to take people around

The Bodega is so big they have a little train to take people around

inside the bodega

inside the Bodega

many of the barrels have been signed by famous people who have visited

many of the barrels have been signed by famous people who have visited

And a glass of sherry is left out for the mice, along with a little step-ladder...

And a glass of sherry is left out for the mice, along with a little step-ladder…

Much smaller is the Bodega responsible for Harveys Bristol Cream. The tour here is cheaper, at around eight euros, but much less grand. Here, they sit you down to watch a short video, then they take you to see the cellars and then you get a dry and a sweet sherry to try.

This is known as the Mosquita, with the architecture copied from the famous building in nearby Cordoba.  This is about the most impressive thing at Harvey's.

This is known as the Mosquita, with the architecture copied from the famous building in nearby Cordoba. 

The sherry itself is quite palatable, however I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to drink it. If I were out somewhere and they had a promotion going on then it’s an ok drink. However in reality if I were in a bar with a whole array of drinks to choose from, then I doubt I’d pick Sherry.

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