Last Updated : Oct 17,2017
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Sherry is currently almost a forgotten wine as far as consumer trends are concerned. It has avid devotees and attracts a few new drinkers each year, but it is not a part of the consumption pattern and has almost no share of mind for the average consumer. It tends to be a very trendy wine that cyclically becomes a favorite of sophisticates and then falls out of favor.
Sherry comes in different styles based on the level of sweetness. The style is decided during fermentation. If wine in a cask is affected by local yeast then it will develop into a dry style known as Fino. If the wine in a cask is not affected by flor, then the wine will be a much sweeter style called Oloroso. It is easy to know if a cask has been affected since the flor develops as a layer on top of the wine in the cask. The layer of flor (if it develops) protects the wine in the cask from oxidizing and it therefore keeps a delicacy. If the flor does not develop, the wine is not protected and it begins to oxidize.
Sweet sherries are served at room temperature and may be served after dinner. Sherry is made in the early stages like most other types of wine. Once it has fermented, however, it is fortified with brandy. At this point, some Sherry has more yeast added and some does not. Sherry is similar in some ways to other fortified wines. Sherry is quite a bit less alcoholic.
Sherry may come in a variety of different styles, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Oloroso is a type of Sherry that is around 17.5% alcohol - too high in alcohol content to allow the growth of any yeast - which is extremely dark and full of flavor. Amontillado is a type of Sherry that usually has around 15% alcohol, and has flor yeast added to the Sherry after initial fermentation. Amontillado is a lighter wine than Oloroso. Fino is a type of Sherry that is quite dry in texture, and the lightest of all Sherry varieties. Sweet Sherry is one of these drier Sherry wines with a sweet wine such as Muscat added to it.
How to Select
The quality of sherry will directly affect the flavor of the food, but it does not have to be expensive. In fact, most fine Sherries are reasonably priced. Cooking sherry has the advantage for convenience of purchase and extended shelf life. On the other hand, it is usually more expensive.
· It is best enjoyed itself with ice cubes.
· It works well in combination with other drinks too.
How to Store
Refrigerate after opening. Will keep for several weeks. Store upright in a dark place and do not rotate or shake bottle. Use within two-five years. Once opened, a dry sherry may last as long as a month. Sweet, chilled Sherries will lose some flavor, but can be usable even longer, sometimes three or four months. Sherry is fortified (higher alcohol content than wine), which acts as a preservative. When possible, select sherry for its longevity over white or red wine.
· If heavy claret is not your tipple then reach for the sherry - it could protect your heart, research suggests. Drinking sherry could protect people from coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks.
· Sherry reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Polyphenols protect the heart by preventing the "bad" cholesterol from becoming sticky and building up as a deposit on the blood vessel walls.
· Drinking sherry also increases the body's production of "good" cholesterol, which medical experts think helps to carry potentially harmful cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is passed from the body.
· As a general rule, moderate consumption of sherry exerts beneficial effects for health.
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