Spanish buzz boosts sherry

The UK market is benefiting from its most diverse range of sherry ever, according to the Sherry Institute.

The institute is to hold the biggest sherry tasting in the world in London next week, and UK director Graham Hines said the buzz around the wine is bigger than he has known it in nearly 30 years of working with sherry.

“There are more people bringing in more different styles of wine from more bodegas than I have ever seen,” he told OLN. “It is an indication that, whatever the headline sales figures say, sherry is alive and well and there is a lot of interest in it.”

In 2011 González Byass was the first bodega to do a large-scale release of en rama sherry – unfined and unclarified Tio Pepe fino. These days there are several en rama offerings, and Hines says there is also growing interest in dry fino, manzanilla, palo cortado, dry oloroso, and sweet sherries such as Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel.

“There is a lot going on and also a couple of new importers looking for agencies. These people are not going to be putting money into sherry unless they think it is going to sell,” said Hines.

The number of companies importing sherry has risen from 12 to 28 since Hines has been in the business.

González Byass marketing director Jeremy Rockett said: “More and more high quality Spanish outlets are opening and helping put Spain, Spanish gastronomy, wine and sherry on the map.”

This year the Sherry Institute is running the Great Sherry Festival, encouraging independents to promote sherry in their shops and leading a trail around London’s bur- geoning population of sherry bars.

The Great Sherry Tasting takes place on October 21 at London’s Westbury Hotel.

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