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Wine guide: Sherry

Sherry is fortified wine from south-western Spain. It comes in a range of different styles, ranging from dry (best served chilled) to sweet (best served at room temperature).

Unlike most other wines, air is introduced to sherry as it ages. This air and the alcohol determine the two main types of sherry: fino and oloroso.

Fino styles

The introduction of air to fino styles creates a layer of yeast that floats on top of the wine and prevents additional air from oxidising it.

Manzanilla is a type of fino sherry with a light, distinctive flavour. It is an excellent accompaniment to tapas.

Amontillado is a darker sherry with a more nutty flavour that places it at a midway point between fino and oloroso styles.

Oloroso styles

Oloroso sherries have higher alcohol levels than fino styles, killing off the yeast and allowing more oxidisation to take place. This allows the sherry to develop a deeper colour and raisiny, nutty flavours.

Cream sherry is sweetened oloroso. Sweet Pedro Ximenez wine is added to give a dark, sweet sherry.

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