This year, Sherry Week is November 7-13, and to celebrate González Byass sent a sampling of sherries and Jasper Hill Farms cheeses.
My favorite pairing was the hard Whitney with either the fino or the amontillado. The fino was the suggested pairing and I liked the mild oxidation in the Tio Pepe with the cheese, but there was a nuttiness to it that went really well with the almond notes in the Viña AB Amontillado.
My favorite cheese was the Harbison, which was wrapped in spruce bark! Such a cool pine note with an on point creamy inside. The suggested pairing was the Amontillado, but I almost found that too delicate for the big woodsy notes in the cheese. The sweeter, deeper nutty notes of the Harvey’s Bristol Cream felt better, though then we had a battle of bigger flavors.
Last, we had the Nectar, an uber-sweet Pedro Ximénez, counterbalanced with a blue cheese. I personally don’t like blue cheese, but the pairing was good and it was other people’s favorite pairing. Most people really dig PX, but I am always an Amontillado lover.
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Just did a sherry tasting at the SF wine school with Dan Berger. He pulled a ton of bottles from his cellar (complete with thick layers of dust and cellar mold.) It was super interesting the wide range of styles and I find myself also a big fan of Amontillado. The entire tasting I couldn’t stop smelling tons of mushrooms! I just wanted to pair every glass with food!
Yes, I feel like people always just think of it as an aperitif but it’s great with food too. Nothing beats a fino and a plate of jamon!