Imbibe caught up with Beltrán Domecq, president of the CRDO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda, at yesterday’s Wines from Spain Annual Tasting to discuss sherry in the on-trade.
Is sherry a difficult category to educate sommeliers about?
‘The message we have to give for sherry is quite long and complicated. It’s technical. But just start by tasting it. The more you have it and like it, the more you fall in love with it – and will want to learn about it. The CRDO does a three-day intensive course for sommeliers, which then lets them teach others about it.’
How should the on-trade be serving sherry?
‘In the last six to eight years the CRDO has been working a lot on the fact that sherry should be served in a proper glass, always put in the fridge and consumed while eating. It hasn’t got to be Spanish food – l love sherry with smoked salmon or oysters, which you will find in many cuisines.’
How can the on-trade help to raise the profile of sherry in the UK?
‘In Spain we have been incredibly lucky because several of our top chefs have got behind sherry. They love it. So these top restaurants have an area of their wine list dedicated to sherry. We need to get the top guys in the UK to get behind sherry too.’
How can you get the younger generation of consumers interested in sherry?
‘I think cocktails are a great way to get people involved in the category. At the Feria de Jerez people drink rebujito – fino or manzanilla mixed with 7-Up or Sprite. Fino and manzanilla are great in cocktails with a lemony component. The flavours work really well together. We have to forget our orthodoxy and realise that there can be other ways.’