‘We need top guys in the UK to get behind sherry’, says Consejo president

Drinks: Sherry
Location: England, Spain
Other: People

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.fotoBeltranDomecqvenencia

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.’

About Author

Julie Sheppard

Julie Sheppard has worked as a food and wine journalist for the past 15 years. She has written for a range of key UK and international specialist drinks publications including Wine International, Harpers, HOT and The Drinks Business. She has also written about wine, spirits, bars and restaurants for consumer magazines such as Time Out, Waitrose Food Illustrated and national newspapers including The Sunday Times. For two years Julie worked as editor of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book and was also senior editor of Mitchell Beazley's Classic Wine Library series. She is currently managing editor of Imbibe and imbibe.com, and contributing editor for UK restaurant and bar guide Square Meal, squaremeal.co.uk, and lifestyle magazine Square Meal Lifestyle.

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