Despite the tired clichés of grandmothers gulping down sherry while gawping at the Queen’s Speech, its a drink that is beautifully versatile and currently enjoying a moment in the winter sun thanks to the wise wine writers who have long championed it.
If you’re oblivious to the controversies over UK fishing rights, we would highly recommend this special Spanish sip with a fish hors d’oeuvre; the dry salty snap of a fino the perfect foil for a pre-dinner snack. A bottle of Tio Pepe (Waitrose, £10) in the fridge is fine way to counter the insistence on champagne.
Amontillado provides a step towards a fuller sherry: darker and richer than a fino, a little more robust, but still dry, Pedro Almacenista (Majestic Wine £10.79) balances a subtle smooth quality with a nice dry nut.
But at this time of year, it’s useful to take all the bitter tastes away with a sherry to sip and savour while you contemplate where Santa might be. So we suggest something sweeter to pair with the Quality Street, like Triana Pedro Ximinez (whiskyexchange.com £14.15).
This luscious liquid that proudly stands up to the chocolate nut sensation that is the ‘purple one’, and makes a fine alternative over the Christmas pudding.
So by all means give granny a glass of decent sherry to glug this Christmas, but don’t, whatever you do, allow her to keep the bottle to herself.
Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham are the Thinking Drinkers, award-winning writers and performers who will be hosting their comedy drinks tasting The Thinking Drinkers’ History of Alcohol at the Museum of Comedy in London from December 12-23. Each member of the audience sips five different drinks as the show explores alcohol’s influence on human history. Tickets and details here: www.thinkingdrinkers.com