Sherry Wine Tasting at Bodega Pedro Romero



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She was a really tasty Mother – distinctly dry on the tongue and with a sea-salty after-taste. I’m referring to the ‘Madre’ of the dry Manzanilla sherry, which we had the good fortune to taste on one of our Epicurus course days. The ‘Madre’ is not something you can buy, and it’s not meant to be consumed as such. Although the grapes used in Manzanilla are the same for the different sherry wineries, the Madre is the essence, and it is different for each winery. It’s what makes the Sherry so distinct from one brand to another.


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One of the qualities that make Sherry so prized is that its maturing process takes place in warehouses oriented seawards, so that the westerly sea breeze fills the rooms, helping to keep the barrels cool. The same breeze feeds the yeast layer, the ‘Velo de Flor’ which also makes the magic and transforms grape juice into delicious wines. That subtle salty aftertaste is also a result of the sea air.

These ‘sherry temples’ have produced such fine wines since before the Romans. We had of course done a bit of homework for our course, aptly called ‘Epicurus‘ – named after the philosopher who believed in both pleasure and knowledge. To partake in a bit of both these things, we had selected a winery in Sanlúcar de Barrameda on a personal recommendation, partly because we were interested in the dry Manzanilla produced there, as well as the sweeter sherries, and we were curious about the process of these fine wines – in Jerez they simply call it ‘Fino’.

Our curiosity took us to the Pedro Romero winery in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, which along with Jerez (synonymous with Sherry) and El Puerto de Santa Maria constitutes the Sherry Triangle as the English like to call it. Pedro Romero is located at the mouth of the Spanish ‘Rio Grande’ or Guadalquivir, as the Arabs baptized it.


A sherry bottle pouring wine in two glasses.
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Sonia, a distant descendant of the northern Spaniard and founder Don Pedro, welcomed us warmly upon arrival. With her charms and a little help of the wines that we were given to taste, our hearts were conquered. We particularly enjoyed the dry ‘Manzanilla’ and the sweeter ‘Oloroso’ – this particular rare sherry was deliciously fragrant, with an aroma and aftertaste of orange, and recieved an unanimous thumbs-up from the group.


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For more info on Sherry follow this link to the Council Regulator Office of Jerez Wine
http://www.sherry.org/en/default.cfm?lang=en

or this one to the Pedro Romero Bodega
http://www.pedroromero.es/opciones.htm

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