Compare Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez styles of sherry.
Wine and food writer Paula Goddard's review: "As a present or just because you want to try and compare four different sherries, then this tasting pack is the one to buy. Because these are the four best sherries I’ve tasted ever. All taste fresh and nicely balanced, and all work equally well as an aperitif or matched to nuts and dried fruits. The oloroso sherry tastes of freshly hulled nuts. Expect long-lasting flavours of lemon butter from the amontillado, and hazelnut astringency from the fino. A fine collection."
Fino - Very dry, light-bodied Sherry that is straw-like in colour. The characteristic aromas associated with Finos are almonds. Typically, good Finos come in at about 15% alcohol by volume. Amazing with almonds, olives, ham, and chips and dips.
Amontillado - In between Fino and Oloroso in terms of colour and body. This sherry loses its flor during the aging process and yields deeper colour and a lovely nutty flavour. The characteristic aromas associated with Amontillados are hazelnuts. Great with oily fish and chicken dishes.
Oloroso - Dark in colour, rich in flavour. Olorosos typically have a remarkable walnut aroma and a swirled caramel flavour, making them a top pick for rich meats and flavourful cheeses (consider Manchego, a delicious Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk).
Pedro Ximenez - Intensely dark in colour and intensely sweet. Made only from the white grapes of the same name that, after harvesting, are left out in the sun to dry for at least two weeks. Ideal with desserts such as vanilla ice-cream and tarte Tatin and mince pies and Christmas pudding.
There is an old Andalusian adage about what to eat with sherry; if it swims, fino or manzanilla; if it flies, amontillado; and if it walks, oloroso. If those are not to your taste then nuts and dried fruits work well with all of them.
Ideal for a virtual wine tasting - see here for more details.
The above notes are from wine writer Stacy Slinkard. There is also a good video produced by the Vinos de Jerez - click here.