Compare Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez styles of sherry.
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.
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. The intense raisin flavours of Pedro Ximenez mean that it will complement any chocolate dish but also fruit mince pies and it makes a great summer dessert by pouring a tot over vanilla ice-cream. The sweet and sour combination of PX and a strong blue cheese also works well.
Sherry week have produced several good bits of collateral that you can print at home
A tasting mat for four glasses to ensure that you don't get the wines mixed up - please click here.
Notes about the different types of sherries, how they are made and what to pair them with - please click here
We have not included our Manzanilla because it is similar to the Fino sherry; but it is well worth trying.