Okay I’ve struggled with Sherry for some time. I love Spain and consider myself a wine aficionado, so I feel like I SHOULD like Sherry – it’s an acquired taste I’ve wanted to acquire for a while – but truth be told I’ve never really enjoyed a sherry before tasting Tio Pepe’s limited edition Fino en Rama.
I may have tried the odd glass of Sherry here and there at various Spanish bars but I’ve never been that impressed to go back and order a second glass until now…
To my great delight, Gonzalez Byass has celebrated 175 years of Sherry-making by releasing 175 cases of a special Sherry – Tio Pepe Fino en Rama. This Sherry totally rocked my world on Saturday, and changed my perception of how Sherry can taste and quite how moreish it can be.
At first I thought is was just the frosted glass, but this Sherry is slightly cloudy – designed that way as it has only undergone a light filtration to help retain bags of flavour.
Tio Pepe Fino En Rama really is dazzling. Superbly fresh yet savoury with nutty, mineral overtones and amazing complexity and length. It paired perfectly to the salt laiden dishes I was enjoying at PINCHITOtapas.
The Fino En Rama has been drawn off in Spring when the layer of flor covering the Sherry is at its thickest. And it has had minimal interference/treatment in order to preserve its complex flavours.
After a few glasses I thought I should compare the En Rama to the standard Tio Pepe, the waitress and barman thought I was bonkers – ‘you should have tried the standard one first’ they said, ‘it is going to taste bad AFTER you’ve enjoyed the En Rama’. So while it was a slightly unfortunate comparison in terms of timings and I could see a clear difference between the two, getting past my problems with Sherry did help me appreciate the standard Tio Pepe that little bit more, although admittedly I switched back to the En Rama for my final drink of the night.
I’m now intrigued to find some more Sherrys that will delight my palate in a similar way, first stop may have to be a Manzanilla en Rama if I can find one…
Below are a list of stockist for the Tio Pepe En Rama – enjoy hunting down a glass! Be quick though, being limited edition, there’s not much out there.
Iberica Food and Culture www.ibericalondon.com
Fino – www.finorestaurant.com
Barrafina – www.barafina.co.uk
Harvey Nichols – www.harveynichols.com
Fortnam & Mason www.fortnamandmason.com
Tanners – www.tanners-wines.co.uk
Flagship Wines – www.flagshipwines.co.uk
Cambridge Wine Merchants www.cambridgewine.com
I arrived back in Madrid, Spain last weekend after four long months away. I’ve collected a lot of stories on my travels