March 25, 2011 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

Sherry Tasting

Brian Quinn sets up the Tumblr page for Sherry. The Noble Rot will never be the same again.

5:22pm. Friday, March 25th. For this fabulous flog blog post, I am live jogging blogging from the event. It is 5:22pm and we are setting up for a wild night of Sherry Tasting and Sherry cocktail-ing. Brian Quinn has arranged for a live Tumblr page (www.thenoblerot.tumblr.com) for some interactive online engagement.

6:00pm. Mayur Subbarao, the evening’s bartender/mixologist and Kerin Auth from Tinto Fino are scheduled to arrive any minute. Christine Wells is cooking up a storm: gazpacho, white bean salad, pulled pork & sage polenta,

6:27pm. Kerin arrives with the Sherry and with Jeanette, a noble-assistant for the evening. EMERGENCY: The button broke off my tux jacket. #Panic. It will be mended…with #Sherry.

6:48pm. Mayur has arrived, and is setting up. He’s very late and we’re missing the Manzanilla he needs for the intro cocktail that people will be served when they walk in the door in 10 minutes. I have a back-up plan: stare out the window wishing I was in Disney Land.

Mayur! is stirring!

7:15pm. Guest begin to arrive. Turns out Mayur worked it out with a different Sherry, and as he only needed to batch Sherry and Gin, set up was less than 3 minutes.

7:30pm. Starting the podcast now. I smell danger in the air. The Sherry is making me Merry.

8:37pm. Several Sherry’s in. High ABV. My oh my. Damian Gutierrez shows up to tell me about his hair stylist who was deported. We should be on our last Sherry at this point, but we’re on our third out of five, but it’s seems to be okay—everyone is having fun.

11:17pm. Sherry baby, thank you Jerry Seinfeld. Who is Puff Daddy? I don’t know.

THE FOLLOWING DAY. 3:03PM.

Hello good readers. I’m recovered from our rather posh Sherry soiree. While a good three hours elapsed between my last two “live” posts it was all in the name of encouraging guests to learn a little something about Sherry—education takes time!

So, what did we learn? Well, for one, Sherry in its many forms is truly quite enjoyable. And in cocktails, it’s classic, even legendary. Sherry is a fortified wine that hails from the town of Jerez in Spain. And in all honesty, the wiki entry does a good concise job of explaining Sherry, so take a peek at it.

Mayur whipped up two cocktails:

REVERSE Martini Aperitif
2 oz of Manzanilla
1 oz Beefeater GIN
Stirred

Manhattan Special (Digestif)
1.5 Rye
1/4 Benedictine
3/4 PX Sherry
Orange Citrate
Orange Twist

And the Sherry’s we sampled were:

The Sherry’s!!!!!!!!! Photo by Brian Quinn.

  • La Gitana Manzanilla (very light in color, almost straw-green, light flavor and mouthfeel. Delightful afternoon in Barkley Square.) Food Pairing: fresh gazpacho with chorizo oil and grated almond.
  • Vina AB Amontillado (a bit on the verge of tan, nutty and good alcohol. Day sailing around Cape Town.) Food Pairing: white bean salad with chorizo, pecorino, arugula oil (pesto) served with beet chips.
  • Vides Palo Cortado Lustau Almacenista (moving on up to the darker side. The Lustau was like a midnight stroll through the streets of Yountville, CA. Opulent in it’s own after-glow.) Food Pairing: braised pork shoulder with sauce espagnole (riff on it) topped with crispy bacon, served on top of a crispy polenta cake.
  • El Maestro Sierra Oloroso (a big-daddy type-Sherry, a lot of drunks cried in their glass over this mother.) Food Pairing: crostini with gorgonzola with caramelized pear.
  • El Candado PX (You wanted it, you got it. Fig, nut, but oh so fit for a riled up game of bocci or fencing.) Paired With chocolate from our friend Daniel of Fine & Raw Chocolates—this was an outlandish finish.

The good news: there isn’t a massive difference in price between a great Sherry and an average Sherry. Top shelf will run you around $40. You can drop a total of $50-$100 and taste your way from young, lighter Sherry’s to full-bodied aged gems. Or you can spend $14 and have a blast with a great drink. Whatever you do, go to Tinto Fino (Lower East Side) if you live in New York, or if you’re visiting, and talk to Kerin Auth because she is a Sherry-genius and she will help you pick a Sherry that is right for you and for the occasion. She also knows a hell of a lot about it and you’d be wise to strike up conversation.

Thanks to all our collaborators.

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