Intrigued by recent articles on Jancis Robinson’s excellent website, I decided to try Spanish sherries. I also thought they would be a good match for summery food, especially a pork pie recipe I had my eye on.

Here is the pork pie, which was rather time-consuming but fun to make, and also very good to eat.

Below the pie is a Piedra Luenga organic fino from Bodegas Robles (about 10 euros for 50cl at Lavinia). Although not technically a Sherry (it is made in a similar fashion and also in Andalucia), it provided an excellent match for the pie, as well as for paella and Ossau-Iraty cheese.

More recently, we also had the pleasure to sample this excellent dry amontillado sherry from Waitrose (about £9), smuggled by Ferret. It was really similar in taste to the Piedra Luenga (nutty aromas, savoury finish) and provided a good match for mushroom risotto and even sardines. We also tried it with cheddar, but the pairing was not as successful as others we have tried.

Maybe a Rivesaltes would have been a better match, like this 21 year old Rivesaltes from Domaine de Rancy, shown here in excellent company.

On the whole, I often find these little-known “fortified” wines provide excellent value for money, offering lingering, complex flavours.

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