If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I’m still working on Chapter 11, Spain.
Studying has been quite the “journey.” Yes, I can read, but am I reading with understanding and more importantly, mastering the content? Almost every night after a long of day work, I find myself reading and then re-reading, taking notes, using the flashcard and testing applications on Quizlet, watching video tutorials and completing the workbook. It’s not easy and it has been a journey.
Studying wine also means tasting and that’s where the romantic journey begins! My finger traces over wine region maps, stopping at the places where I have yet to taste their wines. I begin by searching for indigenous grapes and try to find a single varietal and then a blend to taste and compare. I imagine what the soil feels like and the various climate conditions. It’s limitless and I’ve only just scratched the surface.
I have to admit that once I reached the Sherry section of Chapter 11, I closed the book and said to myself: let’s skip that part and just learn the facts enough to pass the test. Why? Because images of my mother and her British family popped into mind. Sherry was sipped after a Sunday dinner with family or poured into Trifle. I despised both. The drink smelled jammy and a sherry and custard soaked dessert was far from appealing!
As I tried to move on to Chapter 12, guilt set in. Why study enough to get by? This journey was to improve my knowledge and therefore I shouldn’t be taking a short cut. So I backtracked, beginning with this video which changed my outlook and commanded me to keep learning.
There’s more to Jerez (Sherry) than your grandmother’s (or in my case mother’s) drink. I’ve had a taste and now I’m on a plane looking for the perfect pairing. I’ll start with Manzanilla and Fino and move on to Oloroso, sticking to young and dry selections.
The Wine: Manzanilla (Chamomile) La Gitana – Bodegas La Gitana
Sherry (the English name for Jerez) is a fortified wine. I need to learn more before I even attempt to start writing about the aging process. However, if you’re curious I suggest you start here to learn about Fino Sherry and for more general information, here. You’ll be fascinated by Solera, Criadera and Flor.
Manzanilla La Gitana is made from Palomino Fino grapes. It has 15% alcohol and can be paired with seafood and tapas.
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana was founded in 1792. They offer a variety of tours where you can taste five wines directly from the barrels! Find more information here.
Cada paso que damos en la tierra nos lleva a un mundo nuevo. (Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world.) ~ Federico Garcia Lorca
Until next time, go for a long walk with a glass of Sherry in hand and let it lead you to some place new.
Special thanks to @WinebytheBay for the wine and education. You can purchase Manzanilla La Gitana at this link.