DISCOVER HOW XECO WINE TOOK SHERRY OUT OF YOUR GRANDMA'S CABINET AND MADE IT COOL AGAIN
Those of you who came to our London Fashion Week party in September will already be familiar with this brand re-inventing the way we drink sherry. On that evening it was with a dash of tonic and a lemon twist - a "She & T" if you will - and we had NO idea what we had been missing all our lives. We loved it so much that we are partnering with Xeco again, alongside Double Dutch for our upcoming Fuck Fast Fashion Presentations & Networking evening (Thursday 22nd Nov). On the evening we are shaking this up and rising up against the hugely damaging effects of fast fashion, and are so happy to have a equally disruptive alcohol partner! We can't wait to see what concoctions they have in store for us. Mr Porter discovers how sherry became cool again below...
HOW SHERRY BECAME HIP (AND HOW TO DRINK IT)
By Mr Richard Godwin, Author of the Spirits
In drinking, as in life, I am a man of broad tastes. But if I had to choose one kind of booze for the rest of my days, it would definitely be sherry.
Sherry does most of the things that you want wine to do. It warms, it revives, it loosens conversation and it goes wonderfully with food. A glass of chilled manzanilla is an excellent match for seafood. But I will raise you a nutty glass of amontillado with a juicy pink steak; or a slick of Pedro Ximenez with a slab of single-estate chocolate.
Equally, sherry, does most of the things you want spirits to do. See my recipes, below, if you don’t believe me.
Wine geeks have been banging on for years about how complex and versatile and hip sherry is. But secretly, most of us are quite pleased that it has remained unfashionable – sales have been falling since 1979 and halved in the UK between 2005 and 2015 – because it remains cheap. Improbably cheap for something so complex. Tio Pepe Fino, the most common style of fino – fresh, pert, bone-dry – is rarely more than £10 and it’s really good. And if you’re willing to shell out what you might spend on disappointing champagne or an indifferent burgundy, you can buy a truly spectacular 30-year-old gem from a tiny family bodega in the “Sherry Triangle”, ie, the area near Cadiz bordered by Jerez, Sanlucar and Puerto de Santa Maria.
Sherry, I have it on reliable authority, is about to become hip. Mr Mauricio González-Gordon, head of Gonzalez Byass (a leading sherry producer in Spain), recently declared that the era of pushing “volume” was over and the future of sherry lay in small, rare, premium producers: “We feel that consumers’ attitudes are changing,” he declared. Premium sherry is predicted by industry body IWSR to grow 18 per cent between 2016 and 2021.
“It is a fact of life that sales of sherry have been in decline,” says Mr Ben Howkin, sherry expert and advocate of new brand XECO (ie, dry), which is made by a family bodega in Jerez that’s been there since 1876. “It is also a fact of life that today, the largest, finest stocks of quality wines in Europe, if not the world, are to be found in bodegas in Jerez, Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar.” On a recent visit, he noted a “dynamic upswing” in confidence among the bodegas, too.
If you’re doubtful, I’d head straight for a dry amontillado. You’ll be rewarded with something rich and hazelnutty, with further notes of leather, tobacco, dried fruit, vanilla and oak. I like it with a couple of ice cubes. Oloroso is similar in style and equally good with food, especially pork and cheese; Berry Bros & Rudd, the oldest wine merchant in the world, make particularly fine house examples of both. Look out, too, for Amontillado Seco Napoleon Hidalgo (stocked by Majestic) which has an almost bourbon-like richness.
The “hipsters”, meanwhile, are wild for the drier en rama styles: fino and the saltier manzanilla, which are fresher, lower in alcohol (about 15 per cent) and best kept in the fridge and/or served over tons of ice. Fino is excellent with a splash of tonic. XECO’s fino is grassy and floral, with some of that yeasty, biscuity quality you find in champagne.
Then there are the sweet sherries: Pedro Ximenez is thick and viscose, like liquid Christmas pudding.
If you’re mixing, you can use sherry in place of pretty much any cocktail with vermouth in it. But it also works well as a substitute for whatever base spirit you’re using – try a dry amontillado in place of dark spirits like whiskey and fino in place of light spirits like gin. At 15 to 25 per cent ABV, sherry has all the flavour of a spirit without knocking you out so effectively.
Full Article HERE
Discover Xeco + Double Dutch at LDC's upcoming Fuck Fast Fashion Presentation + Networking evening this Thursday at our Anti-Black Friday concept store on Charing Cross Road. Get you last min tickets here!