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Sherry: Maligned, Misunderstood, Magnificent!

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by Ben Howkins
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According to UK-based port and sherry expert Ben Howkins, sherry is a happy drinkdiverse, fulfilling, and back in style! In this single-subject deep dive he shares a personal take on how after a decline in popularity, this Spanish wine is making a comeback in modern times. 

He brings us into the 1960s and '70s when sherry consumption was in its heyday and wine connoisseurs flocked to Spain: “Tutors and dons, vicars and grannies all broke social ice by uttering the immortal words: ‘Would you like a glass of sherry?’"

Howkins first offers readers an understanding of sherry’s centuries-old history, and the Pagos, or wine districts, within Spain’s ‘Sherry Triangle’. He also covers how classic barrel-aging systems (soleras) are vital to developing the six main styles and four basic tastes found in sherry.

In a tale of buyouts, dilution, and ponzi schemes we meet José Maria Ruiz-Mateos—the man responsible for the devastation of Spain’s sherry trade. Later chapters focus on factors influencing sherry’s comeback: its connection to Flamenco, pop-culture references, and renewed interest in Spanish cuisine and tapas. We also hear directly from 50 distinguished wine professionals in the region today. 

This is a publication of The Académie du Vin Library, founded by British wine expert Stephen Spurrier and friends.

Flexibound. Color photographs throughout. 

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