The rise of sherry during lockdowns

International Sherry Week kicks off in Australia on November 8, with celebrations planned around the country.

Sherry has been a lockdown winner around the world during lockdowns, tapping into the premiumisation of the wine market. It’s been a hit with people looking to try new flavours they may not have seen before and has also re-engaged with experienced consumers who are looking for a versatile, interesting wine alternative.

In the 12 months to August 2021, growth has been +21.38% in litres for sherry globally, while in Australia it has been + 41% in litres. Keeping in mind that this phenomenal increase is against a background of supply chain interruptions, it’s even more impressive.

The name “sherry” is derived from the Moorish name of the town of Jerez de la Frontera, which was ‘Sherish’, in the 8th Century. Production is mostly been centred around the region between the southern Andalusian cities of Jerez, Puerto El Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda (the ‘Sherry Triangle’). The dominant grape varietal is Palomino, and to signify quality and authenticity to style, only wines made within this triangle can be called ‘Sherry’.

The fortified white wine runs the gamut from bone-dry clean finishes to sweeter styles.

As Ben Dalton at WineCurious notes: “Imagine a style of wine that you could enjoy with oysters like Champagne, or matches a plate of fried sardines or any other seafood like a dry white wine. What about a wine that could effortlessly pair with BBQ vegetables like a good quality dry Rose can?

“OK, I hear what you’re saying – surely this family of wines can’t also complement roast white meat such as pork or chicken? You bet they can, just like they can stand up to the exotic flavours of game dishes and strong sauces that go with dark meat. But what about desserts or chocolate? No problem – there is a style that can match and enhance these dishes as well. So what is this super family of wine? – Sherries!

Now in its 8th year, International Sherry Week (ISW) is a successful global initiative started by Chelsea Anton, an Australian living in Spain. Click here to find sherry events in your area.

Keen to learn more about the rise of sherry? ISW is organising a Zoom tasting and discussion seminar with The Spanish Acquisition on the changes going down right now in Sherry Town, called “El Marco: Then, Now and Future”.

It will be held on Thursday, November 11, at 7pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. The seminar will discuss the view of sherry over the past 50 years; the re-introduction of ideas, practises and wines lost to the region; and what’s next for the wine. César Saldaña, the Consejo Regulador of the twin DOs of el Marco will join the discussion, alongside a significant young producer from the village of Chiclana in Jerez, Primi Collantes.

There are various ways to participate in this event, with tasting packs, just with access to the Zoom conversation, or receiving a recording and watching in retrospect. Email for more information.

The tasting pack for trade and retail customers can be ordered by contacting Nicola, with a cut off date of Monday, November 8. The pack includes:

NV Delgado Zuleta ‘La Goya’ Manzanilla
NV Gutierrez Colosia Fino del Puerto
NV Bodegas Luis Perez ‘Caberrubia’ Fino en
NV Primi Collantes ‘Ceballos’ Fino de Chiclana
2019 Primi Collantes ‘Matalían’ Palomino
2019 Primi Collantes ‘Socaire’ VDP

It’s not too late for venues to get involved in International Sherry Week. Click here for more information.

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Categories: Lifestyle