Our selections of the best Sherry wines
Sherry wines are made in the south of Spain and have a marked Andalusian character, with friendly flavors and a wide variety of aromas. These wines are made in century-old wineries in the area of Puerto de Santa María, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez with Pedro Ximénez and Palomino grapes. In this article, we select some of the best Sherry wines so that you can choose the one you like best.
1. Noé Pedro Ximénez very old DO Jerez
Noé could be the best Sherry wine for those who enjoy aged wines. Born from the González Byass vineyards that enjoy mild temperatures and easterly winds all year round that enhance flowering. The harvest begins in August and the grapes undergo a “soleo” process, so that they are dried by the sun, causing the water to evaporate and increase the concentration of sugar.
This aging wine, with 30 years of Criadera and Solera, offers soft flavors, with a light acidity. In this sense, we can see a broth of ebony color and dense, with thick tears. On the nose, it has aromas of fig, coffee and sweet spices such as cinnamon. In the mouth it is very sweet and fresh, not at all cloying.
It is a sweet wine that pairs very well with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, as well as with desserts that have a medium or low sweetness.
2. Solera 1847 Cream wine DO Jerez
Solera 1847 was born in one of the largest wine producers in Jérez. Made with Palomino grapes that ripen in the sun of the Jerez lands, with long vegetative cycles, which produce a thick grape with a lot of sugar. Once harvested, they are pressed a little to create a “yolk must”, which is later mixed with the must from the Pedro Ximénez, to start the alcoholic fermentation.
Due to this production method, this could be the best Sherry wine of the moment. In the glass, it is a dark, mahogany-colored broth with reddish reflections, aromas of raisins, wood and vanilla. On the palate it is a delicate wine, with flavors reminiscent of figs, caramel and a toasted finish of dried fruit.
It should be served very cold, if possible in a tall sherry glass. It is ideal to accompany cheeses in the aperitif or for desserts with ice cream bases.
3. Croft Original Pale Cream Wine DO Sherry
The González Byass wineries are located in the Andalusian city of Jerez, in the heart of this Denomination of Origin. With more than 800 hectares of vineyards rooted on albariza soil, the best for Palomino and Pedro Ximénez grapes, as they give them unique properties, as well as a long vegetative cycle, which increases their sugar content.
González Byass is the winery behind “Tío Pepe”, which is considered by users to be the best Sherry brand. Croft is a different wine, light golden in color, with clean and bright reflections. It is very perfumed, with vibrant aromas, a mixture of floral and fruity tones. On the palate it is very fresh, sweet and with a long aftertaste.
This Sherry wine should be served cold, to accompany appetizers such as pâté, salmon or a smoked salad. It also pairs well with desserts, especially fruit.
4. Sherry Tio Pepe
Tío Pepe is one of the most iconic brands of Spanish wine. This fino, winner of the 2015 Mezquita de Oro awards, the gold medal at the 2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition and the Silver at the 2014 International Wine Challenge, could be the best sherry value for money.
It is a wine made from 100% Palomino Fino grapes from biological aging, which rests for a minimum of 4 years in American oak barrels following a traditional solera system. In this sense, it has a pale golden color, very elegant. On the nose it has sharp and delicate aromas, with hints of bread, almonds and floral notes. On the palate it is dry, fresh and long, with hints of nuts.
It is a wine that pairs with all kinds of desserts, also with appetizers such as pâtés, salmon or cured ham.
5. Pedro Ximenez Nectar DO Jerez de la Frontera Wine
Nectar could be the best option for lovers of Pedro Ximénez wine with a generous cut and who are wondering which sherry to buy. Work of the González Byass winery, one of the best producers of sweet wines in Spain. This broth is made with Pedro Ximénez grapes that are “soled” and pressed to obtain a thick must, with a lot of sugar, which is fortified until it reaches 15.5 degrees of alcohol.
Despite not being one of the cheapest options on the list, it is a high-quality wine, thanks to the American oak barrel solera system, which gives it unique organoleptic properties. It is a sweet, velvety and unctuous wine, with aromas of honey, raisins, figs and dates. On the palate it is very elegant, with notes of toast, coffee, chocolate and liquorice.
It is a sweet wine to pair with ice creams and desserts of medium or light sweetness. It also goes well with strong appetizers like pâté or salmon.
6. Oloroso Tradition VORS wine DO Jerez
Oloroso could be the answer for those who wonder what is the best sherry. Made in the Tradition wineries, it is one of their star products. It is an aromatic wine, the result of a selection of Palomino grape stocks, which goes through a Solera process of 30 years in oak barrels that give it a variety of unique aromas and flavors.
This Oloroso, made with Palomino grapes that never had a flower veil, thanks to the effect of the criaderas and soleras system, has a mahogany color with a coppery rim and amber reflections. On the nose it offers hints of nuts, toasted and balsamic notes, with a sweet and alcoholic finish. On the palate it is soft, with great harmony and a persistent aftertaste.
It is a sweet wine to pair with all kinds of desserts, dried fruits and also for unctuous appetizers such as pâté.
7. Cream Tradition YOU wine DO Jerez
This sweet wine made in the Tradición wineries could be one of the best Sherry wines of 2022, since it is the result of blending young Pedro Ximénez wines and dry wines. The mixture, once enhanced, ages for more than 20 years in oak barrels, which gives it a wide variety of flavors and aromas, which cause an intense and fresh sensation in the mouth, suitable for those who are not used to these wines.
It is a very original wine in all its aspects, with a Jerez-style bottle and amber-colored liquid, with notes of complex aromas that begin with dried fruit and open up to smoky tones typical of oak barrels. On the palate it is fresh, with flavors of raisins and stone fruit.
It is not one of the cheapest wines you will find, but it is a good option to pair with all kinds of desserts and appetizers.
8. Pedro Ximénez Tradition YOU wine DO Jerez
The Tradition wineries are dedicated to the aging and bottling of sweet Sherry wines. This Pedro Ximénez is a broth of great purity, the product of the manual selection of grapes that have been sun-dried (“soleadas”) to evaporate the water and increase the sugar. When dried, they are vinified following traditional procedures.
It is a very balanced wine, unctuous and with a sweet flavor, but not cloying. Dark mahogany in color with amber touches and a golden rim, which opens up to a range of aromas of raisins, figs and plums, ending with hints of black liquorice. On the palate it is dense and fatty, with flavors of chocolate, liquorice, coffee and caramel.
It is a suitable Sherry to accompany all kinds of desserts, especially with coulant-type chocolates. It is also ideal to accompany Christmas sweets, creamy desserts or Roquefort, Gorgonzola and goat cheeses.
9. Tio Pepe Tres Palmas Vintage 2017 DO Sherry Fine Wine
Product of the González Byass winery, Tres Palmas is the evolution of the fine Tío Pepe. It is an exclusive wine, extracted from barrel number 32, out of a total of 150 historical boots. Aging, following the traditional solera methods, lasts for 10 years, for which it obtains unique organoleptic properties, creating a very perfumed and balanced Sherry, which has earned it the status of the Best Generous Wine of 2018 according to the International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards.
This fine amontillado, once in the glass, is very bright, with shades of old gold and greenish reflections. On the nose it has a wide range of perfumes, among which oak and sharp and oxidative notes emerge. On the palate it is powerful and elegant, with a saline and creamy finish.
It is a very complex Sherry wine, which is used to pair with desserts, but also with fish dishes such as bluefin tuna, game meats and stew dishes.
10. Croft Twist Fino Wine DO Jerez
Croft Twist is a low alcohol content sparkling wine, produced by the González Byass winery to simulate the famous Andalusian “Rebujito”, which is a blend of Sherry and soft drink. In this sense, the mixture of Sherry made from Palomino and Pedro Ximénez grapes, with fresh water, elderflower, mint and lemon, becomes an ideal refreshment for hot afternoons.
It is a very light and refreshing sparkling wine. In the glass it has a very pale color, almost green, which opens up into a wide range of aromas with hints of flowers, citrus and mint. On the palate it is smooth, cheerful and pleasant.
It is a very fresh drink to serve and is suitable to accompany all kinds of appetizers, as well as to enjoy a mid-afternoon drink.
Origin and Use
Once our comparison of Sherry wines is finished, in which we have selected and analyzed some of the best sweet wines of this DO, we will explain a little more in depth everything that surrounds these wines. Next, we will talk about their origin, their best mixtures, as well as the best way to preserve them.
Sherry wines are the product of the presence in the south of the Iberian Peninsula of a great variety of cultures and diverse origins. For more than 3,000 years, Greeks, Phoenicians, Iberians, Muslims and Christians have all contributed a bit of their essence to these wines, which has caused the so-called “Marco de Jerez” to enjoy unique conditions that have helped shape the personality of these wines.
The first written note on Sherry wines dates back to the 1st century BC and is the work of Strabo, the Greek geographer, who explained that Sherry vines were brought from Asia, specifically from the region of Lebanon, by the Phoenicians, who built the first wineries in the area of Castillo de Doña Blanca a few kilometers from Jerez.
The Phoenicians settled in Jerez, which they called Xera and, from their presses and cellars, they began to create their first wines that they sold to Rome. In this way, the first Jerez wine already obtains its main characteristic, its endurance, which makes it an ideal wine to transport over long distances. With the Roman conquest of the region of Betica in 138 BC, this traveling wine reaches all corners of the Roman Empire.
At this time, Lucio Moderato Columela created the first guide on Sherry wine and laid the foundations for the aging of the Marco de Jerez vineyards. This guide details the types of soil and vines, the location of the vineyards, the tasks that must be carried out on them, as well as the ideal season of the year for planting and harvesting or the quality of the resulting must.
However, it is with the Muslim domination that these wines become what we know today. The Koran prohibits the production and consumption of wine, so the vineyards in the area let the grapes become raisins, which Muslim artisans used to make sweets, perfumes and ointments. In addition, the production of wines for medicinal purposes allowed the wineries to continue operating.
The success of these wines would come from 1625, when the English investments in Jerez helped to modernize the cellars and create the fine, sweet and unctuous wine that we know today. Since then, these wines have been the most demanded by maritime powers such as England, Holland and Portugal, which market them all over the world.
Now that we know the extensive history of these wines, we continue our guide to buying the best Sherry talking about cocktails and mixes. In this sense, the best known is the Rebujito, traditional in all Andalusian “fairs” and festivals. It is a mixture of Sherry wine, lemon lime soda and spearmint or mint leaves. The ingredients are all mixed in a pitcher with two parts of soft drink for each part of wine and a lot of ice, the mint is added and mixed well.
Another possible combination is “El Mejor de Jerez”, which is made by mixing sherry, Manzanilla-type wine and lemon juice in a mixing glass. Shake well, serve in a glass with lots of ice and decorate with lemon or orange slices.
Sherry, thanks to the fact that it is made with raisins and contains a lot of sugar, has a longer shelf life than normal wine. Regardless of how much it costs, it can be kept for up to 4 years after purchase, as long as the bottle is kept closed and well sealed. So that its properties are not lost, it should be stored in a place away from sunlight, with a constant temperature and without vibrations.
Once opened, even the cheapest sherry can keep for up to two years, provided it is stored as indicated above.
For every 100 grams of Sherry we find 10 grams of carbohydrates, 10 of sugar, fiber and vitamins B3, B9, B2 and B1. In addition, it contains neither fat nor protein and has a contribution of 127 calories.
Sherry wine usually contains between 15 and 16 degrees of alcohol, so you should not drive after consuming this wine. Also, those under the age of 18 should not drink alcohol.