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Entries in Sherry (17)

Wednesday
Sep102014

Sherry Experiment: Part Two - Korean Food

 

Rey Fernando de Castilla Fino En Rama & Banchan at Kobawoo House

This week, our very own Joe Manekin of Redwood City graced us with his presence in Los Angeles.  In honor of his visit we decided to drink sherry! For a small corkage fee we were allowed to bring our sherry to Kobawoo, a Korean joint specializing in Bossam.  I was lucky enough to sit with not only Joe, but also Keith Mabry of the Hollywood store, Amy Atwood of Amy Atwood Selections and Alex Russan, importer of Alexander Jules sherry. The five of us set out to continue the sherry pairing experiment.  Korean food and sherry don’t seem like an obvious pairing, but we took on the challenge with a resounding, “Well, not sure if this is going to work but let’s see what happens.”

It worked. Reeeally well. Surprisingly well. We found another amazing pairing, Sherry and Banchan. Here’s the idea behind it:

Joe Manekin digging into our Jangban Guksoo (acorn noodle dish)Sherry is often drank alongside charcuterie plates which have items such as chorizo, jamón Serrano, green olives, and marinated peppers; all items created out of necessity of preservation. Thanks to Mr. Mabry, the original idea was to try sherry with Banchan, the side dishes that are served at the beginning of the meal. This includes things like kimchi, originally created as a method to preserve vegetables,  and various other items that are pickled, fermented, or cured.  The idea was genius. While Spanish charcuterie and Korean banchan couldn’t be more different, the basic idea of preserving food with these methods manages to create a perfect pairing for dry sherry.   Banchan also creates a similar atmosphere important to sherry and Spanish culture.  It is a few small plates to be shared, Korean tapas you could say.

The sherry:

Rey Fernando de Castilla Fino En Rama Jerez (375ml $21.99Rey Fernando de Castilla is an exceptional, small independent sherry house owned by a Norwegian who focuses on bottling high quality sherries.  His bottling of En Rama Fino is no exception.  En rama sherry is sherry that has been bottled straight from the barrel, unfined and unfiltered.  It’s often advised to drink en rama as quickly as possible to enjoy all of its fresh qualities.  But we decided to drink this en rama which was bottled last October, and is almost a year old at this point.  The incredible thing is it was still fresh and vibrant, but started to lose some of its pungency and was beginning to build some richness. I think this en rama could evolve quite nicely with age, and develop some interesting flavors.

Alex sporting his hand bottled Bodega Sánchez Romate FinoIn addition to the Rey Fernando en rama fino sherry, we also drank a very special bottle of Alex’s favorite barrel of fino from the solera at Bodega Sánchez Romate, hand bottled (himself) en rama. But it doesn’t stop there, Alex was gracious enough to bring a pretty rare bottle of manzanilla from Bodega Argüeso, needless to say, we had a lot of phenomenal sherry.  They all went went seamlessly with our Korean food.  There was no thought or effort, no grasping at strings to make the paring work somehow, someway; it just worked.  And not only with the Banchan, but also with our Jangban Guksoo, a dish made of acorn noodles and some red chili salad, Haemul Pajun, a seafood pancake which is sort of like the Korean version of a Spanish Tortilla but with seafood and a bit of pancake batter, and our Bossam which came with thinly sliced boiled pork, lettuce, daikon radish and a fermented fish paste.   The umami flavors in each of these Korean dishes complement sherry perfectly.  Spiciness is mellowed by the sherry, items that are fermented, cured, or pickled ( which existed in every dish ) provided a great component for the finos to mingle with.  Maybe there’s a scientific reason all these flavors went so well with our sherry or maybe it’s simply because I was surrounded by good company and lovers of sherry.  Try it out for yourself and decide. Regardless, sherry at the Kobawoo House was an unforgettable experience for me. 

Olivia Ragni

Wednesday
Aug272014

Sherry Experiment: Part One

My infatuation with sherry started a little over 4 years ago, at the ripe age of 21 when I was working in the service industry in Philadelphia. The owner/sommelier of the restaurant devoted one particular staff training session to sherry and only sherry.  I was sceptical at first, remembering sherry as a cooking ingredient rather than a drink.  After an introduction to the vast variety of sherry, some information about the solera system and a taste of oceanic Manzanilla, I was hooked. Last October, while I was living in Germany, my infatuation only grew stronger when my boyfriend and I took a trip to Andalucia.  Vibrant, lively, quaint little Jerez was our favorite stop on our tour of the region.

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Wednesday
Jul172013

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: 

By: Joe Manekin | Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings all,

Here it is, the email I've been waiting to send all year. We've waited, we've diligently peppered our suppliers' inboxes with special order requests, and now we finally get to enjoy the fruit of our labor with...EN RAMA-RAMA!

A Fino or Manzanilla bottled "en rama" is a minimally processed, freshly bottled Fino or Manzanilla, one that perfectly exhibits the traits we love in these wines: marked salinity, bracing citric qualities, "almendrado" or almondy flavors, and an unmatched complexity and intensity of flavor due to an extended, careful ageing under flor. If you've traveled to Jerez, Sanlucar, El Puerto, or even Sevilla or Cádiz, and want to relive your Sherry experience, there is no better style than Fino and Manzanilla en rama. And, if you simply want an introduction to the beauty of Sherry, I would also argue that there is nothing better than en rama bottlings.

I encourage you to try some or all of these, identify your favorites and buy what you want before they disappear until the next wave of en rama bottlings hit (which will likely not be until spring 2014).

2006 Alvear Fino en Rama (500ml) - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1116560

Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Fino En Rama Jerez de la Frontera - $20.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1089840

Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla en Rama - $29.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1136254

Valdespino "Deliciosa" Manzanilla en Rama (375ml) - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1133801

Finally, a brief note on when to drink these. Many people (including folks at some of these bodegas) encourage consumption within 4-6 months of the bottling date. Others, myself and Equipo Navazos included, respectfully disagree. I have found these wines can continue to develop complexity, soften and deepen in flavor with bottle age (2006 Alvear is a great example of this). It simply depends on the bottling and on your taste. Drink now for a delicious, citric driven salt bomb and/or stash a few away for what may turn into an equally stunning, very different expression.

Saludos,

Joe

 

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com