Inexpensive Spanish Sherry Wine

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Sherry is a fortified wine made in and around the town of Jerez in Spain. It traces its roots even as far as 1100 BC, when Jerez was a center of viniculture, through the Roman period beginning in 200 BC, and even through the Moorish period.

Sherries are usually inexpensive, which makes it a great wine of choice for those who are starting to learn about wines and wine tasting.

Here are some of the most affordable sherries.

Savory & James Amontillado – This Amontillado, which is a variety of sherry that has been aged first under a cap of flour yeast then exposed to oxygen, costs around $9. TThis extra fine sherry comes from select vineyards in the "Zone de Jerez Superior", the world’s finest area for sherry production. It is medium dry with a delicate color and aroma reminiscent of hazel nuts. It also has an especially pleasing taste that pairs beautifully well with hors d’ oeuvres, soups, salads, and cheese.

Don Pedro Romero Amontillado Dry Rich – This costs around $10. It exhibits an amber color along with plenty of roasted nut and citrus characteristics. Great for any time of day, as an aperitif during the morning or evening along with ham, cheese, olives, dried fruits, as well as game and in soups and rice.

Don Pedro Romero Dry Oloroso – Oloroso is a type of sherry that is aged oxidatively for a longer time than a fino or amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine. This costs around $10. Robert Parker gives this wine a score of 88 points, describing this as "full, rich, and heady."

Hartley & Gibson’s Imported Amontillado – Hartley & Gibson is the second largest sherry importer in the United States. This particular Amontillado is round, nutty, and medium-dry. This sherry costs around $11.

Alvear Fino – Fino is the driest and palest variety of sherry. This one costs around $12. It has subtle and very delicate aromas of fresh bread and almonds. Round but shapely, easygoing and fresh. Stephen Tanzer gives this Fino a score of 90 points.