The world of Sherry with culinary adventurer Annie B - When in Spain Episode 80

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

This week I've got a great guest for you Spain lovers – I'm going to be chatting all about that famous Spanish wine, Sherry with Annie Manson – aka Annie B!

Listen to this episode free on the player below or on your favourite podcast app.

Annie is a foodie, food writer, Sherry expert and qualified Sherry educator. Annie who hails from Scotland, ran her own successful catering and corporate hospitality company in London for 15 years before falling for, and deciding to stay in the beautiful white-washed Adaluz town Vejer.

Annie B with glass of sherry
Annie B

Annie runs Annie B´s Spanish Kitchen, where she cooks out of Casa Alegre, her home and the official centre for Peña Gastronómica de Vejer – The Gourmet Association of Vejer.  There, she runs culinary adventures – cooking courses using local ingredients. She also hosts food tours across Andalucía and as far away as Morocco and Menorca. But her true passion is sherry which she shares through her expert Sherry tastings.

"If it swims: Fino and Manzanilla.

If it flies: Amontillado.

If it runs: Oloroso."

Cooking class at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen
Cooking class at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen

Annie is going to run us through the history of sherry, a fascinating connection between sherry and Scottish whisky, the different varieties available, the famous Sherry triangle, home to the three cities where sherry is produced and the production process.

Tio Pepe

Stay tuned to the end of the episode to hear Annie share food pairing inspiration and her favourite bodegas and bars to visit along with some practical advice for visiting bodegas and drinking sherry. (Listed below)

Osborne bull
The famous and ubiquitous Osborne bull

Bodega La Gitana
Bodega La Gitana

Types of Sherry by Annie B

Fino de Jerez – the driest and youngest of all Sherries (3-5 years old). The newly pressed wine is fortified up to 15% where a layer of protective yeast forms within the 3/4 filled barrels. This layer of yeast not only protects the wine from becoming oxidized, it also eats all the sugar in the wine, hence the bone dryness. Whoever was the first person to look into a Sherry barrel to see a huge layer of FLOR covering the Sherry, thinking ‘’that looks yummy, I think I’ll taste it’’ deserves to be sanctified!

Manzanilla – not to be confused with Chamomile tea! Again a young and bone dry Fino but Manzanilla is from Sanlúcar – and nowhere else. Fino only come from Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

Amontillado – Starts off as a Fino or Manzanilla for 3/5 years and is then fortified up to 18% and receives further oxidative ageing in barrel before bottling. It’s the air that gives Amontillado its brown tinge.

Oloroso – The wine from the second pressing is immediately fortified to 18% and then entered into barrels where it remains exposed to the oxygen as long as +40 years.

Palo Cortado – This is my favourite Sherry. You can’t make it – it just happens. It starts its life as a Fino/Manzanilla but inexplicably loses its layer of flor and, as a result, is exposed to the air thus requiring further fortification. It becomes an oxidized wine with the richness of Oloroso but the crispness of Amontillado.

Cream Sherry – A typical Cream Sherry is a blend of Oloroso and PX Sherries. Croft Original is made for the British market and is a blend of Fino and Sweet Moscatel.

Pedro Ximenez (PX) – The sweetest of all Sherries, the green PX grape is left to dry in the sun after picking where its juices concentrate before pressing.

Sherry and olives in Vejer
Sherry and olives in Vejer

Find out more about Annie and her Spanish Kitchen here:

Annie B Annie and her Spanish Kitchen on Instagram

Bodegas & bars Annie mentioned in the episode:


Tabanco San Pablo

Tabanco Banderillas

El Puerto de Santa María

Bodegas Obregon

Sanlúcar de Barrameda

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