In search of the perfect sherry
Sylvia McKeown recently tried road-tripping across the south of Spain in search of the ultimate fortified wine. Well, sort of
Finally we pulled into Jerez de la Frontera, the heart of Spanish sherry country. Literally, Jerez means sherry. We had driven there from Seville, after a morning spent traversing the streets in the rain buying scarves, visiting a countess’s garden and spending some time under the Metropol Parasol, a giant mushroom-like wooden canopy that I had been obsessed with since it was erected in 2011. But the whole reason I had rented a tiny Fiat 500 to begin with, was so that we could get to Jerez and go on a sherry road trip. Sherry — for those who weren’t lucky enough to drink with their grandmothers — is a fortified wine; technically a concoction of fermented white grapes, sugar and yeast and a grape brandy called destilado. Your interactions with the liquor may have been limited to brushes with Sedgwick’s Old Brown at art exhibitions and opera events in Pretoria (I speak from experience here) but sherry actually has its roots firmly set in the Spanish countryside. In fact, if it’s not g...