The Controversial Popularity of Sherry: Embrace or Reject it?

The Upheaval Surrounding Sherry’s Popularity: Embrace or Reject the Trend?

The Controversial Popularity of Sherry: Embrace or Reject it?


Sherry, a unique and historic wine with a long history, has been a subject of controversy in the world of wine enthusiasts. This fortified wine, known for its distinctive flavors and aging potential, has been a staple in the region of Jerez since 1,100 BC. However, its popularity has fluctuated over the years, leading to debates on whether to fully embrace or reject it. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this controversy and explore the different styles of Sherry, all while examining the factors that have shaped its reputation.

Sherry is a unique and historic wine with a long history

Sherry is not your typical wine. Its roots can be traced back thousands of years to the region of Jerez, where it first began its journey. The techniques used to produce Sherry have been refined over centuries, resulting in a wine that stands apart from the rest. Sherry’s unique flavor profile, ranging from dry and delicate to rich and concentrated, offers a diverse range of choices for wine connoisseurs.

Sherry production started in 1,100 BC in the region of Jerez

The history of Sherry production dates as far back as 1,100 BC in the region of Jerez, located in southern Spain. The perfect combination of climate, soil, and winemaking traditions in this area has contributed to the distinct character of Sherry. The production process involves aging the wine in barrels, allowing it to develop complexity and depth over time.

Sherry has a reputation for aging well and is typically transported in barrels

One of the reasons why Sherry holds a special place in the wine world is its exceptional aging potential. Sherry is often aged for extended periods, sometimes up to several decades, resulting in a wine that matures gracefully and develops unique flavors. During this aging process, Sherry is transported in barrels, which not only adds to its distinctive character but also influences its taste and aroma.

Sherry gets its name from the English market

Interestingly, Sherry gets its name from the English market, where it gained its reputation and popularity. The term “Sherry” is an Anglicization of the word “Jerez,” the name of the region in Spain where it is produced. As the demand for this unique wine grew in England, so did its recognition and influence worldwide.

Sherry used to be a source of national pride in Spain

Sherry holds a significant place in Spanish culture and history, being regarded as a source of national pride for many years. Its production and consumption were intertwined with Spanish traditions and celebrations, making it an integral part of the country’s heritage. However, as tastes evolved and new preferences emerged, Sherry’s popularity faced challenges.

There are different styles of Sherry, including fino and oloroso

Sherry comes in various styles, each offering its own distinct characteristics and flavors. Two popular styles are fino and oloroso. Fino Sherry is a light and fresh wine, with a delicate and crisp profile. On the other hand, oloroso Sherry is known for its richness and concentration, offering a more robust and nuttier taste. These different styles cater to a wide range of palates and preferences.

Sherry is fortified with alcohol and aged in old wooden casks

To achieve its unique qualities, Sherry goes through a process of fortification and aging. After fermentation, the wine is fortified with a neutral grape spirit, which increases its alcohol content. It is then aged in old wooden casks, known as “botas,” where it undergoes the transformation that gives it its characteristic flavor and complexity.

Tasting notes for different styles of Sherry: Tio Pepe Fino (light and fresh), Cortado Laara (concentrated and rich), Principe de Babao 30-year-old Amontillado (complex and nutty)

To truly understand the diverse range of flavors Sherry has to offer, let’s explore a few tasting notes for different styles of Sherry. Tio Pepe Fino, a renowned fino Sherry, is known for its light and fresh characteristics that make it a delightful aperitif. Cortado Laara, a concentrated and rich style of Sherry, presents a more intense flavor profile, making it a suitable choice to pair with savory dishes. Principe de Babao 30-year-old Amontillado, a complex and nutty Sherry, showcases the effects of extended aging, resulting in a truly exceptional wine.


The controversial popularity of Sherry continues to spark debates among wine enthusiasts. While some embrace its unique flavors, aging potential, and rich history, others remain divided in their appreciation for this distinctive wine. Despite this debate, the charm and complexity of Sherry cannot be denied. Whether you choose to embrace or reject it, Sherry remains an integral part of the wine world, offering a journey of flavors that is both intriguing and captivating.


  1. Is Sherry a sweet or dry wine?

    • Sherry comes in both sweet and dry styles, catering to different preferences.
  2. Can Sherry be aged for a long time like other wines?

    • Yes, Sherry has excellent aging potential and can be aged for several decades.
  3. How should Sherry be served?

    • Sherry is best served chilled and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various dishes.
  4. What is the difference between fino and oloroso Sherry?

    • Fino Sherry is light and fresh, while oloroso Sherry is richer and more concentrated in flavor.
  5. Are there any other unique styles of Sherry worth exploring?

    • Absolutely! Apart from fino and oloroso, there are other styles like amontillado and Palo Cortado that offer their own distinct characteristics.