Calgary's Top Wine Professionals Speak...

...about Sherry.

From Monday November 7 to Saturday Nov 12, we’ll pause at 5PM for a glass of Sherry, paired with a small tapas from one of your favourite Calgary restaurants. In honour of International Sherry Week and this local collaboration, Calgary's top wine professionals are here to share their love of this beautifully complex, fortified Spanish wine. 

Monday Nov 7 - Manzanilla (Una Takeaway)
Tuesday Nov 8 - Fino (Bar Von Der Fels)
Wednesday Nov 9 -dry Amontillado (Teatro)
Thursday Nov 10- medium -dry Amontillado (Ox & Angela)
Friday Nov 11- dry Palo Cortado (Charcut and Bar C)
Saturday Nov 12- -dry Oloroso (Cookbook Co. Cooks)

“I love Sherry because when Magellan was preparing to circumnavigate the world he spent more on Sherry than weapons. I love Sherry because she sounds like a kind, wise and loving middle-aged woman. I love Sherry because I can buy and consume something older than myself. I love sherry because it makes almost any food better. I love Sherry because I can taste and smell Manzanilla right now without any being near me. I love sherry because it makes my hands sticky.”

- Kurt da Silva, Teatro

“Sherry… sipping a good one will make you want to give up everything, move to Jerez and enjoy the local wine with tapas for the rest of your life.”

- Alanna Martineau, Wine-Ohs

“Since being introduced to what sherry actually is over a decade ago (versus the pink cream stuff I always thought it was as a kid), my life has been looking up. It’s the easiest way to wow your friends and family and parties without lighting fire to a cocktail; there is always a sherry for every food pairing and people pairing – dry to sweet. You can keep it open in the fridge for longer than most wine, it often comes in 375 mL bottles for drinking alone, if you order sherry in a restaurant you seem sophisticated and in-the-know, but you don’t have to worry about pronouncing it properly. Need I go on? Because I can.

This savoury wine is one of a kind and I’ve never met one I didn’t like or at least respect. Happy Sherry Week, baby, we’ve all come a long way.”

- Jayme MacFayden, BMeX Restaurant Group

“Sherry is fucking delicious and if you don’t like it you can go play with the idiots who don’t like Riesling.”

- Andrew Rowe, Our Daily Brett

“Sherry…it’s best inside you. Sitting on the shelf it does no one any good, especially not your insides. What your insides need is pure substance; substance that is nourishing and filled with history, emotion and deliciousness. Your insides need to be groped by the tentacles of variety and sherry has these tentacles. Think of sherry as a multi-flavoured octopus roaming around your guts caressing and loving your insides. You could of course shun this amorous cephalopod mollusc in lieu of the mundane factory bred amoebae that spew and slime the shelves of gas stations and warehouse factory direct outlets alike, but why when you have such options at your hands length? Why? Why not take the plunge and feed your body something extraordinary, something fantastic! Do not leave sherry to the shelves; you are only imprisoning your insides and forcing them to feed on the bowels of mediocrity… Free your insides! Buy sherry, drink sherry and celebrate sherry…it is the best thing you can do for your insides.”

- Brad Royale, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts

“Sherry-ing is caring… Sherry laybacks! Hahaha / sherry is CARING / Sherry bone marrow luges / MY SHERRY AMOUR.”

- Samantha Casuga, Native Tongues

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“The human tendency to fear and possibly despise that which is unfamiliar has not been commercially kind to the wines of Jerez. Our modern-day expectancy that white wine should taste like grapefruit and peaches and that red wine should taste like cherries and cocoa, and the wholesale rejection of anything different, is hindering the savoury tantalization of millions of mouths throughout the world. Lucky for us in the know, because it means that on a daily basis we can afford to enjoy sherry wines that should certainly outprice First Growth Bordeaux (it’s true – I’ll debate this with anybody, I don’t care who you are…). Sherry tastes like the wine of a unique and beautiful place and it’s the result of stalwartly traditional cellar practices. The aromas of good sherry can mercilessly conjure your earliest memories (I have even re-experienced my birth while sipping ancient amontillado) and the intricate nexus of spectral flavours can haunt you indefinitely. I shudder when I think of my life pre-sherry… It was the empty existence of a spiritual wayfarer… I am now complete and the only suffering I feel is when I think of the masses whose closed wine-minds impede their own transcendence.”

- Al Drinkle, Metrovino

“I have very few things in my life that I would consider obligatory, but one thing I’ve managed to do consistently is keep a good bottle of sherry in my fridge. It’s always there, life a faithful dog, ready to jump up on my lap and put a smile on my face. Sherry requires no thought, no pretence, it is simply there to please me and it does this job better than any other wine could hope to do.” 

- Kevin McLean, J. Webb Wine Merchant

“Fresh and salty, or stinky, yet strangely appealing, sherry suits all moods and foods.  It smells like the ocean and reminds me of sitting on the beach and watching the fishermen sell their wares in Cadiz, Spain. It is original and unlike any other wine, with its distinct aromatics and an incredible array of styles, everyone will find something to love.”

- Leslie Echino, Blink

Good Sherry is something anyone fascinated in gastronomy needs to try. It can add so many layers, and weave between so many flavors in dishes due to its extremely low acidity, but intense sharp flavors. In pairing wine with food, the balance of acidity is an important consideration, but it's that way of thinking which makes a lot of pairings similar and somewhat old fashioned. It's beautiful to use Sherry to 'cut' oils in food in a way which... doesn't traditionally cut like a blade, but rather like a laser during surgery.  

Josh Linvers, Q Haute Cuisine

“I have to say that Sherry (to borrow another's words) "perfumes my brain”. I don’t really know the magic carpet ride that opium might offer, but I am amply transported and spell-bound by the scent of Sherry!”

Richard Harvey, Metrovino