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Sherry: not just for your granny

Darren Darcy from Volpe Nera offers some sherry pairing advice

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Once upon a time, sherry was a drink you poured only for your granny after Christmas dinner. But Darren Darcy, front of house manager at the newly-opened Volpe Nera restaurant in Blackrock in Co Dublin, reckons this particular drink has come in from the cold. 

“Its versatility and complex flavours are appealing to a whole new generation. The general rule for pairing food with sherry is if it swims go with fino, if it flies try an amontillado, and if it runs think oloroso,” he says.  “But I feel those rules are too general, as I find the versatility of the various styles of sherry to be great for a variety of different foods and cuisines. Here are some suggestions for you to try this Christmas.” 

Serve fino/manzanilla with bacon 

Typically paired with dry-aged salted Spanish jamon, the freshness and saline character of these wines works themselves particularly well with salted meats such as bacon, or a charcuterie plate. 

Try amontillado with roast turkey 

Amontillado works very well with roasted white meats, and its slight oxidative flavour and distinct savoury character make it an ideal match for roast turkey. Even if you happen to overcook your turkey, a nice chilled glass of amontillado will make it seem more succulent. 

Go for dry oloroso with roast goose  

Oloroso is a full-bodied sherry with a complexity of flavours creating an elegant dry finish. It’s meaty and savoury tones make it a great pairing for goose because of the meat’s rich strong flavour and high fat content. 

Finish with a Px with your pudding  

Px is a rich, luscious and heavily-concentrated sweet sherry with flavours of dried fruits, nuts and spice. This sherry will work really well with Christmas pudding and can also be used as an alternative to brandy in your pudding.