Having had our Sherry and Tapas tasting in Heswall last month, and with our Sherry tasting on the way in Frodsham this week, we thought it was time to talk a little bit about this under-appreciated star of the wine world. If we say "Sherry" to you what do you picture? The sticky bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream hidden at the back of the cupboard and only brought out for Granny at Christmas? Well the world of sherry goes far beyond this old staple. There are a plethora of styles ranging from bone dry to sickly sweet and there is a variety of sherry to go with almost every type of food. Here will give you a little introduction to the world of sherry and a few basic rules as to how to enjoy it to its fullest! What is it and where does it come from? Sherry is a fortified wine produced in the Jerez region of southern Spain, where temperatures regularly exceed 40°C in the summer, but are tempered by cooler Atlantic breezes. Soils in this region are chalky and lend themselves to the production of sherry. There are three types of grapes authorised for sherry production - Palomino (predominantly), Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez. The last two are primarily used for sweetness. How should you drink it? As a general rule, the drier the sherry, the more important it is to have it with food. If you are trying sherry for the first time make sure you have something to snack on alongside it, even just some olives or nuts. Dry sherry goes well with anything salty whilst sweeter sherry will go better with sweeter dishes. The variety of styles makes sherry the perfect accompaniment to tapas as you can have a small glass to suit each of the different dishes. Drier sherries are best served chilled whilst sweeter sherries can be served at room temperatures (although we preferred them all slightly chilled). What's dry and what's sweet? The main varieties of sherry from dry to sweet are: Manzanilla Fino Amontillado Oloroso PX Matching tapas with Sherry As we said before, sherry goes perfectly with tapas dishes as you can have a different sherry to suit each dish. Manzanilla sherry goes well will salty dishes such as boquerones (anchovies in vinegar and sunflower oil) or even just some salted almonds. It also pair wells with shellfish. Fino is a good match for fish and tomato based dishes. Amontillado works well with chicken dishes and asparagus. With Oloroso you want something meatier, sobrasada (spreadable chorizo) on toasted bread goes really well with this sherry, or you could even pair it with a nice juicy burger. PX sherry is very sweet so works well with blue cheese, we love it alongside Perl las blue cheese with walnuts and honey. It can also be served poured over vanilla ice cream. If you want a simple rule of thumb, if it swims pair it with Fino, if it flies pair it with Amontillado, and if it runs pair it with Oloroso! We stock a variety of sherries in our stores and online, including all the varieties mentioned above. We also stock a fantastic range of Spanish food if you fancy a delicious sherry and tapas night of your own! Take me to the sherry > Don't forget, all our sherries are available to buy online and can be incorporated into fantastic hampers in our create your own hamper section!