While in Andalusia, it was of course easy and natural to drink a sherry here and there before our meals and in between and without food. The habit became to take the dry, light ones and not everywhere would the restaurants tell us what their housewine was. Too basic for them. (They would hardly say if it was Manzanilla or Sherry Fino...) And we did not really care. As long as it was good to our tastebuds.
Still. At one restaurant, it tasted best and that is where I insisted to see the bottle, when we returned for another couple of glasses. I can buy it (and already did) here in Sweden (like anywhere else, I guess) and this is it, my favorite Manzanilla:
Rainera Perez Marin, Spain
94 sek (ca 9.5o €)
Pale straw color. Perfect balance, to my taste. Light, dry, elegant, wonderful aromas of almonds, little yellow apple, yeast that also show on the palate, completed by this special little saltiness. Served chilled and just so, so good with the green olives, they will traditionally serve it with. But of course, it will fit the classical tapas plate and can be served to nice sallads and other lighter dishes, with fish, chicken, white meat.
This Manzanilla is world known and nothing new at all to the winelover. I am afraid, it is a mass-production product, with 12.000 bottles being filled in the hour. This is not the small little romantic bodega thing. And I am just falling for the average taste, I see. *sigh* But, what can I do?
La Guita, an old word for money, is the name of this brand since 1907, done by the winery Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Since 1985, the new owners have refined the style of the wine to suite the modern palate and since then the sales of this wine has been soaring. The bodegas cover some 64000 m2. Dimensions! (Info taken from the website.)
La Guita was not only best of the Manzanillas we had, but it pleases my tastebuds also more than these two Sherry Finos:
Gonzales Byass, Jerez, Spain
109 sek (ca 11 €)
Tio Pepe, another world famous brand, located in Jerez. Read about my visit, if you like. Also a giant.
This Sherry Fino also has the nice and typical almond aromas and flavours, little apple and yeast, but lacks the saltiness, which I like so much (and is special for Sanlucar de Barrameda). Compared to La Guita this one seems a little less well balanced, little 'thinner'.
And now, the wine connoisseurs are going to hit me, because, I like La Guita also more than this singel vineyard sherry:
Inocente Dry Sherry Fino
Valdespino, Jerez, Spain
59 sek for 375 ml (ca 6 €)
Pale color. The aromas more intense than with the other two wines above, again: almond, apply, yeasty, a touch earthyness (no salt). Expectation increases! But then, on the palate, it does not live up to it. It gets 'thin' (in relation to the nose), although the flavours are again the typical Fino ones. Nope, does not beat 'my' La Guita.
I will try more Finos and Manzanillas.