My sherry amour, lovely as a summer day…
Funny that it actually was a summer day when I stepped into Mockingbird Hill to taste a bit of sherry.
Mockingbird Hill is a new Sherry bar opened by the famous Derek Brown (of Passenger/Columbia Room fame). He opened this bar due to the love he and his wife share for Sherry (pun intended). They carry over 50 sherrys in this cute little Shaw neighborhood bar. Derek knows that people are pretty unfamiliar with sherry, or think it’s their grandmother’s drink. He and his wife hope to change that myth with Mockingbird Hill. And in that vein, every Tuesday at 5pm he’ll hold a free sherry class to educate the masses on the joys of sherry. Tuesday was the first class and of course, I was there.
Now I will admit I was hesitant to attend at first because with all the buzz about this new bar, I didn’t want to be crowded. Selfish I know, cuz I know Derek wouldn’t necessarily mind if we were standing on top of each other. But alas, I was worried for naught. I was actually one of the first people there, like before the doors opened. Derek opened the door and welcomed us in like we were walking into his home. Since the class starts at 5 and the bar opens at 5, we waited til about 5:12 to start in case of any stragglers. There were some anyway ;-) No worries, there was plenty of sherry to go around.
Some Sherry Basics
- Sherry is from Jerez., Spain
- Sherry is made from the Palomino grape
- Sherry has been around about 300 years
- There is one Sherry producer in America (they don’t call it sherry though, you know how the EU is about names, places, etc)
- The grapes are first fermented into wine and then fortified
- The key to sherry is the flor that forms on the top during aging and the solera that it’s aged and blended in
- Sherry is aged in barrels that average around 40 years old
Pale yellow in color. Oyster shells and chamomile on the palate. Also a bit salty. Paired with olives, this sherry came alive! Also great with seafood.
Golden brown in color. Tastes of caramel and wood oils with a nutty finish. I ate olives with this too and enjoyed it. This actually ended up being my favorite of the entire tasting.
If flor doesn’t naturally develop in sherry, it’s fortified to 18-20% alcohol so it absolutely won’t develop. And that gives you Oloroso sherry.
Golden brown in color. Sweet and thick, almost like syrup. Rich flavors of honey, caramel, dates and figs on the palate. Paired with walnuts, the sherry didn’t seem as thick and heavy but still sweet. Then they brought out raspberries to try with the sherry as well. Listen here, i was already a sherry convert. But this was so pleasant! And I’m not really a heavy dessert wine type of girl. 2013 is just changing my wine game up all together. I’ve already had (and enjoyed) Port, Madeira and now Sherry. What’s next?? I could see pouring this over ice cream. Adult milkshake perhaps? But I digress.
Will I go back here again? Yes, they have a ham class on Wednesdays.
But in all seriousness, with different classes each Tuesday and all those sherrys to taste, that’s like a year’s worth of blogging!! Okay, so clearly I won’t get to them all, but I will definitely have fun trying them and blogging about them.