Did you know that sherry enjoys location name protection just like champagne, port, and bordeaux? Authentic sherry must be produced in Andalucia, Spain. For this reason Spice Route’s latest launch, Amos Block Perpetual Reserve can’t technically be called a sherry. But, it is produced just like a traditional sherry! And more precisely, it’s made in the original “fino” style, meaning that it’s pale in colour, and dry in character.
As South Africans, we’re pretty unfamiliar with the complexities of sherry. In fact, Sedgwick’s Old Brown is probably as far as our “sherry” experience goes. And while OB has its place, perhaps around the campfire to warm you from the inside out, it’s overly sweet and not very nuanced.
Spice Route Wines hosted a few members of the media last week to launch its Amos Block Perpetual Reserve, where winemaker Charl du Plessis gave us a bit of sherry 101. We were intrigued to hear that sherry is super big in Europe; particularly in its country of origin, Spain, where sherry bars line cobbled streets, and patrons pop in for pretty tapas plates.
In this very spirit, we were hosted at No Reservations on Bree, which could easily pass as an authentic Spanish sherry bar. We were encouraged to sip on the Perpetual Reserve whilst simultaneously indulging in sumptuous small plates made in the Chef’s Warehouse kitchen next door. The entire experience was a delightful shift in perspective, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Perpetual Reserve’s well-balanced tart, dry, and subtly sweet characteristics in combination with the salty charcuterie, creamy cheeses, and luxurious chicken liver parfaits on offer.
Head bartender of The House of Machines, Marshall Siavash, also spoke to us about his love of using sherry in cocktails, and also encouraged us to try sherry in coffee! We’re excited to see if the sherry trend will catch on in South Africa. Either way, you’ll find us huddled over a bottle of Amos Block Perpetual Reserve, and a plate of snackish pickings all winter long.
Spice Route Amos Block Perpetual Reserve is available exclusively through the Spice Route Tasting Room, Paarl. Only 300 bottles made at R450 a bottle. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.