Halloween is fast approaching and it’s going to be time to raid your kids candy. If you are an empty nester like myself, well, you buy candy you like, try not to eat it all before it’s time to hand it out and hope for leftovers. As you sit there eating that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup you might want to think about a nice glass of sherry to pair with it.
Let’s Talk Sherry
What is Sherry? First thing that may come to mind is you cook with it. Yes, but there is much more to sherry than cooking.
Sherry is produced in three towns in Southern Spain known as the “Sherry Triangle.”
- Jerez de la Fontera
- Sanlucar de Barrameda
- El Puerto de Santa Maria
Sherry is made using the solera process. This is where they fill the bottle with sherry on the bottom of the cask. This allows for the new sherry to be poured into the top. The finish product, what is in the bottle is a mixture from all years. With every sip there is history.
Sherry is made from green grapes only and fortified with grape spirit.
- Pedro Ximenez (PX)
Sherry is made from 90% of the Palomino grape. Most Sherries are non vintage. Only an Oloroso Sherry can be vintage.
There are 5 types of Sherry.
- Pal Cortado
Let’s Get Pairing – Bring on the Sherry and the Candy!
We got all kinds of Halloween candy, some that are my favorites and some that I would never touch. You have to try it all, because you just never know when the right pairing will light up your palate.
First we tasted each of the three Sherries on their own so we can see their expressions. Then we moved onto the candy and the cherry. We samples 11 different Halloween candies with the three Sherries. Sometimes the Sherry overpowered the candy. Sometimes the ingredients in the candy overpowered the Sherry and some integrated very well.
Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso – Light golden in color, this Sherry made from 100% Palomino has a sweet nuttiness aroma of hazelnuts and spice with a palate that has hints of truffle and vanilla.
Pair with Almond Joy. Although I don’t like coconut, one bite of Almond Joy with Alfonso and it diminishes the leathery flavor and paired really will
Whoppers – once we got through the childproof wrapper, the candy brings out the nuttiness in the Sherry
Butterfinger – the butter blends in really nicely and makes the truffle sand out
100 Grand was the best pairing for me. It toned down the truffle and nuttiness, yet the chocolate and caramel mix right in with the Sherry, smooths it out and gives it a fantastic finish.
Gonzalez Byass Nectar – Dark coffee in color made with 100% Pedro Ximenez speaks aromas of honey and prunes which will turn that dark coffee look to prune juice. The palate speaks figs and prunes, honey and a hint of maple syrup
Whoppers – the chocolate and caramel blended nicely together
Butterfinger – the buttery flavor blended nice with the Sherry and toned down the strong prune and fig flavors
100 Grand – This candy bar brought a creaminess to the Sherry, toned down the prunes but brought out the dates and honey,
Harveys Bristol Cream – Nothing about Cream in this Sherry. It’s a blend of Oloroso, PX, Fino and Amontillado aged for an average of 7 years. Medium golden in color this Sherry the grapes are 80% Palomino and 20% Pedro Ximenez. Fresh aromas of raisins, caramel and dark maple syrup lead to a nice creamy smooth palate with orange marmalade and finishes with hazlenut.
Hersey Bar – simple as it is, the chocolate and creaminess of the bar paired very well with the Sherry.
Butterfinger – buttery flavor blends well with the Sherry. Make the Sherry feel creamy on the palate
Kit Kat – Who doesn’t like Kit Kats. This brings out the fruitiness in the Sherry
Tootsie Roll – who knew- this little piece of taffy mixes nicely with the Sherry and the flavors of the Sherry just explode in your mouth. Just make sure your fillings are still there when you are done eating and drinking.
Whether you purchase the Halloween candy for yourself, to give out or raid your child’s grab a bottle of Sherry and see what your great pairings are.