This verdict on Sherry Week has very little to do with tasting notes, and much more to do with the ramblings of my cricket team. We were together for a barbeque at the weekend, so I thought “all those people in one place? Be rude not to have a mass tasting!”
Sherry is a foody’s dream wine. It’s a bit weird though in that until you really get into Sherry, it’s nearly impossible to drink and enjoy without food. It’s not that it’s not nice stuff, it’s just that over the years we’ve got used to the idea of what we think a white wine (or a brown wine) should taste like. If you’ve spent your days drinking Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay then Sherry will smell and taste like nothing you’ve had before!!
There’s a line you hear quite a bit in wine marketing circles about Sherry’s big mistake. It let its drinkers die on them without replacing them. In the 1950s through to the 1980s it was one of the most popular drinks in the UK, and the UK has always been one of Sherry’s primary export markets. Now it’s struggling, so what happened?
Well sod it then. You can all feel a bit of my pain this week. I’m mad revising all about sherries and ports and all things fortified, so it’s all a bit too much like fate that this week’s letter was J!?! Jerez it is then!
I’d like to start this post by asking for help from people. How on God’s green earth do you cook an artichoke??? I popped it in the stew with the tomatoes, olive, and beef shin. I let it simmer away for a few hours, tried it, and it was like trying to eat wood chippings! Took longer to take all the pieces out of the ragu than it did to eat the thing itself!!
In my new line of trying not to get too smashed when I do these tastings, I’m trying just the one bottle this weekend. It’s going to be the TTD Primitivo from Sainsbury’s. This post then is about a food pairing with Primitivo.
Using IGT as a topic this week is obviously fairly open ended. Every wine producing region of Italy has an IGT (I think except Piemonte) so to ask what we’re expecting to taste is a bit of a funny one to answer. But you know what they say, ask a stupid question…
The thing about IGT is that it’s given the opportunity for growers across Italy to get out those local grapes, dust them off, and make some quality wine out of it. IGT is a regional thing, so you get IGT Campania, or IGT Toscana. Within those IGT’s though, certain grapes more than others have become little stars that we’re all loving to drink across the globe.
Wine labels, for most people, are a pain in the arse to look at. There’s so much information on them but none of it seems to mean anything to the majority of us. Terms like DOCG, DOC, or IGT, and that’s just in Italy! It’s just a long list of letters and numbers and doesn’t seem to be telling us anything.
We’re onto the letter I this week and I’ve decided to go for IGT. IGT is short hand for Indicazione Geografica Tipica. You guessed it, it’s Italian for something. It’s one of the regulatory levels for making wine in Italy.