Whether it's an aperitif, a cheese pairing or the perfect accompaniment to your tapas, a glass of fortified wine will add a fist full of flavour to your life.
What is fortified wine? We're talking about Sherry, Port, Vermouth, and Madeira to name but a few, all have one thing in common, they have the added ingredient of a distilled spirit to increase the alcohol content, therefore "fortifying" or strengthening it. However, different regions and styles have very specific regulations enforced within this category. For instance, you cannot use the name Sherry if it's made outside of the region of Jerez. Jerez indeed means Sherry in Spanish so it couldn't be clearer!
In recent years Vermouth has made its aromatic presence felt amongst the bars and drinking clubs of London, as an inventive ingredient in cocktails or drunk long over ice with a slice of orange or an olive, in true Spanish style. Long gone are the days of associating vermouth with the old Cinzano or Martini ads, on the contrary, the huge range of vermouth that can now be found is fascinatingly flavoursome.
Made primarily with a white wine base, and infused with botanicals, sometimes over 11 or 12 varieties, to give an almost medicinal quality to the wines. Vermouth has been around for a very long time and was used in Greek times by Hippocrates, who was known to have several different types of vermouth that he would prescribe for different ailments. Even the Sumerians, pretty much all of the ancient people who were making wine were in some way adulterating their wine and aromatizing it."
We have two vermouths available at The Tapas Room, both from Galicia's St Petroni, an artisan, small-batch producer of exquisite, craft vermouths. Based in Galicia and using Albarino wines as the base for their vermouths. The distinctive bottles are inspired by Salvador Dalí and handmade from porcelain.
Dark red hue with highlights of copper, this vermut awakens in the mouth a perfect combination between sweetness, acidity and bitterness. The nose has sweet fruity notes along with pastry, which are mixed with light spices and balsamic.
It has great length and complexity on the palate.
Deliciously expressive on the nose with notes of lemon peel and rosemary leads onto an extremely complex palate. The hints of sweetness are balanced by gentle bitterness creating a refreshing and moreish drink.
Discovering sherry is a journey well worth taking, with preconceptions being thrown out of the window. The range of sherry is broad and complex, not only due to the very specific production process but the depth of flavours and characteristics is sophisticated and intense.
Sherry doesn't really exist until it enters the Solera ageing system. Solera ageing gradually moves portions of the starting sherry into successive barrels, so that the average age in each cask is older than the last, while the barrels are never totally emptied. Also known as fractional blending, this gradually increases age, while also maintaining the liquid from all prior batches ever made in the same set of barrels.
The most prominent categories of sherry include fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, Moscatel, and blended Cream sherries, with still many other sub-categorizations as well.
At the Tapas Room you can find the full range of these Sherries and we have even created our own Oloroso Negroni for those that fancy a punchy cocktail!