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Published:  18 January, 2007

I think we all should thank Graham Hines for his tireless work in protecting and advancing the name of Sherry, and I wish him well.

Your editorial (22 April) regarding the resuscitation of Sherry makes a valid and interesting point. Perhaps, like many, my Sherry education started with Harvey's mixer Sherry, Tico. I quickly moved on to other styles and soon become an avid enthusiast of this great wine.

With the introduction of the VOS and VORS categories, the quality has never been higher, the range never wider, and all offer superb value for money. Where else in the world could you buy a 20- or 30-year-old wine at a price of less than 1 a year?

The key now is better communication to the consumer, and market segmentation. It's not enough for The Sherry Institute to concentrate most of its efforts on the off-trade by organising such events as Copa Jerez live cook-offs. We in the on-trade require our piece of the solera as well.

Having found some success in my little part of Lincoln, I feel that more needs to be done on education, both for the consumer and those in the trade. Customers are amazed if you just open a bottle of (chilled!) Fino or a rich Oloroso and gently persuade them to try the stuff. It completely shatters their image of Sherry.

Matt Arrowsmith and the team at JCPR must be congratulated for making a start with the limited funding that is available, but let's start driving the message home now with a complete education programme and more consumer tastings. Sherry is for life, not just for Christmas.

Gavin Holt

via e-mail