Match of the week
Oxtail and oloroso
As last week was Sherry Week and I’m a MASSIVE fan my match of the week clearly had to involve sherry. But which to choose? It was hard given the number of standout pairings at the sherry dinner my local tapas bar, Bar 44 in Clifton put on but I’m going for the sherry by which I was most blown away - a limited edition of Gonzalez Byass Alfonso oloroso, one of six rare casks that are being bottled by the bodega under the name ‘Vinos Finitos’ (finite wines)
According to the immensely useful blog Sherry Notes “it would traditionally have been described as an oloroso fino because of its finesse and elegance.” The flavour was actually more like an old amontillado or palo cortado to me - really beautifully delicate and almost creamy, while exhibiting that typical oloroso richness and nuttiness.
You might have thought it wouldn't have been powerful enough to stand up to the dish of slow cooked oxtail in oloroso, salt aged sirloin and salsa verde the team at Bar 44 had paired with it but it worked incredibly well, neither detracting from or overwhelming the other.
Other favourite pairings were a Dos Palmas Fino with raw red prawns and an intense shellfish sauce and Apostoles palo cortado with a cheese course of whipped Manchego and beetroot.
If you're not into sherry already do experiment with the very good value half bottles you can find in most supermarkets. Even the normal bottling of Alfonso is only around £13-14.
For further inspiration download my e-book 101 great ways to enjoy sherry.
I attended the dinner as a guest of Bar 44.
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