This past week Gothamist learned two very important things that we will carry with us into the New Year: we love sherry and we hate sherry hangovers.

Last week Gothamist was invited to a Sherry Tasting hosted by Steve Olson, a.k.a. "the Wine Geek" at WD-50. Gothamist was in heaven dining on deliciously interesting tapas by Chef Wylie Dufresne, sipping on exotic sherry cocktails and tasting the huge selection of sherries . . . flashback . . .

Barkeep: “Would you like to taste some of the sherries? We have 15 different types.”
Gothamist: “Yes.”
Barkeep: “Which ones do you want to try?”
Gothamist: “Um, let’s start with all of them.”

That's right, Gothamist came to taste that night. We tried the Finos, then dabbled in the Olorosos and mixed it up with dessert sherries. Each glass was better then the next and before long we were seduced by this unassuming wine.

2005_01_food_sherry2.jpgThe Finos
The Fino style of sherry is quite different then one might expect from sherry. In other words it’s not that sweet heavy wine you sip with grandpa after Christmas dinner. It’s light and dry with crisp acidity and a nutty character. Fino style is unique in that a layer of flor, a yeast that is used in making sherry, forms a seal over the wine which protects it from oxidation and imparts a unique flavor on the wine. This style is best drunk young and chilled. The Finos we sampled were a great aperitif to the nibbles that were floating around.

The Olorosos
Ah, que bueno! The Olorosos were complex, rich and full of personality – not that different from Chef Wylie’s creations. In the Oloroso style of sherry the wine is fortified with higher percentage of alcohol which kills off the flor - therefore aging in contact with air. There’s something about that air in Spain because these Olorosos were delicious.

The highlight of the evening was the PX (Pedro Ximenez) – too bad we were too sloshed to enjoy it. From what we remember it was like caramel in a glass. The texture was so rich with a finish that lasted almost as long as our hangover.

Forget the stereotypes you know about Sherry. This wine is exciting, complex and comes in any style to fit your mood. We know you’ll love it, but don’t try to make up for lost time in one night – damn that barkeep and his 15 Sherries!