Saturday, July 4, 2009

La Perfecta Combinación

So, a while back we bought a bottle of sherry. Lissa wanted some sweet something to have on hand. I suggested a bottle of cream sherry. She wasn't sure at first. For many people, sherry has a similar reputation to that of Rosé. In a word, not very good. Just like Rosé, though, seeking out and enjoying fine Sherry is oh so worth it. Now Lissa is hooked. We finished the first bottle (over time!) and eventually had to replenish the supply. We hadn't yet dipped in to this second bottle of creamy goodness, until...

It's Friday night...we just squeaked in to grab a late dinner at Drunk Monkeys (the best new restaurant in Santa Cruz, without a doubt), where Lissa bought a painting from a local artist who was hanging his work there. Inspired, we pulled out the brushes once we returned home and began to create. After a spell of creative expression, one needs to replenish one's artistic mojo. So, naturally, we pulled out a box of fudge bars. And then it hit me, "la perfecta combinación," like Johnny Pacheco and Pete (Conde) Rodriguez...fudge bars and cream sherry!

I had a flash to the scene in Sideways where Miles drinks his prized 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc out of a foam cup in a fast food joint. Only, I am not ashamed, I will enjoy my fudge bars in plain view, and proclaim their happy marriage to Dios Baco, S.L. Cream Sherry for all to hear! The truth is, if you feel like drinking Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with ceviche, and it will make you happy, then you should and no one can tell you otherwise. If, however, you really wanted to harmonize the meal and the drink, you would probably either want to gently compliment or contrast the flavors held between the two. The goal in any case is to bring the flavors out in both the wine and the food. Neither should overpower the other (for more good tips visit's post on pairing). Well, as I said these two are great together.

Sure, I could have made some bread pudding with raisins, or arroz con leche, and they would have been fantastic with this amazing dessert wine, but nobody has to do dishes when you open box of Julie's Organic Fudge Bars, and there is still magic in the air.

Years ago I got turned on to the delightful dry wines from Jerez, in southern Spain. I fell in love with the fino from Dios Baco, S.L.. Some time later I tried a cream shery from the same producer at our local wine bar, Soif. I loved it.

See Basic Juice's three part post on the awesomeness of Sherry for much more information than you will get from me here.

The short on this sherry, is that it rocks. It is sweet, rich, and nutty. 92 points from Wine Spectator, you can read a review from Snooth here.

I will leave you with one final informational snippet. The origin of Spanish-style tapas is said to lay in the sherry glass. Back in the day, the sherry drinkers in Andalucia used to hang out and...drink sherry. Well, the menacing fruit flies would commit hedonistic suicide by diving into the glass and never coming up (reminds me of the old Taj Mahal song, Diving Duck Blues). Unfortunately for the fruit flies, some waitress had the brilliant idea of covering the glasses with a slice of bread, meat, or cheese, serving as a make-shift lid (or tapa). This custom stuck, and when you order drinks in Andalucia nowadays, you get a complimentary tapa whether or not it can effectively keep the flies out of your drink.

¡Pues venga, salud!

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