Here’s a shout out to Andre` Tamers and the pioneering work he has done with an underdog in the wine world. He has taken sherry, an under appreciated wine, and re-introduced real sherry to America. It’s working! It’s catching on. Ann gave me this book, A Modern Guide to Sherry, which is beautifully written by Talia Baiocchi for our anniversary. I fell in love with it at the fifth page. Keep reading, I’ll show you why.
Baiocchi says, “I had my second sip of sherry the year after I returned from Italy, when I wandered into Bar Jamon, a pocket square of a restaurant on Irving Place in New York’s Gramercy neighborhood, just down the block from the wine store where I worked. I went for the ham, but I left loving sherry. That night the bartender poured me the first real sherry I’d ever tasted: a chilled copita of oloroso. It was both incredibly foreign and totally familiar – like an old Barolo laced with iodine that was amplified, reduced, and somehow elegant despite its heft. It sparked that dull, joyous pulse in the gut that travels north, gains momentum in the chest, and releases all its pent up energy behind the eyes in the same way that good 90’s rock choruses, eggs with truffles on them, love, Barolo, and log rides do. It’s a variety of bliss, I guess; the kind that is best expressed through tears or dancing – or if you’ve had enough sherry, both.”
I am learning more about sherry and part of that is drinking it every now and then. I am not yet in the habit of wanting sherry when I want a drink to accompany my meal. I just had a copita (sherry glass) of El Maestro Sierra Amontillado (12 years old) at Mateo with my tuna melt. The sherry was amazingly different and satisfying.
In my pursuit to learn more about sherry, I am lucky have Mateo Tapas as my neighbor, only 40 seconds of a walk away from my loft in Durham. Thanks to the collaboration between Matt Kelley and Michael Maller of Mateo and Andre` Tamers of De Maison Selections, I have one of the largest sherry offerings in the United States right here in my neighborhood.
If you think you don’t like sherry, I am going to recommend you give it another try. Head to Mateo to check out their selection. Their staff is knowledgeable about their sherry list and will assist you to find something you will enjoy.