A taste of the sea, with a big squeeze of lemon juice
Here in the UK, all our supermarkets sell own-label sherries. They’re often real gems, made by very fine producers, and we’ll be reviewing lots of them here as they’re a cost-effective way to get your hands on really excellent sherries.
Tonight’s tasting is a Manzanilla from Sainsbury’s, produced by Bodegas Williams and Humbert. This is the first wine I’ve ever tasted from this Bodega.
For sherry beginners, Manzanilla is made exclusively in the town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Essentially the same as a Fino sherry, the difference comes from being made beside the sea. Manzanillas have a salty tang that makes them the perfect companion to seafood and shellfish. My favourite tapas of tortillitas de camarones (brown shrimp fritters – it sounds so much lovelier in Spanish!) just sing when washed down with a Manzanilla.
So, what about THIS Manzanilla? Well, it’s not as salty as most, but that makes it a great introduction to this type of wine. It smells clean and bright, and really doesn’t smell any different to a Fino. But take a sip and – hello!- there’s the slight saltiness. The clean brightness carries through into the taste along with a big burst of lemon juice. A little hint of nuttiness comes through – maybe hazelnuts? Then a long aftertaste of lemons, and a clean feeling in your mouth.
All in all, a lovely fresh wine but probably not robust enough to stand up to tonight’s chili con carne! If you’re new to Manzanilla this is a good one to try, and for those of you still enjoying warm weather this is easy weekend afternoon drinking. Perhaps a little too easy!
£7.10 for 75cl from Sainsbury’s. Serve chilled (then feel chilled!).