Oh what a week – International Sherry Week 2014
Over 2000 events in 21 countries, over a million reached through social media, and heaven knows how many glasses of sherry consumed! This was International Sherry Week 2014.
I’ve taken a week off before writing my reflections on the week, mainly because I needed a little time to recover. I fully committed to the celebrations, tasting 16 different sherries during the week (as well as still working full time), so by Sunday 8 June my liver felt like it needed wringing out! Oh, but what a week it was….
Daily tasting notes
As well as being a guest blogger for International Sherry Week’s website, here on Criadera I had promised to taste a different sherry every day and post an ‘express’ tasting note. The first thing I learned was that I just don’t do ‘express’ – my supposedly short tasting notes ended up as long as my usual posts! However, I loved the discipline of writing every day and of course it was the perfect excuse to taste some new sherries.
My favourite of the week was definitely the Osborne/Domecq Sibarita VORS Oloroso – also my last sherry of the week. You can read the review here.
On Tuesday 3 June I joined the world’s first twitter sherry tasting – #SherryTT – run by Sherry Notes. This was brilliant – informative, engaging and fun. I’d been somewhat skeptical about how it might work, but it worked really well and the 90 minutes flew by. We tasted five different sherries and shared our observations with other bloggers, sherry enthusiasts and newcomers to sherry, as well as being joined virtually by some of the producers in Jerez. Given that this was International Sherry Week, it was a great way to have a sherry conversation around the world. Read my review here.
Sherry and Shopping event
On Wednesday 4 June, I ran a tasting event in an Edinburgh boutique – Covet.
Everyone who came along was a newcomer to sherry and we tasted three Gonzalez Byass varieties: Fino, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez. You can read more about the event here. Everyone found at least one that they liked, and some discovered that they loved all of them!
We were joined by the Spanish Consul General for Spain, who it turned out is from Sanlucar de Barrameda. He’s a serious sherrylover!
Moonwalk sherry lovers
I’m involved in a breast cancer charity that raises money by running overnight powerwalking marathons known as Moonwalks. The 2014 Edinburgh Moonwalk (known as Edinbra because the walkers wear decorated bras to complete their challenges) took place on Saturday 7 June, so lots of us got together on Friday 6 June for a pre-Moonwalk get together. It turned out we had quite a few sherrylovers in the gang, so we posed for an impromptu sherry selfie.
We didn’t have any sherrylover posters, so made our own with eyeliner pencil and lipstick. Sherrylovers improvise!
Joining the global conversation
I’m a social media junkie, so probably the most enjoyable part of International Sherry Week for me was the huge coverage on Twitter and the opportunity to be part of a very LOUD conversation about sherry and why it rocks. I know lots of newcomers discovered sherry last week, and the task now will be to keep them excited and interested about these wonderful wines that we love so much. Us bloggers and twitterers need to keep making a noise about sherry: what to try, where to buy and how to pair it.
A world-beating team
The final word on International Sherry Week must be a HUGE thank you to the ISW team. Chelsea, Michael, Annie, Tomoko, Fabiola, Raul, Owen and all the others who I’ve never met but I know put a huge effort into making ISW such a huge success. I know it was hard hard work, and wasn’t without its challenges. But you created something brilliant and should be very proud.
So all that remains to say is this: Roll on ISW 2015!!!