#SherryTT – tasting all over the world
Last night I had the pleasure of being part of the world’s first ever Twitter sherry tasting. The brainchild of Ruben Luyten from the SherryNotes blog, the tasting involved 15 individuals across Europe and Israel, a group in New York and a group in Jerez which included some of the winemakers responsible for the sherries we tasted.
The anticipation started to build when we received our little package of sherry samples last week. Rumour has it that some of the tasters even had a sneaky sniff when they arrived!
Guillermo, one of the tasters (@guillermomdv on Twitter) made us a fantastic tasting mat for the tasting and the scene was set.
The line up of sherries for the night was:
- Tio Pepe En Rama 2014 (Gonzalez Byass)
- Solear En Rama (Barbadillo)
- Antique Palo Cortado (Rey Fernando de Castilla)
- Oloroso Pata de Gallina (Lustau Almacenista range, made by Juan Garcia Jarana)
- Colosia Pedro Ximenez (Gutierrez Colosia)
Ruben introduced each wine and asked us to comment on the aromas and then the flavours, using the hashtag #SherryTT to keep track of the discussion. Some of us were seasoned sherry lovers and others were new to sherry, but it was amazing how much we all learned from each other and the winemakers. My big concern beforehand had been how to keep my comments to 140 characters (130 after accounting for the hashtag), but it was a good discipline to keep it concise.
As you might expect, the more we tasted the livelier the discussion became – partly the effects of the sherry, and partly because we were getting the hang of the format. It was like a noisy bar, with everyone speaking over each other, but that was part of the fun – new conversations spinning off, new insights into the sherries and a bit of kidding around. How Ruben kept us all on track, I’ll never know – it must’ve been like herding cats! But keep us on track he did – over the course of an hour and a half we shared our impressions of five very different but equally sensational wines, and had the chance to ask questions of the winemakers and other experts involved in the tasting.
It was hard to choose a favourite, but from my reading of the tweets I reckon the Palo Cortado came out on top. We certainly spent the longest time discussing it, and newcomers were thrilled by its complexity. It’s no secret that it’s my favourite type of sherry, but if last night’s tasting was anything to go by, it’s about to become a lot of other people’s favourites too!
However, the phrase of the night had to be Ruben’s description of the PX – ‘AROMA BOMB’! Perfectly summing up the fantastic Christmas cake aromas and flavours of our final wine of the night.
The hardest part of doing a Twitter tasting from the frozen wastes of Scotland was that some of my friends were in the Jerez group, and seeing their chat really made me wish that I was there. But in some ways that was also the best bit – what a joy to connect with sherry lovers in other parts of the world and share a bit of sherry magic together. And there are definitely some people waking up this morning as new recruits to the sherry revolution
Thank you Ruben for a really memorable tasting. Last night might have been a world first, but I certainly hope it won’t be the last!