January 04, 2006

Sandeman Royal Corregidor Rich Old Oloroso

(Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, White Plains, N.Y.; about $25)

If there's a wine to help us get through the slushy grayness of January, it'd be sherry. For one, it's bargain-priced, something we can particularly appreciate after money-draining December. For another, it's warming, especially the sweeter Palo Cortados and Olorosos, which taste of figs, dates, caramel and burnt candied oranges — the flavors of Christmas sweets and gingerbreads to enjoy all year round.

A wine like Sandeman's Royal Corregidor Rich Old Oloroso, which is made from a blend of wines, some more than 20 years old, offers a balance between rich, nutty, mature flavors and bright, zesty notes that's mesmerizing: sweet yet not heavy; refreshing yet calming.

It's the sort of wine to savor by the fireplace, one small glass a night — and, because of the particular balance of acidity, alcohol, sweetness and oxidation in an Oloroso like Royal Corregidor, it can last four to eight weeks after opening (just cap it and refrigerate between servings). That's a lot of delicious, warming nights by the fire for $25.

This article originally appeared in the Denver Post.

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