June 03, 2009

Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Muy Seco Sherry, about $15

Summertime lifesaver tip: Always keep a bottle of dry sherry in the fridge. That way, when you suddenly find that it's 9 p.m. and you're dirty, sunburned, blistered and incredibly hungry from toiling in your garden all day, you can simply open the fridge, take out some sliced ham, a wedge of cheese or two, some olives, and the sherry. While you slice up some bread, the bottle will begin to sweat, as if in sympathy for your hard work. Take it all to your back stoop, where you can admire your hard work, and set about eating supper. The sherry will slake the incredible thirst you worked up like nothing else, salty, a little earthy, and as refreshing as a cold shower in its bracing dryness. It will also make the ham extra-addictive, cutting through its fat like a knife. The cheese will provide balance, something rich to counter the wine's leanness. And when you're done, just recap the bottle and put it back into the fridge, where it will last well for another week at least. Any Fino will do, but the Tio Pepe from Gonzalez-Byass is the standard, particularly light, crisp and easy to find in whole or half bottles.

Imported by San Francisco Wine Exchange, CA

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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