Sherry? Fuck. Me. Are you serious, Steven? Sherry gives me the shivers, you say. The same kind of shivers you get when you smell a shot of Cuervo Gold™ next to a lime in relative darkness near a smoke machine with Rihanna pumping through the speakers, you say. Or, maybe that was just me.
Jerez? Oh, well, that's a whole different story. All of a sudden you sound like the Chablis-loving Chardonnay hater and the Petrus-loving I'm-not-drinking-any-fucking-MERLOT dude. I am always fondly reminded of walking right by Paul Giamatti during a stint of mine in Brooklyn Heights, where, to my understanding, he kept a roof. And wouldn't you know, he also walks the streets freely, grocery shopping and bodega hopping as he pleases. Cue an Owen Wilson "Wow".
What was I driving at just now? Well, other than the fact that anglocizations suck and everything sounds better in Spanish, I'm driving at context.
Would you eat fruitcake in July?
Would you drink eggnog in August? (Don't answer that, because I don't want to know).
Would you eat sardines with licorice ice cream?
I think I'm done here. The point is, the wines (in all their various and vastly differing styles, I might add) of Jerez are notoriously stored and consumed poorly in North America. Yes, you laughed at the half-consumed, 18-month old Nutty Solera Drysack as a teenager while rummaging around in your parents' liquor cabinet, and when you brought the piss-warm liquid to your lips, it was revolting.
Guess what? If our parents weren't all such lushes and would have left a quarter of that bottle of Ridge Monte Bello in the same cabinet and you tried that a year later...IT WOULD HAVE BEEN JUST AS REVOLTING.
Your first introduction to Jerez was a bad one. And it's time to start over.
America loves a good comeback story.
So, here's what you're gonna do. You're going to go to the store and spend $20 to buy yourself a decent (if not entirely common) bottle of Fino. What is Fino, you say? It's the light, salty, briny, tangy, bone dry version of Jerez wines. It's the one you have at the beginning of the meal. Or even before the meal. After you've been out on the beach all morning getting burnt and you wander back across Ocean Boulevard or Marine Drive or L'Avenida del Mar to the fish shack, you and your pre-salted being will order an ice-cold bottle of Fino, and you'll give some sardines and maybe some mackerel, maybe on toast, and a bowl of olives. You're going to keep your Ray-Bans on, and you're going to make sure you've got a drinking buddy. When it all comes together, you'll get it.
OK, I started daydreaming in the middle of that paragraph. Back to the store. Get the Fino. Get the olives. Get a drinking buddy (that wasn't a dream). Maybe sure you feel fresh, maybe get in a jog or a little pump if you can. Take a shower. Get that Fino C-O-L-D. Get the olives warm. Put on a linen shirt, if you must.
And then get after it.
Don't leave a drop in that bottle. Because if you do, you're just inviting your underage roommates (read: kids) a reason to start off on the wrong foot like so many would-be lovers of Jerez before they.
Sherry. She deserves better.