The rule for pairing sherry and food is:
If it swims, drink/serve Fino.
If it flies, drink/serve Amontillado.
If it runs, drink/serve Oloroso
This saying has been cited in print since 2011 and has been popularized (and possibly coined) by Jeremy Rockett, marketing director at González Byass .
Fino ("refined" in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry and Montilla-Moriles fortified wine. They are drunk comparatively young, and unlike the sweeter varieties should be drunk soon after the bottle is opened as exposure to air can cause them to lose their flavour within hours.
Amontillado is a variety of Sherry wine characterized by being darker than Fino but lighter than Oloroso. It is named for the Montilla region of Spain, where the style originated in the 18th century, although the name ‘Amontillado’ is sometimes used commercially as a simple measure of color to label any sherry lying between a Fino and an Oloroso. An Amontillado Sherry begins as a Fino, fortified to approximately 13.5 percent alcohol with a cap of flor yeast limiting its exposure to the air. A cask of Fino is considered to be Amontillado if the layer of flor fails to develop adequately, is intentionally killed by additional fortification or is allowed to die off through non-replenishment. Without the layer of flor, amontillado must be fortified to approximately 17.5 percent alcohol so that it does not oxidise too quickly. After the additional fortification, Amontillado oxidises slowly, exposed to oxygen through the slightly porous American or Canadian oak casks, and gains a darker color and richer flavor than Fino.
Oloroso ("scented" in Spanish) is a variety of fortified wine made in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles and produced by oxidative aging. It is normally darker than Amontillado. Oloroso is usually dark and nutty.
Unlike the Fino and Amontillado sherries, in Oloroso the flor yeast is suppressed by fortification at an earlier stage. This causes the finished wine to lack the fresh yeasty taste of the fino sherries. Without the layer of flor, the sherry is exposed to air through the slightly porous walls of the American or Canadian oak casks, and undergoes oxidative aging. As the wine ages, it becomes darker and stronger and is often left for many decades.
Monday, 18 July 2011
If it swims, serve a fino…
Wine and food matching, Jerez style. If it swims, serve Fino. If it flies, serve Amontillado. If it runs, serve Oloroso.
“If it swims, serve Fino. If it flies, serve Amontillado. If it runs, serve Oloroso” http://bit.ly/nrYojD #sherry by @wineandwords
9:43 AM - 11 Aug 11
Jan Petterson from Ferndando de Castillo: “if it swims, Fino; if it flies, Amontillado; if it runs, Oloroso.” #sherryfest @peterliem
6:00 PM - 22 Oct 12
I love the old adage for matching sherry & food: “If it swims, fino; if it flies, amontillado; if it runs, oloroso.”
1:00 AM - 20 May 13
Wine Label Etiquette
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Each style is distinguishable by colour and smell, depending on the ageing process. Fino is the driest and palest and hibernates under a layer of yeast, known as the ‘Flor’, which maintains it’s light colour and fresh, zingy character. Amontillado is essentially a Fino that is allowed to oxidise once the Flor dies off giving it a copper hue and nutty aroma. Oloroso is a different animal altogether, however, as it never touches the Flor, instead it’s subjected to an early fortification and, thus, longer oxidative ageing. The result is dark brown in colour with luscious aromas of dried fruit and hints of caramel.
The beauty of dry Sherry is that it partners food with aplomb. Unsure what to pair it with, I leave you with a lovely bit of gastronomic logic I’ve pinched from Jeremy Rockett, UK Marketing Director for Gonzalez Byass;
If it swims, drink Fino.
If it flies, drink Amontillado.
And, if it walks, drink Oloroso.
7 Jun 2013
TRAVEL: Sherry - To The Source
“IF it swims, drink Fino, if it flies, drink Amontillado, and if it walks, drink Oloroso,” advises sage sherry aficionado, Jeremy Rockett.