A Sherry & Tapas evening featuring the entire portfolio of Gonzalez Byass was held at the Masonic Hall in Harrogate on Thursday 29th May 2014 (Flower Day) starting at 7pm. The tasting was tutored by Louise Bartholdi, the events manager of Gonzalez Byass UK. 31 members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society and a guest from Yorkshire Sommeliers were present.
“Despite her determination to win the lottery and retire in luxury to Grand Cayman, Mrs Organised is still here arranging all of our shows, events and tastings with calm efficiency. Louise is never happier than when she’s chatting to consumers, journalists and customers, spreading the Gonzalez Byass gospel. Weirdly, she is just as passionate about greyhounds and yoga, but understandably totally smitten with Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay.”
- Tio Pepe – Fino: Tio Pepe, the world’s best-selling Fino, originates from Jerez in southern Spain where it is drunk by the locals with tapas, as they’ve done for over a century. The founder of Gonzalez Byass, Manuel Maria Gonzalez Angel, named ‘Tio Pepe’ after his ‘Uncle Joe’ who created his pale very dry white wine in 1841. Tio Pepe is produced from Palomino Fino, a grape variety that thrives in the chalky soil of Jerez. Once in barrel it is aged for a minimum of 5 years in the solera system. A crisp, fresh and uncompromisingly dry Fino. Served chilled, straight from the fridge, Tio Pepe is fantastic with food. It has a natural affinity with fish and is perfectly suited to tapas-style dishes such as ham, chorizo, olives and Manchego cheese.
- Tio Pepe En Rama 2014: Fino En Rama is unfiltered, unclarified Tio Pepe taken from the middle of the cask during spring when the flor growth is at its thickest. Made in strictly limited quantities, Tio Pepe Fino En Rama is the freshest fino you can drink. ‘En rama’ is the local jargon used by winery workers to refer to wine in its unrefined and most delicate state, prior to the normal stabilization, clarification and filtering processes that fino sherry, like many white wines, have to go through prior to bottling.
- Vina AB – Amontillado: Pale amber in colour and bone dry on the palate, Viña AB is a young, dry Amontillado with delicate almond and hazelnut flavours and is an excellent match for nuts, white meat and seafood.
- Del Duque – VORS Amontillado: The solera of Del Duque began in 1835 when the Duke of Medinaceli purchased 16 sherry butts. This Amontillado Muy Viejo has more than 30 years of ageing in oak barrels giving it an intense concentration and complexity. Dry in taste with hints of cedar, leather, walnuts and a lingering, nutty finish. It is a great partner for roast beef, hearty casseroles, game or mature Cheddar cheese.
- Leonor – Palo Cortado: Leonor Palo Cortado is the latest addition to the superior range. Aged for over 12 years it has fine aromas of wood, vanilla and almonds. The palate is nutty and perfectly integrated with a long finish. Ideal with mature cheeses, good ham and nuts but also stands up well to red meats.
- Alfonso – Oloroso: Alfonso is a delicious, dry Oloroso with a deep mahogany colour, warm spicy aromas and pronounced nutty flavours. A rich, smooth wine with a long, lingering finish. The perfect partner for game, light cheese and pâté.
- Apostoles – VORS Palo Cortado Muy Viejo: After 10 years aged as vintage Palo Cortado, Apóstoles is blended with Pedro Ximenez grapes before further ageing. An off dry sherry with hints of butterscotch and a delicate sweet finish. Perfect with cured meats, paté or foods rich in garlic or spice.
- Solera 1847 Cream: A superior dark cream sherry aged for around nine years. Solera 1847 has a velvety palate, with concentrated sweet raisin and figs from the addition of Pedro Ximenez.
- Matusalem – VORS Cream Muy Viejo: Matusalem is a blend of 75% Palomino and 25% Pedro Ximenez aged for over 30 years. A dark Oloroso sherry with fruity overtones of cinnamon, dried-fruits and candied peel, and a rich, sweet finish. The ideal partner for mature cheeses or rich desserts.
- Nectar – Pedro Ximenez: Rich, sweet and velvety smooth on the palate, Nectar shows complex flavours of caramel, dried fruits, figs, mocha, nuts and spices and is a perfect match for all sweet desserts.
- Noe – VORS Pedro Ximenez Muy Viejo: One of the world’s oldest and rarest dessert wines, Noe has a powerful bouquet, oozing heady aromas of concentrated raisins, figs, coffee and Christmas spices. Delightful with dessert or poured over vanilla ice cream.
Chilled Manzanilla Solear from Barbadillo will be served on arrival
Tapas Menu From Masonic Hall
- Rustic bread with olive oil
- Roasted almonds
- Marinated olives and artichokes
- Manchego cheese
- Saute squid, with either lemon and garlic, or chilli, ginger and coriander
- Chicken liver pate
- Spanish rice
- Saute chorizo with roasted red pepper
- Creme caramel
- Apple pie and cream
- Vanilla Icecream
- Tea and coffee
Tickets: HMWS members – £25 pp. Non-members – £27.50. The price included the wines and tapas.
Raffle tickets (£1 each, sold to HMWS members only) were sold for two half cases of Barbadillo Manzanilla Solear.
The event was Sold Out
“What a great night . We loved all of the sherries and definitely will be using the PX with ice cream again. Thank you so much for organising it all. And wow winning the raffle prize fantastic. Love,” – Sian and Tony, 30 May
- “A note to record our thanks for the most interesting and informative wine tasting event attended for many years. A very knowledgeable presenter, an extensive and varied range of wines supported by very good tapas made it an excellent evening – the only drawback being our enforced early departure. Congratulations and thanks.” Anne & Tony, 30 May
- “Thank you for your kind remarks. I assure you it was a pleasure to be invited to chair such a well organised meeting especially with the speaker being so charming and knowledgeable. It was clearly a meeting enjoyed by all who attended with the sherries and tapas being so well matched.” – Charles, 31st May
- “A fun evening in a happy atmosphere at the Masonic. Bernard, you devised a brilliant way to match a carefully structured tasting, from Tio Pepe through to Pedro Ximenez, with delicious tapas/pinchos. Louise Bartholdi was an excellent ambassador for Gonzalez Byass, a first rate Sherry House, which looked after us so well on a HMWS visit to Jerez – 13 years ago! Full marks also to Adam and his staff for the catering. The range of Sherries was interesting and enjoyable. We both liked the En Rama and favoured the Leonor Palo Cortado while the 30 year old PX was scrumptious with ice cream but should come with a health warning! Many thanks for a great evening.” – Alisdair & Elma
Retweeted by Gonzalez Byass winemaker Antonio Flores and The Sherry Institute