(so misleading...sort of sorry: this picture has nothing to do with sherry. It is from another trip to France, however, to Angers, to check out l'Atoll, a lovely outdoor shopping forum with some super edgy design elements)
Some readers may recall, from last April's trip to Paris--that triathlon training/pre-pneumonia trip--that I had an encounter with a certain Tio Pepe. I was in Paris looking for Verjus, for a long-awaited dinner reservation, and wandered in confusion around quirky multi-level, multi-staired streets around the Palais Royal, looking for Verjus, when I came across what I thought was the Verjus Wine Bar. Which I thought would be a good place to while away an hour or so before the dinner reservation. I was wrong -- about it being the Verjus Wine Bar that is. I had stumbled into another (maybe even more perhaps) fabulous wine bar--one with a much longer pedigree in this charming quartier. Juveniles. Unknown to me at the time, but well-known now, it is one of the best wine bars in Paris for some.
I asked for something cold and dry to just take the edge off before dinner in an hour or so. What I got was a glass of something cold, crisp and white and bright - just what one wants if one is drinking something white rather than red.
This was Tio Pepe, a Spanish dry sherry, fino style. As I am in party-planning mode currently, and though already up to two signature drinks for the evening, I am recalling I just have to add Tio Pepe into the mix.
I so agree with Tim League's pronouncement: not your grandma's sherry - in his BADASS Digest in which he includes my dear friend Tio Pepe. (Caveat: It's an older 2011 article and refers to a sherry tasting at The Highball. Long, long sigh that Highball is N/A right now.)
Poor sherry...so maligned. But I'm apparently not alone in my somewhat late to the party (as always) awakening -- to sherry -- thanks only to that wrong turn in Paris.
Sherry is having a comeback, however, in the US and in London apparently, per this Food and Wine article, Sherry on Top: "Given that sherry hasn’t been fashionable since the late 1700s or so, that’s quite a statement. But in London—and to some degree at restaurants in the US run by forward-looking sommeliers—sherry is having its moment."
There's too much technical detail in that article for me. But I heartily agree with the following based on my empirical study during that early spring evening in Paris. The Food and Wine article linked above reports for Tio Pepe, as one of "5 Great Sherries to Buy":
One of the world’s most popular sherries, this fino is also very good: dry, balanced and crisp, with a light minerally tang. Look also for the limited-production, unfiltered En Rama bottling (#25), which is more intense and exotic.
Yep, Tio Pepe, the time has come. It has been a year. A rough year, true. But still. I have not held true to my promise to stay well-stocked with you in le frigo, lined up there along with my many bottles of random sparkling wines from many countries and the V-8 Splash, which many days substitutes (at least in my mind) for my son's daily vegetable servings when I am not making him haricots verts in garlic and olive oil (the only vegetable he appears to tolerate), which is often.
But your day is coming, Tio, my friend. We will see if you are available at (i) The Austin Wine Merchant or(ii) last resort, Spec's. Hasta luego.