by Fred McMillin
for December 22, 1999

 

Shakepeare In Love
(With Sherry)

 

Prologue

Shakespeare put into the mouth of Falstaff, "A good sherris-sack...ascends me into the brain...[and] makes it full of nimble, fiery and delectable shapes."

...William Younger's God, Men and Wine


The Rest of the Story

George Sandeman loved sherry, too. The young Scot after only two years in the area shipped from Spain the equivalent of about 8,000 cases of the wine. That was 1792. Soon he was back in England, offering eight grades of sherry.

Six generations later, the Sandeman family brought its one billionth gallon of sherry to England (around 1950). As to those eight grades, the firm was particularly proud of its OLOROSO. (There are four major types, ranging from the very dry FINO to the very sweet CREAM. The intermediate styles are the rather dry MANZANILLAS and the richer OLOROSSO.) OLOROSSO has been proclaimed by the great Spanish vintner Miquel Torres as "the wine that brought fame [to Spain] in centuries past. It has no equal among sherries, either as an aperitif or for drinking after a meal." I'll add that it is exciting in and with substantial soups, too. Hence, today's wine must be a Sandeman Oloroso.

My wife in the vineyards at Jerez.

My wife in the vineyards at Jerez.


Wine of the Day

Sandeman Royal Corregidor Oloroso Sherry
Vineyard—The centuries-old El Corregidor Appellation—Jerez ("her-eth"), Spain.
The Columbus Connection—The convent in Jerez contributed 1,206 bushels of wheat for Columbus' second voyage.
Important Grape—The rich, sweeter element in the blend is furnished by the sun-dried Pedro Ximenez. Long ago the grape was brought to Jerez by a German soldier named Pieter Siemens. In Spain, both the soldier and his grape became "Pedro Ximenez." (Also spelled Ximenes.)
Service—Usually poured at room temperature. However, with hot soup I like the contrast by giving it 45 to 60 minutes in the frig.
Importer—Seagram
Contact—Gregory Ann, (707) 255-7667, FAX (707) 255-1119
Stature—At the International Wine Challenge, it won a)Sherry trophy, b)Gold medal, c)Fortified wine trophy. Wine Magazine: "Superb example of a classic sherry"
Alcohol—21%
Price—$25 range


Postscript

George Sandeman was followed by his nephew, George Glas Sandeman, who left us these words. "Bad wine does me no harm. It never gets past my nose."

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 
 

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