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Copyright © 2015
by Fred McMillin
Dry Sack Flashback
Flashback to a letter of April 30, 1971:
Thank you for the photographs of you and your wife showing the use of Williams & Humbert's Dry Sack sherry."
...Julius Wile, Dry Sack Importer, N.Y.C.
Quotes from our 1971 class handout:
"Dry Sack is the prestige sherry of Williams and Humbert, said to be the largest sherry shippers in the world. Sherry is blended from rows of barrels, one row stacked on top of the next. The youngest sherry is in the highest tier, and works its way down through the years as the finished sherry is drawn off the bottom row. This unique blending system is called a solera, from the Spanish word suelo or 'ground'...where resides that all-important bottom row. Since new wine is added annually, the solera can continue indefinitely. The Dry Sack solera was completed in 1904 and Dry Sack was first sold the following year."
The Rest of the Story
So Dry Sack is approaching its 100th year anniversary. What about Williams & Humbert's origins? Well, note that our 1971 label reads "Jerez and London." (Jerez is the southern Spanish town where Sherry originated.) Alexander Williams married Amy Humbert in England in 1875. Amy came complete with cash (dad's) and a hard-working brother, Arthur Humbert. The young groom put both to work immediately. Only one year later Alexander and Amy were living in Jerez, shipping sherry to Arthur in London. Two more years and they shipped the equivalent of 25,000 cases. Only three more years and they shipped the equivalent of HALF A MILLION cases! Twenty four years later the next generation of the two families sold the first Dry Sack...95 years later, here's our Wine of the Day.
Solera Especial Dry Sack, Oloroso Sherry
Postscript—The Name Game
The first shipment to England of what would become Spain's most famous wine was labelled "Vino de Jerez, Seco." In London, "Jerez" was Anglicized to "sherry," and "seco" became "Sack." By Shakespeare's time, "sack" was a synonym for "sherry." Williams & Humbert have the sole rights to use "sack" commercially in the name "Dry Sack." (Grossman's Guide, 1964)
01/17/00—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
01/14/00—The Doctor's Encore
01/13/00—In Calaveras County
01/07/00—A New Winery for a New Millennium
01/04/00—Our Best Wine of 1999
01/03/00—Our Best Buy of 1999
This page created January 2000