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This weekend the Consejo Regulador’s Sherry Academy was holding one of its wonderful “sherry 101” tastings in Jerez, this time featuring the Premium range by Harveys, so off I went for a quick Jerez Getaway, which included lunch at the marvelous Mantúa, but more on that later.

Poor Harveys Bristol Cream has suffered from a bad rep over the years, largely due to grannies pouring a glass of it at Christmas and then leaving it in the cupboard until the next Christmas. And frankly, any wine would be undrinkable kept in those conditions. In fact, the cream style of sherry was invented by Harveys and, unlike most creams which are a blend of oloroso (75%) and PX (25%), Bristol Cream adds fino and amontillado to the recipe, making it a more complex wine than the others. Recently the iconic blue label has had a makeover. The new bottle features a thermochromic ink logo, which changes colour as it hits the perfect serving temperature. When the sherry is cold and ready to be poured, the Harveys logo on the label will turn blue.

All the wines were excellent, with possibly the amontillado being my favourite… tough call. And as always, the presentation was interesting and informative. The monthly tastings, excellent value at 12€, start up again in October.

Harveys was founded in Bristol in 1796 by merchant William Perry. During the 19th century, Harveys became one of the largest importers of sherry from the Bay of Cadiz to the port of Bristol. Harveys Bristol Cream, created in 1882 by John Harvey II and his brother Edward, is the result of a meticulous selection of over 30 blends of Fino, Oloroso, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez grape. It is aged in American oak casks using the traditional system of soleras and criaderas and is a global icon of sherry.

Carmen Aumesquet from the Sherry Academy and
Harveys winemaker Antonio Florido