So the We Love Tapas Sherry Tours are going well… 🙂
Bajo de Guiá – where the Guadalquivir meets the sea
Two days before leaving for Sanlúcar the weather forecast abruptly changed from lovely and sunny to RAIN for all three days of the getaway. And with thunderstorms on the last day. But aside from a bit of rain the first morning, we were spared. Okay, it wasn’t blue skies and sunny, but I was so happy it wasn’t raining, since we did a LOT of walking over those three days. Here are a few of my favourite pics.
lemon tree in the bodega garden
looking out over Sanlúcar rooftops
fabulous catavinos bar table
donkeys being prepped for the San José pilgrimage
dusk view of the square from my hotel room
So there I was – as usual – making last minute bodega visit plans via Twitter and WhatsApp the day before my trip… and mostly that worked out, except that two of the bodegas I wanted to visit weren’t available at such short notice. Really, it was probably enough seeing five bodegas in two and a half days, but I am always left wanting more. I think I might plan a longer stay in Jerez soon and make day trips to Sanlúcar and El Puerto while there, and keep it down to one bodega a day. Well, maybe two now and then… 😉
This time the bodegas were all very special in their own way, as bodegas tend to be, but there were also a couple of totally blow-me-away moments. I’ll write about this more over on my BRAND NEW Sherry Educator pages on Sevilla Tapas. But please be patient, because it may take awhile to get them set up properly. You can have a look now, but things are very much still “under construction”.
Meanwhile, a sneak peak of where I visited this time…
After a two-hour BUS RIDE FROM HELL we arrived in Sanlúcar with just time to drop off our bags and make it to the first bodega visit. Much later we returned to the hotel to find this lovely room and lovely view. So far not as rainy as I’d feared. More later…
Yep… ANOTHER Sherry Saturday! But unlike last Saturday, this time I was actually working. Back in December 2015 I spent a lovely Christmas Day afternoon with Becky, Scott and family at La Azotea. Since then Becky and I have kept in touch via social media (check her Instagram – @havepaprika) and a few months ago Scott got in touch about booking a Sherry & Tapas Tour for himself and buddy Richard, who would be celebrating his big 5-OH. And today was the day.
Although I love all my tours I have to say that the Sherry & Tapas tour is both my most challenging and possibly most gratifying. On the other hand, I’m not sure I could do them every day because I am always a bit exhausted afterwards… a LOT of talking goes on. But today was fabulous. The boys not only ate and drank very well, they also learned a lot about sherry, so they can now show off to their friends back in London. 😉
Great day guys – thank you!
By happy coincidence this Saturday’s sherry cata at the Consejo Regulador in Jerez happened to be on the same day as a combination birthday-farewell party for our friend Momoko, who has been living in Jerez for the past three years. Now that her book research is done she has to return home to Japan, but we are all hoping she will be back in Jerez – her true home – before long. Momoko was taken totally by surprise and spent much of the time at her party – at the fabulous Bodegas Faustina González – with happy tears in her eyes. I’m glad I had a chance to see her before she leaves next week. And as always it was great catching up with Jerez friends, and also meeting some new ones.
At least that was the plan. Today is Peter’s birthday and this is my birthday present to him. It was supposed to be this evening, but then the date got changed to tomorrow. Probably just as well as the birthday boy is still a bit run down and also still on antibiotics (which finish today). So we’re going to pretend that tomorrow is March 2nd instead!
It’s going to be a very sherry month while I prepare for the Big Event in London. And what better way to start my extra practice than with my friend Silvia, a sommelier, fellow sherry educator, and daughter of a master sherry blender? What’s going on here is simply helping me focus on what I am able to identify and giving that structure.
Aside from doing something similar to this on a daily basis (either at bars or at home) I will also be going to as many tastings as possible. That includes three sherry tastings (two in Sevilla, one in Jerez) over the weekend being given by different bodegas , and a getaway to Sanlúcar mid-month to visit bodegas there. At the moment it seems a bit daunting, but now with “extra added structure” thanks to Silvia, I can take things step by step.
So guess who has been invited to be a judge at a major sherry event in London? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same person who is now a complete nervous wreck (but in a good way?). I’ve done judging events before, but this is BIG TIME. Will be spending the entire of March boning up on, well, everything. Eek!
Taberna La Manzanilla is a special place I always visit when I’m in Cádiz. And this last trip I had an extra reason to do so after having tasted their amontillado fino at Alabaster in Madrid, when co-owner Fran gave us a taste of it from his “secret stash”. So it was fun to tell (Manzanilla owner) Pepe this story and show him the photo. Oh, and the amontillado fino is fabulous.