You can picture the scene can't you? A small, cramped tapas bar, on the outskirts of Jerez, the heart of sherry country - or the fringe of the CBD in Melbourne or Perth, for that matter - full of thirsty, hungry people, mellow from their first glass of palate-tinglingly bone-dry manzanilla, everyone looking forward to another glass of something with which to wash down their next scrumptious glorified snack. A plate is plonked on the bar and the seductive aromas of grilled fish, smoky paprika, garlic, lemon and vinegar come dancing up into your nostrils. Even before you take a bite, your mouth is already imagining the exquisite textural combination of rich, meaty fish and crisp, cold lettuce. Another glass of sherry - of course - but this time, better make it an amontillado. A little less arid than the fino or manzanilla styles of pale sherry, the amontillado style is matured in barrel without the protective covering of flor yeast, and develops a light tan colour, as well as aromas of grilled nuts and a more complex, deeper, more satisfying taste.
Only one of Spain’s finest sherries is equal to this plate of crunchy, savoury goodness. One sip and you’ll be hooked.