Wine goes nuts: Manzanilla sherry and marcona almonds

One of my private tasting clients asked me an unusual question recently: which wine goes with almonds?

The answer was easy: sherry. A much misunderstood wine, it’s not just for sherry hour in the faculty lounge any more–it is distinctive and makes a great aperitif. And probably because of the confusion, it’s also a great deal.

In order to try this out, I bought the Hidalgo La Gitana ($10; find this sherry) and got some marcona almonds. On it’s own, chilled, the sherry is tangy and briney, refreshing and appetizing. But with the marcona almonds from Spain, the whole experience was elevated in one of those classic food-wine pairings that brings out the best in both.

And a little sherry goes a long way; we were able to have three evenings of aperitifs from the same $10 bottle. It may be the ultimate wine for an economic downturn. Pity the almonds were $16.99 a pound.

For more background on sherry, check out Eric Asimov’s recent article in the NYT.

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8 Responses to “Wine goes nuts: Manzanilla sherry and marcona almonds”

  1. Happiness is cold sherry and almonds after work. Throw in a few olives–bliss. And you’re right, it’s a fantastic bargain!

  2. Hey Doc,

    I could not agree more with you about sherry being one of the must undervalued wines on the market today!

    I just recorded a podcast on Sherry and will be posting to my site tomorrow.

    Let us keep evangelizing about SHERRY!!!!



  3. That’s definitely a bargain.

    I cannot help but juxtapose this information with the world’s most expensive Sherry: 1775 Sherry ($43,500). I got the information from this list on Forbes:

    Makes you feel better about the price of the almonds, doesn’t it?

  4. True! I have fond memories of a small bar near Puerta del Sol in Madrid, one of those bars where the interior looks more like a living room (which included some cats), where all kind of sherries, from fino to oloroso were served in 1/2 liter bottled from the barrel and served with rather natural green olived stuffed with almonds. A nice pairing for the early evening, which is a relative notion in Spain. I must say I find the La Gitana a bit flat, lacks body and fruit compared with what I’ve had. But for that price one can’t expect much more I guess. Salud!

  5. Glad you like it! What are some of your faves, everybody?

    Yeah, Dylan, I’d have to pair that with some 1775 almonds–but they’re probably frauds!

  6. My fave is Hildalgo’s Pastrana Pasada Manzanilla – Pasada is a traditional style of Manzanilla that has just begun to oxidize giving it extra layers of complexity but retaining freshness.

  7. […] Wine goes nuts: Manzanilla sherry and marcona almonds Related PostsThe Delicious Vinagre de Jerez or Spanish Sherry Vinegar Perfect Summer Combination: Manzanilla and Gazpacho! The Source of Pedro Ximenez: D.O. Montilla-Moriles Los Rebujitos: Mixed Drinks Traditionally Savored during the Andalusian Festival, Feria del Caballo Wine Racks, Judging Blogs and an Anti-Oak Rant?? […]

  8. […] The following weekend, I tried exactly that. We met up with some college friends at a Rhode Island home just a stone’s throw from the ocean. I brought several bottles of wine and threw in a bottle of Lustau fino that I had picked up at Astor Wine to try out on the guinea pigs–er, our friends. The hors d’oeuvres included some crab cakes but no marcona almonds, which are a great match. […]


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