pairings to surprise your brother-in-law this Christmas

“And if this Christmas we “enrich” the polvorones and mantecados with salt or curry and we serve them as an appetizer with a fine or a cut stick? With this singular proposal and relying on the artisan sweets of Estepeño The Sweet NamePepe Ferrer, Responsible for Gastronomy of the Regulatory Council of Jerez, began one of the most daring and surprising tastings that the humble writer of this article has been lucky enough to attend.

It is well known that Jerez wine is the best bet when it comes to accompanying difficult ingredients and impossible recipes (from Cocinillas we have made an effort to prove it many times), but what about “dress” polvorones to test the versatility of a fino or oloroso it’s a step further in our “sherrylover” craze, and that’s why we want to share it.

hand in hand pepe ferrerwe discover you five unusual pairings of Christmas sweets and sherrieswhich will not leave your guests indifferent this Christmas.

1. Almond olive shortbread + sherry vinegar and salt with fino or manzanilla

The fino is the driest wine in the sherry frame. Pale to the eye, sharp on the nose, with almond and bakery aromas due to the yeasts of the flower veil, slightly bitter and with saline touches on the palateit seems impossible that a fino (or a chamomile from Sanlúcar) can go well with a snack as sweet as mantecado. And yet she gets it.

Sherry wines are not (all) sweet and are not (only) for dessert

Sherry wines are not (all) sweet and are not (only) for dessert

“Fino, due to its saline nature, enhances the flavors of the food,” explains Pepe Ferrer. “If we add a few drops of Sherry vinager and a few flakes of salt, it will become the best accompaniment to our fino, since salinity and almond flavors will be enhanced shared by both products. A perfect idea to put into practice during the aperitif, to whet your appetite before the meal, since, as Ferrer points out, “we will have the sensation of having fried almonds in the bar of a tabanco”.

2. Traditional polvorón + madras curry with amontillado

Amontillado is the most representative wine of Jerez, the most elegant, subtle and delicate. The perfect combination between the two characteristic aging of Jerez wines, the biological under flor veil and the oxidative. An extraordinarily complex and interesting wine. For his part, he curry Madras, originally from southern India, has a high content of chili powder that makes it slightly spicy.

“If we sprinkle a little bit of this curry over the traditional shortbread of almond, we will achieve that the amontillado enhances that spiciness and that the polvorón nail will come up”, promises Pepe Ferrer. A pairing truly interesting, especially for lovers of exotic flavors, spices and the mixture of sweet and salty, also perfect to enjoy at any time, as a different aperitif.

Assortment of polvorones and mantecados

Assortment of polvorones and mantecados

3. Traditional polvorón + duck foie with cut stick

At this moment, if you have not made a twisted gesture, you are close. But what if we tell you that not only does it work, but the fusion of flavors is explosive? “The foie fat is cleaned with the cut stick and the dry fruit nuances of the wine blend with the almond of the shortbread”, advances the Head of Gastronomy of the Regulatory Council of Jerez.

This is because the cut stick harmoniously combines the aromatic delicacy of amontillado and the corpulence on the palate of oloroso, providing citrus notes reminiscent of bitter orange, lactic like butter, and Nuts, especially hazelnuts. In this way, on the palate it is round, deep and voluminous, with a smooth and delicate expression and a pleasant and long-lasting finish, ideal for reducing fat on the palate. foie and enhance the almond powder.

4. Orange puff pastry with Cream

The winning combination, the perfect dessert. As simple as that. Intense in character and full-bodied, the Cream It is a wine of great versatility, capable of going through all the stadiums of a good mealperfectly harmonizing both sweet and savory preparations and, even, being an excellent appetizer in itself.

The Cream is the most Christmassy sherry (even with ice)

The Cream is the most Christmassy sherry (even with ice)

During the tasting, Ferrer suggested leaving it for dessert, but giving it the prominence it deserves together with a real delicacy: the orange puff pastry from El Dulce Nombre. A small delight capable of bring out the nuances of candied fruit that appear in this type of sweet wine but not too much, made from a mixture of oloroso and Pedro Ximénez.

5. Rosco of wine with brandy from Jerez Solera Gran Reserva

The rosco de vino has no middle ground: either you love it above all things or it ends up being left alone and abandoned in a corner of the tray of Christmas sweets. If you are one of the first and want to skip over the static pairing recommendations in search of a more intense pleasure, save it for the desktop and enjoy it with a generous glass of brandy from Jerez.

As Pepe Ferrer recalls, brandy is a distillate of wine and there is also wine in the preparation of the Christmas donut. “An artisan wine donut is capable of taming an aged brandy,” he says. The long aging in casks that follows the brandy of Sherry reinforces its pungent character and balances its vanilla and dried fruit flavorssomething that it shares with the rosco de vino and that, in combination, is especially interesting.

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