Slow Food LA: A Taste of Jerez (Sherry)

A bit on the Slow Food organization...
Founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, Slow Food is an international association that promotes food and wine culture, but also defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide.

It opposes the standardisation of taste, defends the need for consumer information, protects cultural identities tied to food and gastronomic traditions, safeguards foods and cultivation and processing techniques inherited from tradition and defend domestic and wild animal and vegetable species.

Slow Food LA, a local chapter of Slow Food U.S.A., organizes and holds events in and around LA that promotes their philosophy of enjoying and appreciating quality food and wine. A Taste of Jerez (Sherry): The Styles and Traditions of a Neglected Classic Wine, my first Slow Food event, was held at the beautiful Grace restaurant.

Not only was the event thoroughly enjoyable but motivating to hear dedicated individuals speak about the Slow Food philosophy, which I want to integrate more into my life. I was the youngest attendee at 24 years with most attendees being around 40-60 years.

There was one obnoxious lady who was acting like a middle school girl, making oinking noises! Wtf? I didn't appreciate her juvenile behavior but understood why she would do such a tasteless thing. Prosciutto, duck prosciutto, lomo, Spanish almonds, baked figs and 8 different cheese to go with the 8 different sherries.

I don't think I've ever had sherry before this tasting. Sherry has always been a mystery to me. I use sherry vinegar sometimes but what the hell is sherry? Sherry is a fortified wine from the Jerez de la Frontera region of Spain. I read somewhere that back in the days sweet sherry was the proper ladies' drink. Seems very misunderstood considering that sherry is a big part of Spain's culinary culture. I won't try to transfer any of my messy notes onto this post. I don't want to confuse anyone with my super limited knowledge of sherry.

Here are the sherry and cheese pairings (cheese is from Beverly Hills Cheese Store):

San Pantaleo (Italy, Goat)

"La Tradicion Manchego" (Spain, Sheep)

I enjoyed the Fino very much, considering that it was the lightest sherry there. My palate is definitely not trained for the intense fortified flavor.

20 yr Amontillado
Mandarine Provolone (Italy, Cow)

30yr Oloroso
Salers (France, Cow)

This was my favorite cheese that I tried. All I was thinking was "oh my fricking god"-- amazing. It was soft, creamy, nutty and tangy. At this point I was in heaven.

San Jorge (Portugal, Sheep)

Parmagiano "Vaca Rosso" (Italy, Cow

Le Vieux Berger Roquefort (France, Sheep)

The sherries progressed from lightest to richest, with appropriate cheeses to match. The Cream and the Roquefort went so well together. The pairing was pretty amazing. The tang of the blue cheese complemented the creaminess of the sherry very well.

Pedro Ximenez
Le Delice de Bourgogne (France, Cow)

The Pedro Ximenez was very rich and dark and pretty much opaque even when I held my glass up to the light. The texture was syrupy and clung to my tongue. It was delicious. With the triple creme Le Delice de Bourgogne the pairing really blew my mind. This combinations made the most commotion with a lot of "mmm"s and "amazing"s.

My Saturday afternoon was well spent I believe, tasting interesting sherries, eating delicious cheese, wrapping figs with prosciutto, and learning something new in a beautiful setting.

Slow Food
Slow Food LA

Grace Restaurant
7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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