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This 6th-12th November is the 10th edition of International Sherry Week. Previous year’s have seen over 18,000 events taking place, with over half a million people participating across 40 countries worldwide. As true #sherrylovers, it’s no surprise this is our favourite week of the year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sing the praises of this one-of-a-kind category, and to inspire people to enjoy it more all year round. Sherry is a very special part of Spanish wine history and culture, but it’s also a modern day treasure whose versatility and range of styles make it the perfect choice for food pairing and more. Sherry isn’t just for your grandma; Sherry is for everyone! Excited yet? We are!
What is International Sherry Week?
International Sherry Week is a global event to celebrate Sherry wines. It is organised by the Consejo Regulador de Jerez, alongside digital marketing agency Chelsea & Co.. Sherry Week, like Sherry, is wonderful for its versatility. In 2020 it was almost fully online, with virtual tastings, including live show cooking, Sherry and food samples posted to homes, and virtual dinner parties taking place around the world. As social media trends have changed, so too has Sherry Week, with the aim of introducing it and making it accessible to as many people as possible. It is a sad fact that fortified wine sales have waned significantly in the last 15 years. International Sherry Week aims to buck that trend, show people all the amazing ways to enjoy Sherry, and to create new Sherry lovers every year.
Why do we love Sherry so much?
We are both enormous fans of Sherry, and have been privileged to learn about it in many ways: from our WSET certifications, in particular the Diploma; from fantastic and informative books (Julian Jeffs’ Sherry, The Big Book of Sherry Wines, and César Saldaña’s The Book of Sherry Wines: A Guide to understanding these unique wines should all go on your Christmas list); from passionate friends and family members; from our industry colleagues; and from our travels to the area. Sharon was lucky enough to attend the Certified Sherry Educator course led by the Consejo Regulador in 2019 (is that a venencia prize for the top mark she’s holding??).
But why did Sherry capture our hearts? Or in other words, how do I love Sherry? Let me counts the ways… First of all, let’s throw out the idea that Sherry wines are sweet. Sherry wines are made in every style, from bone dry to lip-smackingly sweet. The styles also range from bready, yeasty, citric and savoury, to oxidative, nutty, coffee-scented and caramel-laden. These wines are made using unique production and maturation techniques which bring intense complexity but also consistent quality. A bottle of Sherry rarely disappoints! They’re amazing value, with many fantastic bottles well below €10 and the oxidative styles will stay tasting delicious after opening for weeks in the fridge. Lastly, while they’re excellent aperitifs and digestifs, they’re also some of the best food pairing wines on earth, according to leading chefs (and us).
Who is behind International Sherry Week?
Aussie marketing expert Chelsea Anthon proposed the idea of an International Sherry Day to the Consejo in 2013. Little did she know it would turn into International Sherry Week, run for 10 years and counting, and that she and her agency, Chelsea & Co., would work alongside the Consejo to reinvigorate and entirely redesign their digital marketing strategy. Let’s hear what she had to say about International Sherry Week 2023…
Chelsea, could you have imagined when you did the first International Sherry Day that it would still be going strong 10 years later?
Honestly, every year we do Sherry Week I am in awe of what we have created here. When I look at Instagram in particular and just follow the hashtag #sherryweek it gives me goosebumps when I see the amount of events going on worldwide and the amount of conversations being had around Sherry. It’s this together with being a fair dinkum Sherrylover that inspires me to do it again year after year and to push the status quo around what it is. I could never have imagined it would have continued for 10 editions. But the growth of digital platforms and how the masses embraced digital following the pandemic has certainly made Sherry Week even more successful than I could have imagined.
What do you think makes Sherry such a unique category?
For me Sherry is not just a wine; it’s a culture, it’s history, it’s an energy. What other wine in the world transmits sunshine, happiness, passion and pain all in one category? This is what sets Sherry apart from any other wine category – it evokes emotions and feelings of sipping history and, as cheesy as it sounds, a taste of Spain. A true taste of Andalucian Spain, that is.
Favourite Sherry and food pairing?
Since discovering the entire range of Sherry, I’ve had some incredible pairings but my go to is really simple and a game changer. Mojama with Manzanilla pasada. But the Mojama has to be Herpac as any brand might put you off Mojama for life.
Wine Courses Barcelona events for International Sherry Week 2023
Wine Courses Barcelona will be running two nights of a very special tasting as part of Barcelona’s Sherry Ruta. The theme? Sherry, Cheese and Chocolate. Yes, we’ll be playing with contrasting and complimenting, as we lead a tasting of five fabulous Sherry wines alongside pairings of our two other favourite things. Book your place and we’ll see you there!
Are you excited about International Sherry Week? Follow @sherrywinesjerez to join the party, and keep an eye on the Sherry Week website for events near you. You can also learn more about Sherry by enrolling in a free online course with the Sherry Academy, or via WSET courses Levels 2 and 3 with Wine Courses Barcelona. Do you want to run your own event for Sherry Week? Register it online here! We hope you enjoy Sherry Week as much as we do and, if you’re Barcelona-based, that we’ll see you at one of our tastings. Discover the #sherrylover in you!
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