WINE REVIEW: Gonzales Byass Tio Pepe Fino Ram, Jerez, Spain ($17 for 375ml)
by Andrew Chalk
Make friends with sherry. It is, to use an overworked word in the post-Khardashian era, unique. You cannot mistake a sherry for any other wine. This fortified wine (this example is 15% alcohol) from the area of Jerez in the Spain’s region of Andalusia is versatile, long-lived, and available in several styles to suit many palates.
In the US sherry sales have been on a long-term secular decline. This is a pity but may be about to change. As we seek out things that are not just the ‘same ol’, sherry may appeal to many young people who have not tried it before.
Gonzales Byass is one of the A-list producers in Jerez (founded in 1835). Any sherry with their name on it is going to be a good example of its type. This one is a ‘fino’, literally meaning ‘fine’, but actually connoting a clear or straw-colored wine that is light in body, aromatic with nuts and fruitcake, and is dry and nutty on the palate. It is (purely fortuitously) purpose-built for the Dallas climate. Consume it like the Spanish do: a dish of almonds, a copita of this wine, and sit outside on warm spring days in the middle of the afternoon. Things could be worse!