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There are plenty of rewarding tastes to try as the nights draw in. Expert taster Simon Woods offers his seasonal picks
Sherry has thankfully passed beyond the fuddy-duddy connotations of the past, but it has still to acquire a positive image to propel it back to the position it
deserves – one of the world’s great wines. This is in some senses a tragedy, but it does mean there are some serious bargains to be had for wine lovers. And while it’s often advisable to tread
carefully among supermarket own-labels, where sherry is concerned standards are generally high, especially if you move up from the base level.
Waitrose Solera Jerezana (£7.99, Waitrose) is a gentle, just-off-dry wine from Lustau, one of the top names in sherry. It is fleshy and intense with a soft raisin and walnut tang – try it with rich fruitcake or hard cheese. Perfect Bonfire Night sipping, too.
Tesco 12-year-old Oloroso Sherry (£6.99/half litre, selected Tesco) is a richer yet drier style from another fine producer, Hidalgo. It offers intense nut, dried fruit and iodine notes, and a burnt sugar and raisin finish. Some may find it on the severe side, but for those who love aged dry sherry, this is a classic at a bargain price.