All vinegars are not the same. Some are a gourmet delight.

For food-lovers looking for an authentic Andalusian dressing, sherry vinegar is a must-have in the store cupboard.

It’s less sweet than balsamic vinegar, gives you a more rounded taste than red wine vinegar, and a richer flavour than cider vinegar.

If you’re looking to create nuanced flavours in your food, sherry vinegar is perfect for you.

Adding just a few drops to a dish can lift and brighten it.

It is also, of course, the perfect accompaniment to Andalusian recipes and for use in vinaigrettes for tapas dishes.

Sherry vinegar is made from the ‘must’ of Palomino, Pedro Ximinéz, or Moscatel grapes – that’s the freshly-pressed and unfermented juice.

It has been made for centuries as a by-product of the sherry industry, but became its own, sought-after product in the 1950s.

 

How is sherry vinegar made?

The gourmet wine vinegar is made in the sherry triangle between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

It’s made in a similar way to sherry, using a solera system. It must be aged in oak for six months or more and must have a minimum acidity of 7 degrees.

The solera system transfers the vinegar through a series of barrels while it ages, blending older and younger vintages along the way. These barrels are kept separate from the wine barrels to avoid wine turning to vinegar.

Some fine sherry vinegars are aged for more than 10 years.

The production is controlled and regulated and sherry vinegar has its own denominación de origen under Spanish and EU law.

 

How is it used in Andalusia?

Riñones al Jerez – a dish of lamb’s kidneys made with a sauce of sherry wine and sherry vinegar.

Salpicón de Langostino y Tomate – Shrimp and tomatoes in a sherry vinaigrette.

Marinades for meat – it helps break down the meat fibres to make it more tender.

Added to gazpacho – helping to lift the dish.

A vinaigrette for salads – a healthy alternative to mayonnaise.

 

Want the taste? Try these:

Vinagre de Jerez Traditional – aged for five years in barrels, this dark mahogany sherry vinegar is perfect for dressing salads and making marinades.

Vinagre de Jerez La Bodega Reserva Fernando de Castilla – aged for 16 years, this fine vinegar is made from 100% Palomino Fino grapes. It would make fine vinaigrettes.

Vinagre de Jerez La Bodega al PX Fernando de Castilla – made from 90% Palomino Fino and 10% Pedro Ximénez grapes, this sherry vinegar is aged for 16 years. Perfect for tapas and salads.

 

Discover more of our vinegars and oils here.

 

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