Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sherry: The Secret is Out!


Last night I had the pleasure of learning more about the versatility of Sherry, thanks to the Sherry Council of America. Joining me on the lovely and delicious dinner and sherry tasting at Tru Restaurant were some esteemed folks in Chicago's online food community including representatives of Chicago's Metromix, TimeOut Chicago, Chicago Bites, sommelier & faculty of Kendall Culinary College, and fellow local Chicago bloggers of Being Totally Sweet in Chicago and Everyday Adventures in the City.

The setting: We had an intimate dining experiece and a behind the scenes look from Tru's Kitchen Table. Nestled in the back of Tru's kitchen, we had full views of the pastry and savory kitchen.

The service: Tru's impeccable staff was on point with each and every course we enjoyed. Completely warm and inviting, we were pampered from the moment we stepped in. Tru's wine director, Chad Ellegood, provided informative sherry details for the sherries we tasted and the progression was wonderfully paired with each course.

The dinner courses: Tru's executive chef, Tim Graham, had the challenge of pairing courses with specific sherries. With each course, we were in awe of his artistic creations that were equally delicious and perfectly executed. A bonus was a website Tim shared with us that helped him design the flavor pairings with ingredients!

The dessert course: Tru's pastry chef, Meg Galus, gave us a deliciously sweet ending which was perfect to go with our final sherry. Full of color, flavors and textures, it was a wonderful way to end the evening.

The menu: Working in tandem, Chad, Tim and Meg created the following menu to accentuate the versatility of sherry...
Apertif


Sherry Marinated Artic Char, Petite Vegetables
Tio Pepe Extra Dry Fino

Artichoke Consumme, Cucumber, Turnip, Mustard, Peanut Oil
Osborne Manzanilla

Skate, Spring Garlic, Duck Sausage
Lustau Almacenista Obregon Amontillado

Lamb Tenderloin, Spinach, Lemon Confit
Hidalgo Gobernador Oloroso

Gianduja
, Concord Grape, Manchengo Cheese, Almonds

Tradicion 20 Year Pedro Ximenez
The Sherries: From this dinner I learned how versatile Sherry is. All coming from the same grape, the various colors, aromas, flavors and finishes all were strikingly different and delicious. Sherry is not just a dessert wine... and this dinner made that clearly evident. Here is some information on Sherry, provided by the Sherry Council of America:


FINO - A pale golden or straw colored wine with a sharp, delicate bouquet suggestive of almonds. It's light and dry on the palate and is aged under a veil of yeasts called "flor". Best served chilled and best enjoyed with seafood and soups.


MANZANILLA - A straw colored wine with a dry, sharp bouquet which is light on the palate. It is aged under very special type of "flor" that exclusively grows in bodegas located in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Best served chilled with Spanish olives, Marcona almonds and Manchego cheese.


AMONTILLADO - An amber colored wine with a sharp but subtle bouquet suggestive of hazelnuts. It is light and smooth on the palate. Try this style with hot and spicy foods, dessert dishes or nuts.


OLORDOSO - Initially dry, it is and amber to mahogany colored wine and has a pronounced bouquet, as it's name indicates. It has overtones of nut and a full, vinous body. Pairs best with salt or spicy cured meats, like Jamon Serrano, or any red meat.


PEDRO XIMENEZ - A dark, mahogany wine with a deep bouquet of raisins. It is smooth and sweet in the mouth. This full, vigorous and perfectly balanced wine is produced from sun-dried grapes. Delicious served over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with a piece of dark chocolate.