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Dear my long-unsuffering readership,

I entirely neglected to BLOG about the Sunday before last, when I had a glass of sherry. Yes, you will have gathered from my radio* silence that I have not drunk much sherry recently.

Well, the occasion was a birthday meal that Kerry arranged for me, to my local tapas place (well, as local a tapas place as we can find) in Camberwell, Angels & Gypsies. Let me just say right away that it's a nice place, with a good atmosphere, and a good range of interesting, inspiring tapas dishes. Everything we tried was tasty, and not TOO small.

They also have a page or two of sherries on the menu, as you'd hope and expect. I asked for a glass of Delgado Zuleta Amontillado, though I fear I received a glass of Delgado Zuleta Fino instead (I recall the waiter saying "fino" when he served it, and it wasn't until I'd already started drinking that I realised the error). After all, the two styles of sherry do taste slightly different. However, I cannot complain too greatly as after all it was still very pleasant.

Even better was the Delgado Zuleta Cream that Kerry ordered. I had a sip and it was really rather lovely, without some of the more acerbic notes that I got from the fino (is "acerbic" the word? I'm not sure it is). And despite the name, FEAR NOT, it did not involve actual cream. I'd personally suggest to the good people of Bodegas Delgado Zuleta that they avoid the word "cream" as it does rather conjure hideous imaginings of Drambuie, Bailey's and the like.

The place also had an extensive list of, rather randomly, rums. They were good, but this journal does not concern itself with rums, so I shall not elaborate.

[* not literally]
ewan: Star (Default)
So that sherry research I was planning on doing? Well, it happened!

Last night, myself, [personal profile] superpitching, [personal profile] kake and [personal profile] kerrypolka made an expedition to Bar Pepito, aforementioned sherry bar, near King's Cross.

Well, it was tiny: four teetering high tables with table-tops made from sherry barrels, with four stools to each. And it was hot; there was a large fan behind the bar, and another at the other end of the room, pointedly (at least, to us, sweltering in the heat) not turned on.

The place is built into an old warehouse -- as indeed is much of this newly-reclaimed area, the Regent Quarter -- with not much space at all, and certainly no room for much in the way of air-conditioning. This is of course a downside for customers in the Summer heat, but it turns out it's not always good for them either; they opened about 20 minutes late because, as the friendly guy running the place (only the one, though another came to help out with the tapas later on) told us, the refrigeration units had failed overnight leaving them with a lot of dead sherry to throw out. We gainfully offered to dispossess them of this stock, but that was being a bit hopeful probably.

Anyway, we settled into the menu, which includes helpful tasting notes. They have about three sherries each for a variety of styles (Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso seco, Oloroso dulce, Moscatel, and Pedro Ximenez), and as such offer 'sherry flights' for most of the different types, which come out as pretty good value (around £7-8 for three different sherries along with a matching tapas).

Bar Pepito, Pentonville, London

We ended up with a flight each, did a bit of swapping of the nice ones, and then agreed on our favourite two and ordered a (375ml) bottle of each. So we drank quite a bit of sherry in the end: this wasn't exactly planned, I must say. We also tried a fair amount of the tapas on offer: a lovely duck pate, practically melted into the plate in the heat; some tasty little sausages; almonds in their shells; and best of all, surprisingly perhaps, the pan con tomate, which was, as the name suggests, just bread with (chopped) tomato on it, but was lovely. We ended up with four portions of that.

So, the sherries, you ask? Well, our favourites were the Lustau Puerto Fino, which was described as "bready ocean" by [personal profile] kerrypolka, and the sweeter González Byass Solera 1847, the dry Oloroso moderated by a bit of Pedro Ximenez to give a nice easy drink. I mean, there were other nice sherries too, of course, but those were the ones we took a bottle of for further drinking.

We finished with some PX (González Byass Nectar) which was sweet, viscous and raisiny, and I know [personal profile] kake didn't like it, but the rest of us thought it was fine. Though, thinking about that, I'm reminded of an early taste of PX out in Córdoba (earlier this year), when every restaurant finished by giving us a glass of PX (they didn't say what it was at the time, but as our sherry palates have extended, we managed to figure it out), and I initially found it to be pretty horrid. Acquired taste, maybe?

Well, there's more research to be done here, and I only regret that having to rush off to catch the last train home, I didn't get a chance to take up the kind offer by our server to let me try the most expensive sherry they had. Because, you know, if you've got a chatty waiter, you should always ask naively about the most expensive thing on the menu... However, [personal profile] kerrypolka bought a bottle of the Lustau so we headed home happy. (Except for having to run for the train. I can't wait until they've finished the work at Blackfriars so that cross-London First Capital Connect services run until later.)

May 2015

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