Sherry Shorts: Books

Emilio Hidalgo Fino

So, you want to read about sherry?

While there are a burgeoning number of blogs and websites dedicated to the subject that are worthy of your attention (check my blogroll links), there are now more than a handful of english language books on sherry that deserve a spot on your wine bookshelf.

Peter Liem and Jesús Barquín’s book ‘Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla’ is superb, offering a comprehensive overview of sherry along with profiles of the bodegas and their wines. It’s a must read for any wine lover and should be considered amongst the great wine books of recent years. Alongside it stands “Sherry” by Julian Jeffs. This is the sherry bible against which all other books on the subject must be measured. What it lacks in detail on specific wines, it more than makes up for in historical context and its description of the sherry journey from grape to glass.

Talia Baoicchi’s book “Sherry: A modern Guide To The Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret” is a wonderfully evocative introduction to sherry. It would be a mistake to merely pigeonhole this as a book for beginners though – the bodega overviews are excellent as are the lists of top wines and essential sherries that crop up throughout.

Current President of the Consejo Regulador, Beltran Domecq, has released a book “Sherry Uncovered: Tasting and Enjoyment” that is a good source of technical data and will particularly appeal to anyone wanting to indulge their inner chemistry student. I’m a big fan of Christopher Fielden and Javier Hidalgo’s book “Manzanilla”. If re-reading is a measure of sheer enjoyment, this book would be near the top of the list. It’s a concise but detailed look at the wines of Sanlúcar with a sprinkling of insider knowledge that can only be provided by someone of Javier Hidalgo’s stature.

I’ve been scouring AbeBooks of late to find some older books on sherry but have found little to recommend. The pick of the bunch has been “Sherry” by Manuel M.González Gordon – a legendary book that has stood the test of time. “The Sherry Royalty” by William Fifield is an enjoyable read if only to provide perspective on a sherry world that has changed so much in recent years.