AIR: Bodegas Barbadillo is located at the base of the Guadalquivir River that flows from Sevilla in the north and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
The coastal humidity and winds help the flor flourish especially in Sanlúcar - this protects the wine from oxidation and allows sealed maturation to preserve freshness and life. When later sweetened with grape must, the almond extract like qualities are released alongside orchard fruits, baked apple, pear, touches of fennel and sweet cream. This wine, though sweet, is also bright and reminiscent of an Aperitif. We felt it important to end the meal on a high note, as the end of dinner does not always signify the end of an evening. This pairing serves as a transition between a delicious meal and the evening beyond.
The first sherry that I ever tasted was a pale cream, at the hands of my team mate, Kerin Auth. The sentimentality of this wine along with its flavor profile excited me deeply to begin creating a dessert embodying the light and ethereal quality of Air. The floral and herbal notes on the nose of this wine inspired the creation of an orange blossom pavlova and the use of mint in the creamy aerated white chocolate mousse. Orange blossom is a flavor that you smell more than you taste on your tongue, which awakens the senses. Combining this ethereal food concept, with the herbal qualities of the mint and juiciness of strawberries elicits a strong sense of a summer garden. The wine being so similar to an aperitif and the red and white colors of the dish make the diner feel like they are sipping an afternoon cocktail on an Andalucian patio, surrounded by white cement walls crawling with vines of bougainvillea.