Meet XECO Wines – an ambitious and contemporary start-up that is about to shake up the sherry category by taking it into the aperitif scene. XECO is a contemporary brand of fortified sherry wines created by a team of passionate ’fino fiends’ seeking to reinvigorate a category beloved of trade professionals and largely misunderstood by millennial consumers.
British born Beanie, Polly and Alexa, met while living and working in Hong Kong. Quickly forming a firm friendship, the XECO ‘connection of three’ began...
Beanie fell in love with the land and wines of Jerez back in 2003 working for Gonzalez Byass and has always sought any opporunity to get her friends and peers drinking Sherry. As experienced wine salespeople who had first discovered Sherry during their WSET classes, Alexa and Polly needed very little encourgement.
The deal was sealed at a five course Sherry-themed dinner in 2014, organised by Polly to toast Beanie’s departure from Hong Kong, and the ‘Project XECO' wheels have been steadily picking up pace ever since...
Each Director’s experience in the drinks trade has brought to light a widely misinformed public and clear gap in the market. Furthermore, to launch a Sherry brand as an all women team adds to the unique, challenger nature of XECO.
Our mission is to tell a story is deeply rooted in history but with with a contemporary twist - our core values respect the craft and authenticity intrinsic to Jerez whilst bringing a freshness and energy to appeal to the modern-day millennial and adventurous foodie. We will encourage people to experiment with XECO - straight-up ice-cold, or on the rocks with tonic or lemonade, as the Spanish do in the summer time.
The first XECO Wines release will be a crisp and refreshing dry Fino sherry made using some of the finest Palomino grapes from Jerez, and aged biologically in American oak casks for a minimum of four years at Diez Merito, a Bodega established in 1876. The pale golden wine is light and fresh on the palate, with dainty savoury ‘Umami’ aromas and a hint of salinity.
XECO Fino is delicious served straight up and fridge-cold, or within any number of mouth-watering serves. From the simple XECO Fino with fresh lemonade or a generous glug of tonic, up to more complex concoctions, XECO is proving sherry to be one of the most versatile liquids out there.
The brand is working with a number of renowned bartenders from the likes of Swift and Sweet & Chilli Group to uncover the perfect serve, and develop a selection of classic and quirky cocktails that sherry lovers can make at home. This makes XECO the perfect aperitif choice for summer sipping.
XECO Wines’ disruptive packaging nods to the story of sherry’s rise to popularity, and the ancient English-Spanish connection. Mixing historic characters from England and Spain – including Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Shakespeare and Cervantes – with neon graffiti art, this stylish design sets it apart from the traditional ‘old-world’ labelling of many sherries on the market.
XECO Wines launched to consumers via a playful Indiegogo campaign with an ambitious target this month, after which the Fino will initially be available via Master of Malt. An Amontillado will be available later in Autumn 2017, and there are other styles in development.
XECO Fino will be available to purchase from Master of Malt from August, RRP £15.99 – 16.99.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of El Consejo Regulador.
25 July 2017