This year the celebration continued its exponential growth, with the number of events increasing by 25 per cent for the third consecutive year. Thanks to the #sherryweek hashtag on Social Media, last-minute unregistered events pushed the total number up towards 3,000.
Over the week from 6-12 November 2017, Sherry again became a global talking-point, with news of the event producing more than 15,000 original posts and almost 50 million potential impacts across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (source: Tweetbinder). Through social media, events around the world were shared, offering food and wine lovers plenty of passion, ideas and inspiration on how to serve and enjoy Sherry Wine.
Across the world – 30 countries on five continents
More than 2500 events took place in 30 countries and overseas territories to celebrate International Sherry Week 2017: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The new countries for this year were Ecuador, Hungary and South Korea.
Spain hosted the most events, over 1,000 in total, up 15% on last year, with a high concentration around the Sherry Triangle, unsurprisingly, and also nearby Seville. Spain is now the number one market for Sherry wines.
The UK and US followed Spain in number of events – the UK held double as many events as last year, at almost 700, while recently qualified Sherry Educators in Taiwan and Brazil ensured a strong presence in both countries.
The majority of events were gastronomy-focussed (65%), such as pairing menus, with the second-most popular being retail events (23%), including tastings and promotions, while sherry cocktails are a fast-growing area (17%).
In addition, the Sherry Week Twitter Tasting, featuring four guest sommeliers, generated more than 1000 tweets in an hour, and #sherrytt became a trending topic with a potential reach of six million (source: TweetBinder)
Three exceptional competitions: the results
A trio of competitions with superb prizes grabbed the attention of bloggers, bar and restaurant-owners alike in the weeks leading up to Sherry Week. The entries showed a high level of creativity and a keen understanding of how to match Sherry wines to distinct types of cuisine.
RESTAURATEURS – DESIGN A FOOD-PAIRING MENU AND WIN A SHERRY EDUCATOR COURSE
The challenge: Restaurants had to design a pairing menu showcasing at least three Sherry wines, themed around “If it swims...If it flies… If it runs”.
The prize: two places on the Sherry Educator course in Jerez, plus accommodation and flights.
The winner: Ambiente Tapas, York/Leeds, UK, for an outstanding, innovative six-course menu with excellent promotion including intense Social Media activity, which featured professional photography of each dish, inspiring other gastronomic venues.
- Squid ink risotto with scallops, octopus and king prawns, paired with Manzanilla
- Seafood bisque with a Tabasco crème fraiche, paired with Fino
- Spiced oxtail & bacon jam, celeriac puree & sweet potato crisp, paired with Oloroso
- Sweet & sour Andalusian salad jewelled with Josper roasted corn, romesco houmous & paned hen’s egg, paired with Fino
- Crème fraiche, regatta & spring onion croquette on piquillo pepper ketchup, paired with Amontillado
- Dark chocolate delice, pan moreno & malt ice-cream encased in a pecan shell with salted caramel, pàired with PX
BLOGGERS – PAIR YOUR SHERRY AND WIN DINNER FOR TWO AT EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA
The challenge: Twenty finalists had to create their own dish using local ingredients to pair with a Sherry.
The prize: dinner for two at twice-ranked No.1 restaurant in the world – El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain; Josep Roca is one of the judges.
The winner: Turkish winemaker and blogger Nesli Neslihan Ivit of Wines of Nesli, currently based in Canada. The judges were impressed with her use of local ingredients. As Nedret puts it: “This pairing is an unexpected union of two continents and two different climates on one table. Who would have think the humid salty air of Sanlúcar de Barrameda would meet the cold water of Nova Scotia?”
Nova Scotia Lobster served with maple-glazed carrots, sweet potato purée and almond-herb sauce, paired with Manzanilla Papirusa.
The winner of the third competition will be announced in the next week.
As well as Sherry wines matched to meat and fish dishes, this year wine aficionados could try pairings of Sherry and cheese, Sherry and cigars, and Sherry and chocolate.
67 Wine & Spirits store in NYC saw classic flamenco played on an old vinyl record player, alongside more than 110 types of Sherry, while US finalists in this year’s Copa Jerez, and NYC’s first Sherry pop-up bar, En Rama hosted Sherry & Songs: Volume 1, a wine-pairing series with local musicians and Sherry wines. Against all odds, Bodegas Osborne paired rock played on a Gibson guitar made from Sherry barrels, including AC:DC’s Highway to Hell, with its wines
In the UK, the first-ever London Sherry Trail map featured 49 venues, while in York two Ambiente Tapas bars teamed up with Pairings Winebar to create their own ‘Sherry Triangle’, with each venue serving a special tapas and Sherry pairing. The fourth Fukuoka Sherry Trail in Japan included eight different restaurants with each venue offering its own Sherry and tapas menu. In China Sherry Tables, pairing dinners were held in four different cities on the same day, to showcase how well Sherry pairs with every type of regional Chinese cuisine.
I am delighted to see Sherry Week going from strength to strength, year by year, and the key role played by Social Media in bringing the events to the attention of Sherry lovers all around the world. Sherry Week also brings together an unusually disparate range of people, of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, with a common message of “alegría” happiness conveyed in engaging photos which capture the sense of enjoyment which Sherry generates. Through live Social Media events, Sherry aficionados get a glimpse into the inner sanctum of the Consejo, our tasting room, the very heart of the Sherry world. This is a fantastic opportunity to build on our sense of community.
César Saldaña, General Manager Sherry Wine Council, El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry and D.O. Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda.
During Sherry Week I see customers being adventurous and open-minded. I’ve converted a few of our casual punters into avid Sherry drinkers. The demographic of those converts is truly mixed - from the cool kids of the northern quarter, to the more experienced drinker, Sherry is starting to make its way in Manchester again.
Jason Sheldon, Reserve Wines, Manchester, UK
For Sherry Week we organised a tasting by wine and cheese expert Guillermina Sanchez Cerezo. We tried many types of Sherry with our great cheeses, including the World’s Best Cheese 2016, Norwegian Kraftkar. Interest in Sherry wines is increasing here in Madrid, and we’re proud to be part of this growing movement.
Marcelo Alvarez, Director, La Carbonera - Bar de Quesos, Madrid, Spain
Our events for this year’s Sherry Week exceeded every expectation we had. It was amazing to see so many people come out and participate, learn, but most importantly enjoy Sherry all week long. We're excited to see the number of people interested in Sherry grow every year, we already can't wait for Sherry Week 2018!
Sergio Monleon, chef, La Marcha Tapas Bar, Berkeley, USA
In my opinion, events like ISW are key for different kinds of people to discover these wines. In recent years, initiatives like this have led to an increase in demand for Sherry Wine, and a wider offering. The great diversity of these wines shouldn’t be limited to just one week; their character as competitively-priced gastronomic wines is a huge advantage. Another important point for this week is to change the concept of when these wines are consumed, since outside the Sherry area, they’re seen as special occasion wines, rather than for every day. The initiative to have a dedicated Sherry Week to celebrate these wines around the world is essential to their resurgence, so that they can achieve the status they deserve.
Paqui Espinosa Navalón, owner, Taberna Palo Cortado, Madrid, Spain
International Sherry Week and the Sherry Wine Council would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the event this year - from the bodegas, to distributors, contributors, Sherry Educators, restaurants, stockists, enthusiasts and all participants. We look forward to growing and further expanding and enhancing the International Sherry Week celebration around the world in the years ahead, with new opportunities and further innovation.
The dates for next year’s International Sherry Week are 8-14 October 2018.
16 November 2017