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International Sherry Week 2016 - a global talking point.

Over 2,000 events in 30 countries, with enormous Social Media engagement and a focus on gastronomy and pairing. The perfect match this year was between the renaissance of Sherry and the visual impact of Social Media. Sherry aficionados everywhere around the world made the third International Sherry Week 7–13 November, into a global talking point.

More than 2000 events were held in 30 countries across five continents to celebrate the week, organised under the auspices of El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry for the third year.

Social Media engagement

The world of Social Media, and especially Instagram with its strongly visual focus, is turning foodies into gourmet photographers. Food and wine lovers use their own mouth-watering photographs to demonstrate their passion for much-loved drinks and dishes.

On Instagram, Sherry lovers focussed both on the wine itself, in the glass and bottle, and on the dishes paired with Sherry. As an enormously influential channel for both food and travel, Instagram has become an ideal platform for capturing the beautiful colours of the wine, from pale gold to mahogany, and the vast variety of dishes and cuisines with which it matches so perfectly.   

Unequivocal proof of how enthusiastically Sherry lovers engaged with the event can be seen in the monumental SM buzz surrounding Sherry Week. More than 10,000 original posts were recorded throughout the week using the hashtag #sherryweek, plus more than 50,000 Likes received, on Instagram alone, with a further 28 million impressions via Twitter (source: Tweetbinder).

Some of the events themselves actually took place via Social Media, such as a Sherry Twitter Tasting with 15 international bloggers, online tastings streamed direct from Jerez, and a first-ever Facebook Live Q&A with the directors of the Sherry Wine Regulative Council.   

Across the world – 30 countries on five continents

Over 2000 events took place in 30 countries across five continents to celebrate International Sherry Week 2016. In addition to previously participating countries: Spain, as the host nation; Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China,Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South

Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America. The new country this year was Lithuania.

The UK and US followed Spain in number of events, thanks to strong Social Media presence in these countries – a total of 316 events in the UK, including four simultaneous events in 4 different cities on 7 November: in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff, Sherry lovers took part in tastings, pairing menus, and the skilled art of pouring Sherry from a venencia, with live flamenco to set the Andalucian mood.

This was followed by 264 events in the US who again demonstrated why Sherry is the darling of mixology with classic and innovative Sherry Cocktails highlighted on menus across the country.

Foodies and wine lovers, demonstrated their passion for Sherry through more than 10,000 posts on social media 1 of 9
Sherry Week 2016 Bar 44
Fino with Fish n Chips at Bar 44 Wales 2 of 9
Sherry Week 2016
Sherry Week celebrations in Japan 3 of 9
Sherry Week El Gato Negro 2016
Sherry Week Cocktails by El Gato Negro Tapas UK 4 of 9
Cheryl Wakerhauser, right, Bar Vivant, organiser of the Sherry Obstacle course in Portland Oregon USA 5 of 9
Bar Tozino London offered a different Sherry pairing every day 6 of 9
Sherry tastings took place globally, this image is from 'Friends of Sherry' Switzerland 7 of 9
Gato Gorda Pop up Sherry bar Chinatown, Vancouver Canada 8 of 9
The Sherry Chorus - one of 12 events held simultaneously across 10 cities in China 9 of 9

Numerous events were held in countries as diverse as China, Greece, Brazil and Mexico, largely due to the continued efforts of Certified Sherry Educators. These qualified Sherry aficionados share their knowledge of the wines to empower local industry professionals and consumers on how to pair Sherry with local cuisine.   

In Spain and Denmark, Sherry Week coincided with the national finals of the Copa Jerez 2017 sherry pairing and cooking competition, the international final of which will be held in June 2017. Germany held a competition to find its new Sherry Ambassador who will attend the Sherry Educators’ seminar in Jerez next year, while in the Netherlands, many bloggers were actively involved in events, attending tastings and writing blog posts to inspire their readers and SM followers.

In Jerez itself, tastings were held for both sight and hearing-impaired people – the hearing impaired event, organised by Spirit Sherry, proved so popular that a second date was added.

Key annual event for Sherry industry

This year Sherry Week has established itself as one of the most important events in our annual calendar, and an essential way to engage our worldwide community of Sherry lovers, whether aficionados or wine industry professionals. I would say that Sherry Week represents the final celebration in our full programme of events, complementing all the activities which take place during the year, from Sherry Cocktail Competitions and Copa de Jerez to seminars, masterclasses, and our Sherry Educator Programme, to draw in this exceptional group of Sherry lovers which we’ve worked so hard to create around the world. Now we start on a new cycle of activities, which will finish in November 2017.  

César Saldaña, General Manager Sherry Wine Council, El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry and D.O. Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Examples of Sherry pairing menus

Globally there were numerous events giving prominence to the pairing of Oysters paired with Manzanilla and Fino, along with Cheese and Sherry pairings including cured cheeses with Oloroso, and spicy blue cheeses with Pedro Ximénez.

  • Hong Kong - Lamb chops, parsnip and baby carrots with Oloroso VORS  
  • UK  - Lamb and pumpkin tart, soy, shallot, garlic chips, celery leaf, with Fino and the classic Fish and chips with Fino
  • Japan - Peking duck with Amontillado
  • Canada - Clam and leek chawamushi (savoury egg custard) with Amontillado
  • USA – Foie gras torchon in hazelnuts served with toasted brioche and onion marmalade, paired with an Amontillado VOS

 

The response to Sherry Week in Mexico was astounding; we had 315 people in the one room, all tasting Sherry at the same time in a guided tasting. 8 different wines were presented from 5 different producers and the people absolutely loved the experience and loved the Sherry.

Raul Vega, Director Terravid Importers, Mexico                                                                                                     

More than 250 people joined the Sherry Chorus on the opening night of Sherry Week in China, with 12 venues in 10 different cities all participating in the same style of Sherry tasting and seminar at the exact same time, that’s why we called it the Sherry Chorus, we all sing for Sherry! This is the first time ever my country has participated in a national Sherry wine seminar, it is a historical moment and one that I am deeply proud of as a Certified Sherry Educator. 

Monica Zhou, Director Talentum Trading, Shanghai           

We had 43 participants who "ran the scales" of our obstacle course, moving from station to station for a new surprise and lesson. Everyone who participated left with greater knowledge and appreciation for Sherry - and, as you can see from the photos, a smile on their face!  Sherry Week is a fantastic way to introduce and further educate people about a captivating wine that comes in so many styles. Once that glass is in new hands, we have created another #sherrylover! And once you fall in love, you always want to learn more.

Cheryl Wakerhauser, Bar Vivant, Portland, Oregon, USA

We believe that pairing with food is the key to enhancing people’s understanding of these wines and the Sherries paired exceptionally well with the menu created by Michelin-starred chef, Nigel Haworth.  Overall the evening was outstanding and we look forward to building on this success for Sherry Week 2017.   

Craig Bancroft, Managing Director, Northcote, UK (AA Hotel of the Year 2016)

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International news, events, recipes, culture and history, brought to you by the Sherry Wines Council (El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry & Manzanilla ).
Sherry Wines @sherrywines
17 November 2016
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