International Sherry Week, organised under the auspices of El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry, has for a second year spread the word about Sherry wines to aficionados from all around the world.
During the world's largest celebration to showcase Sherry wines, the most popular type of events featured Sherry pairing menus, with exotic local dishes, illustrating how Sherry wines are so adaptable that they match any type of food, from Australian ribeye steak to Shanghai hairy crab.
Over the week from 2 - 8 November 2015, Sherry became a global talking-point, with news of the event garnering over 20 million hashtag impressions #sherryweek (source: hashtagify.me and Twitter analytics). Through Social Media, events around the world were shared, providing inspiration and guidance on menu pairings, Sherry cocktail recipes and tasting notes, with heavily increased activity on both Twitter – over 600 tweets per day - and Instagram.
In addition, two Twitter Tastings with 25 invited bloggers attracted 145 participants, with more than 1000 tweets generated from the two tastings, giving a potential impact of 1.6 million (source: TweetBinder).
Across the world – 25 countries on five continents
Over 1500 events took place in 25 countries across five continents to celebrate International Sherry Week 2015. In addition to previously participating countries: Spain, as the host nation; Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Holland, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States; four new countries joined: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, and China, which had 191 events with the majority in Shanghai. The strong Chinese presence was largely due to recently qualified Sherry Educators who are excited to put their studies into practice – showing customers how beautifully Sherry wines pair with their local cuisine.
These new countries participated in some of the week’s key events - live online tastings from Jerez with Gonzalez Byass Master Blender, and charismatic Sherry personality, Antonio Flores.
Japan again demonstrated it’s deep passion for Sherry wine culture with almost 300 events, the UK and US both tripled their events, thanks to strong Social Media presence in these countries, a total of 228 events in the UK, and 165 in the US. The worldwide campaign has inspired several participating restaurants to create regular Sherry-themed events, such as Fino Friday at Bar 44 in Wales (UK), the Sherry Sessions at Añada in Melbourne (Australia) and the Sherry Sunday Club in Haarlem (Netherlands) whilst several venues will add sherry pairings to their regular menus including Compere Lapin in New Orleans (USA) with their pairing of the Jerez Highball cocktail with Conch Croquetes .
Key annual event for Sherry industry
Sherry Week is a great opportunity to share with consumers the vast and varied knowledge gathered from all of the trade activities we run during the year: from Sherry Cocktail Competitions and Copa de Jerez to seminars, masterclasses, and our Sherry Educator Programme. Professionals in the wine and gastronomy sectors whom we’ve empowered can go out and spread the word about Sherry to aficionados, whether newcomers or experienced. So the event not only connects Sherry lovers from all the world, but is an ideal platform to support everyone with whom we have worked with over the year,
Says César Saldaña, General Manager Sherry Wine Council, El Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xeres-Sherry and D.O Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda.
Examples of Sherry pairing menus
The majority of events took place in restaurants this year, with many specially designed Sherry pairing menus. While many menus featured Spanish classics such as jamon and fried fish, considerable culinary creativity was shown with more exotic and untypical dishes paired with Sherries – wines which can always surprise with their unexpected matching abilities.
The Nut Tree Inn, Bicester, UK (Michelin*) Smoked salmon with whipped horseradish cream and caviar, paired with Gonzalez Byass Fino Una Palma.
15 Romolo, San Francisco, USA (Copa Jerez 2015 winners) Guinea Hen with liquorice-braised leeks, roasted chanterelles, shallot marmalade, paired with Amontillado.
Añada, Melbourne, Australia, Palo Cortado-braised venison, paired with two different styles of Palo Cortado Sherry.
Puyuan Cellar, Shanghai, China - The highly-anticipated Shanghai hairy crab season during autumn in southern China saw Sherry pairing menus which featured this prized crustacean delicacy matched with Manzanilla and Fino sherries.
As well as Sherry pairings, Sherry Cocktails were a popular fixture of several events in the UK, Japan and China, following the trend set by US mixologists some years ago - a tribute to the success of the annual US Sherry Cocktail competition.
What the restaurant owners and wine professionals said
Monica Zhou – Director, Talentum Trading and Consulting, Shanghai, China
Sherry Week is like a huge wave from the Atlantic Ocean, which we surf on and enjoy. We can tell people that Sherry is as popular as Champagne, Beaujolais, Malbec. Sherry has its own festival which is celebrated by all the world.
Owen Morgan – Manager, Bar 44, Wales (UK)
So many new sherry lovers – we had a brilliant week with a different event every day and with a huge variety of ages and types of customers – from young girls to rugby and football fans, retired couples to hipsters - they all came along and enjoyed the sherry experience.
Pepe Ferrer – Journalist & Sherry Wine Gastronomy Ambassador, (Spain)
International Sherry Week also flooded many corners of Spain with hundreds of events taking place in restaurants, bars, wine clubs and gourmet tasting rooms, uniting both amateurs and professionals in the celebration of these unique wines. What's been very interesting is that ISW has introduced many new fans here in Spain to discover sherry wines for the first time, which has been a real baptism of sherry, establishing a bond that will last for life.
Jess Lambert – Bartender, Sable Kitchen & Bar Chicago (USA)
Sherry Week for us, at Sable, was all about creating a menu that was approachable for our guests. We aimed to highlight the versatility of Sherry in cocktails, while enhancing the guests experience with traditional pinxtos style pairings. This was a fun opportunity for our guests to explore Sherry, who otherwise may have shied away from it.
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 enhancing the International Sherry Week celebration around the world in the years ahead, with new opportunities and further innovation.
12 November 2015