A blog and review on all things Sherry. It is about tasting, enjoyment and learning more about the World’s Finest Wine. "Sherry is a thoroughbred" as Javier Hidalgo rightly puts it. Included are the amazing local Brandies and the remarkably good table wines also produced in the province of Cádiz.
An Interview with José Luis López Linares, Directior of El Misterio del Palo Cortado
The first showing in Jerez of El Misterio del
Palo Cortado took place last night at the Sala Compañía. This very successful film, directed by José
Luis López Linares and produced by Antonio Saura, features leading chefs, sommeliers
and many members of the wine trade in Jerez. Here José Luis is interviewed by A
Cala of the Diario de Jerez.
How did Sherry inspire you to make this
When I arrived
in Jerez I had practically no idea what a Palo Cortado was. I saw that nobody could agree how it was made yet it had a clear definition, and I thought it would make a great protagonist
for a film with all its possibilities: its history, its name…
The director on set 2014 (foto:diario jerez)
Once you had finished the film, was Palo
Cortado still a mystery to you?
No, no, no,
quite the opposite (he laughs). I like a good mystery and I like to discuss it,
develop it but without revealing it. I wanted it to remain a mystery after the
film, I think that is one of its great advantages: it is a mysterious wine, and
if you take away the mystery you make it into just a normal wine. Wine should
be a mystery, and this one even more, so the idea was to try to make it more
Were other Spanish wines more familiar to you?
although I am a wine enthusiast, I had no idea about Sherry. A Fino occasionally,
a Manzanilla, an Amontillado…, but it had never occurred to me to drink Sherry
with food, and I hadn’t realised how great the wines could be. I think Sherry
is somehow beyond the sphere of the wine enthusiasts, they know little about it
which is a great pity. We tried to address this with the film, to enrich their
knowledge and show that there is another wine which is not properly known.
Do you think that the word about Sherry is not
A lot is
happening, and the wine has suddenly been discovered by the sommeliers in the
great restaurants of Spain and most of the rest of the world. The word is
getting through, and the film is part of this new way of focussing on Sherry.
What exactly is the film about?
basically relates my experience in Jerez; it is very personal. I know that not all
the bodegas which should have been in the film were in it, but then it would
have been too long. The film tells of a visitor who has arrived in Jerez and
met wonderful people and truly great wines. There are many things not included,
but there was a time limit. What I think the film has achieved is to get across
the fascination of Sherry.
Using a venencia, a shot from the film (foto:elmundo)
Filming must have been a real pleasure..?
hard pleasure! (he laughs). We filmed for long hours and every session brought
some new discovery which we did not have time for. It was a fantastic
experience because of the people in the bodegas, but it was one of the hardest
in terms of hours – the harvest in the middle of it. Filming took from May to
And you also had great collaboration and
participation from distinguished chefs, sommeliers, Sherry experts from
prestigious restaurants like El Celler de Can Roca, Miramar, Mugaritz…,
we really appreciated their support and knowledge, and it wouldn’t have been
possible without the support of the Sherry bodegas: Tradición, González Byass,
Rey Fernando de Castilla, El Maestro Sierra, Osborne, Barbadillo, Equipo
Navazos, Harveys, Williams & Humbert etc., and the fundamental collaboration
of the Consejo Regulador. And that of all the people of Jerez: oenologists, bodegueros,
coopers, the people in the bodegas, in the vineyards, pickers, cellarmasters,
all experts in their respective fields.
Do you think there might be a second part to
the film? It has given you new ideas.
know, (he laughs), possibly. There are certainly other avenues. Of course there are things we could not
include in the film and I would like to do more. There are many possible themes
How was your partnership with Antonio Saura?
You have worked together before.
We have been
friends for many years and have already made “El Pollo, El Pez y El Cangrejo
Real” about gastronomy and various television projects. We collaborate a lot.
Will you be visiting Jerez more often having
made this film?
more often than last year! (he laughs).
I will visit when I can, I would love to.
What will this documentary do for cinema in
film makers who want to change the world, but I am less ambitious. What I want
to do is find a subject I like and which merits being better known, and for me
Sherry was a discovery which I wanted to share with as many people as possible.
Alceo once said “In Vino Veritas”. Is that
is truth in wine, among many other things. Truth is complicated, where a lie is
much simpler. The truth has shades, shapes, it can escape and you have to
follow it. Wine helps one to find the truth.