Sunday, 3 January 2016

Interesting Sherry Expressions

Being a wine with such a long history, Sherry almost has its own language. Here are a few colourful and interesting phrases:

Vino de Pañuelo: (handkerchief wine) A wine usually Amontillado, Palo Cortado or Oloroso which is intensely fragrant. A few drops on a handkerchief in a man’s breast pocket suffice as perfume - and as a reminder of the wine.

Regar la Plaza: (To water the square – streets and squares are sprayed with water in the mornings to keep them clean and fresh). The expression means to take one’s first glass of Sherry, an oxidised style to lay a foundation in the stomach for the Fino which will surely follow.

This is all you need to "regar la plaza"

Capataz de Chaqueta: The head capataz or bodega foreman, who traditionally wore a jacket. When someone was promoted to this position the workers used to say “Now he can go to work in a jacket.”

Capataz de Venencia: Head technical person in a bodega, also known as the Catador (taster) reporting to the Capataz de Chaqueta. Responsible for wine quality, blends, laboratory and purchases from almacenistas among other things.

La Tiza del Duende: (the chalk of the spirit/muse/divine) This expression refers to the way wines can change by themselves, such as Fino to Palo Cortado. The capataz (de venencia) uses chalk so the markings on the butts can be changed easily.

Por San Andrés, el mosto vino es: Traditionally the fermentations were finished by Saint Andrew’s Day, the 30th November, therefore the must had become wine. Nowadays with global warming it is wine a bit sooner.

The Mosto flag at tabanco El Guitarron (foto:

Jerez Amontillado, mérito doblado: The double merit refers to the fact that Amontillado is matured twice, first biologically and then oxidatively.

Dos puños (two fists) this is the gap between the surface of the wine and the bung hole of the butt giving a fill of about five sixths, ideal for the airspace needed for flor or oxidation.

A toca dedos (till it touches the fingers) This refers to a butt filled to the brim most likely a butt containing a wine to age as an añada or vintage wine, or in the past a shipping butt.

Bota “No” Sometimes referred to as the Bota Punta, this is a butt at the end of the row of the solera. After wine is withdrawn from the solera it is refreshed with wine from the first criadera – but not this one. Instead the Bota No is refreshed with solera wine retaining the solera style as a reference, only slightly more intense, and highly coveted. So "No" means it is to be left alone.

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