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Feb 8, 2011 03:54 AM

Chestnut soup: Sherry or Madeira

Have skimmed the boards and heard various voices in favour of pairing chestnut soup (perhaps a bit of apple, a bit of cream) with:

Amontillado sherry
Oloroso sherry
Verdelho Madeira
Bual Madeira

I know NOTHING of sherry and Madeira, but am intrigued by the idea of trying one with the soup. Which way should I go?

FYI, the soup will come after nibbly bits with a Cremant d'Alsace and before a scallop dish (Asian flavours) with Domaine Weinbach Riesling. I know, it breaks the theme, but oh well...

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  1. I'd keep the cremant d'alsace for the soup.

    or go with the Amontillado.

    1. As l like sweets, the oloroso if not too cloying will work as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Oloroso sherry ages dry, and is indeed a dry sherry. A *sweetened* Oloroso is another wine entirely, and is most often bottled under a different name. Indeed, originally, Cream Sherry was produced from an Oloroso sweetened with Pedro Ximenez.

      2. This may vary slightly with the specific brand, but *generally* . . .

        Amontillado sherry -- A dry, medium-weight sherry.
        Oloroso sherry -- also dry, fuller in body.
        Verdelho Madeira -- medium-light, dry Madeira.
        Bual Madeira -- full, sweet, lush.

        You know your recipe -- which sounds better to you? Also, the quality of Madeira and Sherry varies widely in the US. A lot depends upon the *specific* wine, specific brand.


        1 Reply
        1. re: zin1953

          Thanks very much for the clarification -- I am leaning toward an Oloroso as being perhaps more suitable than the Amontillado, given the oomph of chicken stock and heavy cream in the soup. Between the Madeiras, the Verdelho sounds less likely to steal the show from the Rieslings which wil follow. So...I may have to pour both the sherry and the Madeira and let the vox populi decide!

          I'm in Brussels and have two very trustworthy wine merchants, so I should be in good hands. Thanks again!

        2. I'd prefer the Amontillado Sherry, and that is also the beverage I would serve with the soup. for me, the Oloroso would turn it into dessert, as would the Bual Madeira. If I were to use Madeira, it would probably be Sercial.

          In any event, the wine I used in the soup would be the same wine I would serve with it. For me, that precludes any very sweet wines, because I wouldn't prefer to start the meal with that.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            ONLY if the Oloroso is sweet, and a) ALL Oloroso ages as a completely dry sherry, and b) most are bottled that way.

            That said, I agree with you that I would use a DRY wine -- be it an Amontillado or Oloroso Sherry, a Sercial or Verdelho Madeira . . .