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Books on sherry wine? Stores to buy?

I've liked to drink a sherry every once in awhile, but after a trip to Madrid this past May (and particularly to La Venencia, the best sherry bar I've ever found), I've become OBSESSED with sherry. I just want to buy it, drink it, read about it....

So does anyone know of any good books that discuss sherry? The only books I can find are general wine books that will have a section on sherry. I'm looking for anything, from nonfiction/fiction books about Spain that have thoughts about sherry or sherry production interwoven within, sherry guides, history of sherry, etc. etc.

Also, any suggestions on good online distributors of sherry? I know this isn't the cheapest stuff to drink, but preferably a low markup online shop would be great.

Any other suggestions on how to sate my obsession would be helpful - thanks!

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  1. Jen, I'm not sure where you live, so recommending a place to buy Sherry is a bit problematic. Not only can I not recommend a brick-and-mortar establishment, but online retailers may be unable to ship to you . . .

    As far as books are concerned, the two "classics" are: "Sherry," by Julian Jeffs, 5th Edition (ISBN-10: 1840009233) that was published in 2006; and "Sherry and the Sherry Bodegas," by Jan Read (ISBN-10: 0856673498) that was published in 1988. Nothing newer that I know of, I'm afraid . . .

    In terms of brands, look for Lustau, Hidalgo, and Barbadillo. Garvey has an excellent Fino. And so on and so on . ..

    5 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Hi zin - I currently live in NYC (soon to be NJ), and there are a couple Spanish stores here, but given that it's NYC, I just assume all the prices are marked up. Thus the search for an online wine store (or I guess one in NJ would be good, too!).

      Thanks for the book suggestions! I will check them both out and will also check out the possibility or writing one myself as it seems there is not much out there, and writing one will require me to do a lot of enjoyable research!

      1. re: jen223

        OK, keep in mind that I'm in California . . . but generally all of the great retailers in Manhattan will have more Sherry than just Harvey's Bristol Cream and Dry Sack. Astor has a good selection; so does Chambers St. (which -- in keeping with the rest of the store -- has some more unusual offerings). Sherry-Lehman has some of the higher end offerings from Sandeman and Gonzales, Byass (both are producers where I, personally, avoid the "basic" lines but their high-end wines are quite good).

        In terms of online retailers, check out K&L Wines.

        1. re: jen223

          Since it's soon to be NJ, suggest the Wine Library in Springfield (web presence too so that you can compare pricing). They list them under "wines of Andalucia".

          1. re: wattacetti

            The Wine Library has excellent prices, and they can and will get you almost anything you want. They also have a great in-state delivery policy. I've been shopping with them for many years, and it's hard to beat their prices and customer service.

            That said, they don't have everything. Sherry Lehmann and Union Square Wines seem to have the largest selections of Sherries in New York. Their prices are competitive, but not super-low. I usually look for Lustau brand first. They offer very good quality/price ratio.. Although I also like Gonzales-Byass.

            1. re: ChefJune

              Speaking of Lustau, I saw a bottle of oloroso at a wine shop near where I work and so bought it. Took it home, went to open it, and the cork broke in half with no real force on my part at all. I thought should be fine since it's just the cork, but when I turned the bottle upside-down, drops of sherry came pouring out.

              I'll probably take it back to the wine shop but wondering if this would have been fine to drink.

      2. There is a new book on Sherry just published in the U.S.A. "Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla", by Peter Liem & Rosemary Gray, director of RS Productions NYC. who are also organising some Sherry tasting events in NYC, see http://www.sherryfest.com/ which will also provide more sources of information.
        The Regulating Council of the Sherry Insustry have an excellent and infomative website at www.sherry.org
        As I am based in the U.K. cannot offer suggestions of stockists.
        Good hunting!

        http://www.sherryfest.com/

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bodeguero57

          I actually recently heard of this sherry fest and plan to check it out! I even created a Google Maps itinerary of all the wine shops doing sherry tastings and selling this new book. I figure I'll pick up a copy.

          1. re: Bodeguero57

            Sadly, Sherryfest is only in New York, and while that's a big city, it's only a small portion of the population. Too bad they aren't doing similar events across the country.

            As for the book, it's a welcome addition to the cannon. However, I believe that Rosemary Gray is not the co-author, with Peter Liem, but rather his co-author appears to be Jesús Barquín. I have no idea who Peter Liem is, but Jesús Barquin is an excellent writer and quite knowledgeable on the topic. I enjoy the book he authored (with Victor de la Serna and Luis Gutierrez) on the Rioja and northwest Spain.

            That said, I cannot find this new book on Sherry listed anywhere. Possibly because the official US publication date is October 21, 2012. The ISBN number is 9780985981501 -- that should help locate it once it's actually published.

            See http://www.bookwire.com/Sherry,-Manza...

            1. re: zin1953

              yes, in reading about sherry fest (and luckily i currently live in NYC), they said that the book will be available at wine shops the day before the official release (so on 10/20 instead of 10/21). you can pre-order on B&N (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sherr...) for cheaper than i will probably pay in person!