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Feb 1, 2014 09:07 AM

Wine shop with good sherry selection in Albuquerque or Santa Fe?


My Dad's birthday is coming up. He loves sherry. I think he likes amontillado best. He spent some time in Spain for work when he was younger so I think he knows his stuff regarding sherry. I know nothing. Does anyone know any place in the Abq or Santa Fe metro areas where I can get a really good bottle of sherry, and where the staff is knowledgeable enough to help me pick one?

I looked at the website for TotalWine in Abq. They have three amontillado sherries available for pick up here: Sandeman Amontillado Character, Don Benigno Amontillado, and Lustau Amontillado 'Los Arcos'. I think he might have a bottle of the Lustau at his house now, so I'd rather not get that one even though it looks the best from the website description. Any information anyone can give me about selecting a sherry would be most appreciated, too.

Thanks very much,

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  1. Susan's and Kokoman up in Santa Fe both have a nice selection of sherries. I'd be pretty surprised if Jubilation in ABQ didn't have some good choices, although I've been a little less impressed with their staff compared to the above.

    3 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      Thanks so much, finlero. I'll try both of those places. Do you have any recommendations as to particular sherries?

      1. re: ninrn

        I'm more of a Madeira guy, so not really. Best thing you could do is go grab dinner at La Boca, they have something like a dozen sherries on the menu and you could try a few different glasses.

        1. re: finlero

          That's a good idea. If we can get him to leave the house, maybe we'll take him there for a b'day dinner, see what he likes, and keep that in mind for Father's Day.

    2. Sherry is a really tough category in New Mexico. If you're willing to consider mail order The Rare Wine Company in Sonoma is a great source for both Madeira and Sherry. They carry the entire Valdespino portfolio and even featured them in a recent newsletter:

      The staff is great and shipping is reasonable at least for case quantities, although it inevitably starts to seem a little steep for smaller orders.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rcurtism

        Thanks, rcurtism. it's a bit too late to mail order for this year, but I'll definitely bookmark this site for future use.

        1. re: rcurtism

          Hi again rcurtism,

          I decided to check the Rare Wine Co website more carefully this morning to see if I could get something from there in time. It turns out the Valdespino I'd want will only be available later in the year, but as I read the article you linked to, I found mention of a book called Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla by Peter Liem and Jesús Barquin. I'd been looking for a book on sherry for my Dad too, but the only one I could find that seemed good was quite old. This one is perfect, so your advice led me to a great present.

          Thank you,

        2. Jubilation in Albuquerque has the most extensive sherry and port section I've found in town. Total wine is lacking in sherry options.

          5 Replies
          1. re: kjjr

            Thanks, kjjr. I don't think I'll get to SF before my Dad's birthday, so this is a big help.

            1. re: ninrn

              Hope you find a good sherry there for your dad. The owner is always helpful.

              In response to the suggestion to try eating at La Boca in Santa Fe - Albuquerque now has Mas Tapas y Vino at the Hotel Andaluz (downtown) with chef, James Caruso - the same chef/owner of La Boca and Taberna in Santa Fe. Delicious tapas, Spanish food and wine. Can be very busy, so reservation is a good idea.

              1. re: kjjr


                You've been a big help. The last time I went to Jubilation was about five years ago, and the two guys who were working there seemed like such clueless frat boys that I've never gone again. On your recommendation though, we went today and it was really different. It turns out one of their staff, a very nice young guy named Jesus, is a big sherry buff. While they only had 3 amontillados, he explained the nature of each so well that I'm sure my Dad will love the one we got him.

                Thank you for your suggestions,

                PS: If anyone's interested, Jesus will be heading up a free sherry tasting at Jubilation on, I think, the 25th. I don't know if you need to book a space, so it's probably best to call ahead if you want to go.

                PPS: Also received the book today that I learned about on the website rcurtism recommended. It looks great, and, from what I've read online, it's the first really comprehensive book on the subject of sherry written since 1992's Sherry by Julian Jeffs. It's called Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla, by Peter Liem & Jesús Barquín:

                1. re: ninrn

                  Hey, so I read recently that this same guy who helped me at Jubilation, Jesus Rodriguez, came in 2nd in Albuquerque Magazine's Best Abq Sommelier competition, a pretty nice achievement for someone so young and for someone who works in a retail setting rather than at a restaurant.

                  He's also passed Level 1 of the Court of Master Sommelier's four-level examination process and is working his way up. If you've seen the documentary Somm, you know how grueling that exam process is.

                  Anyway, sometimes New Mexico can seem awfully disconnected and defeating for young people (at least for those without strong connections outside the state, or the resources to visit other places regularly) and I thought it was neat that this young guy is working so hard to pursue such a dream here.

          2. James C Caruso is very generous with info - might be worth asking him (I know this is a day late and a dollar short). Or better yet, he does sherry tasting dinners fairly regularly - instead of a bottle, give him an experience.