Sonoma Valley Portworks Duet Hazelnut Cream Sherry (500ML)
The natural hazelnut essence is made for DUET by Borthwicks, Europe's most prestigious natural essence purveyor.
DUET is nicely balanced and exceptionally smooth. The surprisingly dark golden hue of the medium-bodied cream sherry comes from 12-18 months of aging in small American oak casks.
DUET works well both with dessert or as a dessert, and is the perfect companion to almost any after-dinner pastry.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
Sherry comes from only one place in the entire world, Andalucía, Spain where the soil and unique seasonal changes give a particular and unsurpassable character to its wines. The process of production—not really the grape—determine the type, though certain types are reserved for certain grapes. Sherry's main grapes include Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Muscat of Alexandria.
Tasting Notes for Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine that comes in many styles from dry to sweet. Fino, from Jerez, and the similar style called Manzanilla, from the humid and cool, coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, are the lightest and driest styles, and are meant for early consumption. Their creation is dependent on the action of flor, which are benevolent film-forming yeasts that make a floating veil on the surface of the wine, which aid in protecting it from oxidation. Amontillado happens when a Fino’s layer of flor fades and the wine starts to oxidize. Quite simply it is an aged Fino that has a darker color and richer palate. When flor yeast dies unexpectedly, the result is Palo Cortado. A Palo Cortado Sherry can behave like Amontillado on the palate but often show a greater balance of richness and delicacy. Oloroso never develops flor but is oxidized for anywhere from five to twenty five years, becoming aromatic and strong like a fine bourbon. A sweetened Oloroso is a Cream sherry; a Pale Cream is one that has had the color removed. Pedro Ximénez and Muscat, representing a tiny proportion of production can make some amazing single varietal sweet sherries but the vast number of styles are primarily based on the Palomino grape.
Perfect Food Pairings for Sherry
For Fino and Manzanilla, think Spanish tapas: baked anchovies, patatas bravas, olives, cold cuts and manchego. For Amontillado and Palo Cortado, dishes like roasted turkey, grilled tuna, artichokes and asparagus will go well; dark chocolate could pair with these too. Rich poultry and foie gras will work with dry Oloroso. Cream Sherry and sweet Pedro Ximénez should be enjoyed with dessert or cheese.
Sommelier Secrets for Sherry
Most Sherry produced is dry and meant to pair alongside traditional Spanish food. The British and American markets have traditionally focused on the sweet ones.