Taking pride of place at Beeston Reclamation this month is an old Spanish sherry barrel a means of storage that would prove to be the most important part of the drink’s journey from sweet wine to a firm favourite with grandparents on special occasions.
To be fair to sherry, it is making something of a comeback as a drink to be enjoyed even by the younger generation. Bars that specialise in the Spanish drink have even popped up in London to satisfy the growing appeal of a drink which is much more enjoyable when served at the right temperature and in the right type of glass.
While Sherry has its origins in the 9th century BC the best thing to happen was the emergence of Port wine. While both a probably equally popular around Christmas time, it was the emergence of the latter which led to demand for Sherry falling for a time.
To cut a long story short, Sherry makers had to keep their supplies stored away in barrels for longer. This had the unexpected result of making Sherry taste nicer! So as people began to marvel at the new nutty and fragranced flavour of the Sherry, its popularity began to grow again until it once again became popular.
Since then demand for Sherry has ebbed and flowed but there is always a certain sense of nostalgia when you have a sip of it Christmas time.