Waitrose No.1 rich cream sherry in a nutshell
Don’t turn your nose up at cream sherry – there’s a reason it was so popular for so long. Good examples are delicious.
Sherry in its natural form, leaving aside super-sweet wine like pedro ximénez, is always dry, and that is how it is drunk in Spain. But for export to northern Europe, even the finest wines were usually sweetened. This dates right back to Shakespeare’s day, when ‘sack’, a form of sweetened sherry, was the most popular wine in Britain. He mentions it more than any other drink in his plays.
Special blends were created for Britain, usually consisting of heavier wines like olorosos, beefed up with brandy and sweetened with pedro ximénez or muscat. These sort of sweet brown boozy sippers are what most people in Britain think of when they hear the word ‘sherry.’ The most famous example is Harvey’s Bristol Cream, once the best-selling sherry in the world, which has given its name to a style – cream sherry.
Now, usually, an introduction like this would be followed by a paragraph on what a terrible style of wine this is. And yes, there are bad examples, bottom shelf supermarket cream sherries are often not great, but made properly with good-quality, well-aged wines, cream sherry can be delicious.
This example is made by Lustau, one of the best houses in Jerez. Dating back to 1896, the firm is now part of the Caballero group, and interestingly is now housed in Harvey’s old bodega in Jerez. It produces excellent wines under its own brand, as well as quality sherries for Waitrose and Morrisons own label ranges. Despite being about the most unfashionable wine style in the world, this is undoubtedly a quality product. You can tell from the nose, there’s lots of PX character, dried fruit, nuts and citrus. In the mouth, it’s sweet but not cloying, with a lovely fruity note and nutty finish. You can really taste the quality of the wines in here.
It’s great served with a fruitcake or seed cake, or with blue cheese. Also a useful ingredient, add a splash to gravies and stews at the last minute for richness.
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This review was last updated in November 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.