In 2012 I learned one of the great secrets in the world of wine: that the wines made in Jerez (and Sanlucar, and Montilla), from finos and manzanillas to palo cortados, amontillados and olorosos (not to mention moscatels and PX), are among the most extraordinary, delicious wines being made anywhere.
I had lived in Spain for over a decade and I had been enjoying wines of every kind for longer than that. I had also cottoned to the quality of the wines I had come across: I always had room in my fridge for a bottle of Tio Pepe. But I discovered, in a bottle of Palo Cortado (made by Equipo Navazos and bought at Enoteca Barolo), what seemed like a new world. It was one of those Cortes gazing out on the Pacific, watcher of the skies type moments. I discovered a whole new dimension to wine, a bass clef to go with the treble, jazz music after a lifetime of military marches.
Undertheflor. The name of the blog is inspired by the lads’ inspired description of their symptoms on the second morning of an enthusiastic trip to Jerez: all sugar, glycerine removed from bloodstream, replaced with alcohol and acetaldehide. (It also refers to the biological ageing almost unique to these wines.)
Sharquillo. The writer is a Madrid based mancunian who has become a keen drinker of sherry in all its guises. I have no commercial interest whatever, although I have a growing number of friends in the business (fortunately my over the top consumption means that on average everyone gets a turn).
Pages. You will see some pages across the top with general stuff that I try to keep updated – “Authorities” are the people you should be reading, “Drink it” lists restaurants that have a good list of sherries (all suggestions welcome), “Enjoy it” has some basics on stemware, decanting etc, “Get it” lists the people and places I buy my sherry from, “Pairings” is, erm, about pairings (and could use a little work), “Scores” can be controversial (you have been warned) and “Tunes” will probably give you a more accurate idea of my age than carbon dating.
Tags. There is also a growing cloud of topics to choose from on the right. Most are pretty explanatory but “Articles” is the tag for third party pieces whereas “Opinion” is my own opining. My own particular obsessions are “Terroir” and “Vintage” (by which I mean wines that are made from fruit of a given year, rather than old wines in general). “Palomino” refers to the unfortified white wines made from said grape whereas “PX” refers to all the wines from the latter.