Sherry Masterclass and visit to The Sign of the Don

Dec 12, 13 Sherry Masterclass and visit to The Sign of the Don

Posted by in All, London, wine bars

As many of my readers know, I am a huge fan of sherry. Not the typical sherry your grandmother sips on Christmas Day. I’m talking about the dry, nutty and aged sherries that have recently gained renewed popularity in the bars and restaurants of London. It seems that more and more people are appreciating the nuances of sherry and I’m always happy to see new sherry bars in town. I attended a sherry masterclass at the recently opened The Sign of the Don in the City a few weeks ago. Located within throwing distance of the old Stock Exchange in the City, St Swithins Lane isn’t hard to find and there you will see the shadow of the famous Don of Sandemans Port and Sherry  etched onto a sign hanging over the door of the bar. TSOTD is the little brother of the long established restaurant, The Don next door. TSOTD also has a full restaurant but the main aim is to be a sherry bar. I liked it so much that I returned the next night with a friend for more tapas and dinner. The building has been part of the Sandeman family for generations and the cellar is unique in that it has been there from the beginning, over 200 years ago, it was being used as a sherry cellar. The cellar used to reach all the way to the Thames but nowadays there is only 30 metres left. Luckily, the cellar has been preserved and is now used by TSOTD for their wine cellaring. But back to the sherry masterclass. Led by the 5th generation of La Gitana, Javier Hidalgo, we were in for a treat. Starting off with the classic Manzanilla La Gitana NV, Javier told us that this was the first sherry to be included in the Wine Spectator’s best Fino of the year. A light and fine sherry, at £10 a bottle, it’s a bargain. One of my favourites of the evening was the Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana NV....

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George Sandeman and his 20 yr old tawny – video

Nov 30, 11 George Sandeman and his 20 yr old tawny – video

Posted by in Portugal, Videos

Sandeman’s 20 yr old Tawny port recently won the International Wine and Spirits Competition’s  best port in the world for 2011. The annual competition picks the best wines in the world in various categories every year. Sandeman was established in 1790 by Scotsman George Sandeman, who founded his port and sherry trading company in Tom’s Coffee House, in the City of London. Coincidentally, The Crypt at Ely’s Place where the Sandeman dinner I attended was held, is but a stone’s throw away from the site of the original Tom’s. The Crypt is over 800 yrs old and was the site of  a 5 day wedding banquet for Henry the VIII, although there was some disagreement around the dinner table as to which wife it was, either  Anne Boleyn or Catherina of Aragon, the mystery was not solved over copious glasses of port. Sandeman became part of the huge Portuguese wine conglomerate Sogrape in the 1970’s but a member of the family is still head of the house to this day. The 7th generation of Sandeman’s,  George, became Chairman of the house in 1991 and it was my pleasure to have a chat with him after dinner about what makes 20 year old Tawny so special and why it’s one of George’s favourites… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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