There's more to Jerez than its famous fortified wines, and this month's cheese pick Sherry Cask is an excellent example. This is a new creation of Alimentias, a cheesemaker in southern Spain.
It is made from raw sheep's milk collected from neighbouring farms. Like the AOP designated Manchego, the milk is from Manchega sheep herds. The wheels are aged for several months in Oloroso Sherry casks. The aging caves are located in Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia, just down the road from where the Sherry grapes are grown. Its Sherry casks aging process adds flavours and aromas that are unique to this cheese. They have done a great job of respecting the tradition of local farming methods and building on that to produce this delicious new cheese. This tasty newcomer won a Super Gold medal at the 2022-23 World Cheese Awards, so it has already developed fans. The price is also very reasonable, which we can all appreciate in these times of rising dairy costs.
Tasting Notes: Sherry Cask cheese is very flavorful. It has a distinctive fruity aroma and first taste. The finish seems to me to be clean, sharp and a little nutty. I love the texture, which greatly benefits from the formation of Tyrosine crystals that add that memorable crunchy little bite. The sharpness and the fruitiness are well balanced, making for a great first and last bite.
Pairing: This is the kind of cheese that could pair with so many things that it's hard to narrow it down. I think I might choose to marry it with some Spanish treats. Settle in with a small glass of Sherry, some Marcona Almonds and a slice of quince paste or a spoon of quince jelly, and I'm sure you will have a happy little combination. The dairy even suggests pairing it with a slice of fruit cake, which sounds like a perfect after-dinner treat.
Cheese Name: Sherry Cask
Origin: Andalusia, Spain
Milk Type: Raw sheep's milk
Style: Firm, aged cheese.
GOW Suggested WIne Pairings: