Sherry is one of the wine world’s under appreciated gems. Seen as old-fashioned or something cheap and sweet that your Gran drinks at Christmas, Sherry is passed by without a glimpse by many a wine-lover. A lot of the tentative approach can also be put down to lack of knowledge and understanding. There are different styles and sweetness levels from bone dry to sumptuously sweet, with a range of flavours to suit every oenophile palate. One of the gaps in many people’s knowledge is how long it lasts once open, and what temperature it should be served.
How long does on open bottle of sherry last?
Here is a handy guide that covers the main styles of Sherry so you need wonder no longer! One thing that is severely misunderstood (especially by pubs and restaurants) is how long a bottle of sherry lasts once it has been opened. All wines evolve and deteriorate when open to oxygen, but here I have been fairly conservative where I feel most Sherries will hold on to the qualities that we value before the decline is noticeable. Don’t be afraid of using wine saving devices like a Vacuvin to give a greater protection. Of course different styles can survive for different periods of time, but 3 key rules to follow are:
- Keep sealed tightly
- Keep dark
- Keep cool/cold
What temperature should I serve sherry?
These are of course suggestions and personal preference on temperature may well vary. A rule of thumb is that the paler the Sherry, it is usually best consumed cooler. Also very sweet styles of sherry can benefit from being served ‘cellar’ temperature as it helps prevent the sugar become too cloying. Complex sherries shouldn’t be served too cold as many of the subtle nuances may well be lost. A quick note on the range of time given to VOS and VORS sherries. These are sherries of 20 and 30 years of age and advice from producers varies considerably so care needs to taken. (A delicious VORS sherry wouldn’t last anything like a year in my house so wouldn’t be a problem!!)