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Wine Craft: Sherry Starter Kit


If I told you that, for $25, could pique your interest to learn about a unique style of wine, you may be a little hesistant. Sure, this price seems to be what a normal bottle of wine would cost today, but is the cost worth you trying something different than the typical Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Super-Tuscan, or even a Chilean Carmenere? In the wine world, it is already tough just to find the right wine in a style you’re already familiar with. Why in the world would you want to try Sherry?

Sherry, is a fortified (spirit added) wine from southern Spain that ranges from dry and pale to very raisined and sweet. Then the wine is thrown into barrels and stacked on top of one another to be tasted on a later date. It’s traditionally enjoyed with salty, small-plate tapas like jamon-topped bread that was perched on the Sherry glass to keep flies out.

Is Sherry seeming a little more interesting yet?

In this week’s Wine Craft, I picked the featured wine specifically to spark your interest in Sherry. By spending only $25, you could actually taste a Sherry that is at least partially from 1927. Produced using that stacked barrel technique I talked about earlier, this Sherry is of a batch that has been continuously aging for the last 89 years old!


sherry solera system Gonzalez Byass

The solera system at Gonzalez Byass courtesy of Flickr user Ewan Munro

Every year, they bottle a little of the Sherry from each barrel and top it up with the new batch; as a result, each bottle of Sherry contains a little bit of every vintage since, well, 1927, and you actually have the rare opportunity to taste something monumentally intriguing without burning a hole in your wallet.

The wine: Alvear 1927 Solera with Pedro Ximenez grapes. It’s sweet, raisiny, and rich, with toffee and caramel notes. It pairs beautifully with vanilla ice cream for the best adult sundae you’ve ever had.


Here’s a linkAlvear 1927 Sherry to the Alvear 1927 along with a few other examples of different styles within the Alvear family:

  • Alvear Pedro Ximinez 1927 – $25   BUY ME
  • Alvear Pedro Ximinez 2013 de Anada – $26  BUY ME
  • Alvear Montilla Fino Sherry – $15 BUY ME
  • Alvear Montilla Cream Sherry – $15 BUY ME




I hope you enjoyed my Sherry Starter Kit and I hope you love the wine! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Enjoy!

– Mario Luna


Mario Luna SommelierMario Luna is a Certified Sommelier and owner of Mario Luna Somm, a company that produces online wine courses, blogs, and other user-friendly content that makes wine education simple, accessible, and above all, entertaining! He lives in Las Vegas where, in addition to working on the famous Las Vegas Strip, he serves as a consultant for large-scale wine events, specialty shops, and all kinds of wine tastings. You can contact Mario through or kick of your wine education with one of his online wine courses.




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