Sherry is a fortified wine from the southwestern region of Spain. It is typically dry or dry/sweet and its full-bodied flavor adds depth to many foods from main courses to desserts. Enjoy a glass while adding it to a simmering sauce.

Sherry is well known as a fine quality aperitif and for its excellence in the kitchen. Spain receives credit for creating the original sherry, which is a blend of several wine vintages. Today, the only authentic product sold is from the region around Jerez in Southwestern Spain.

The unique taste lends itself to marinades, sauces, and dressings. As the alcohol evaporates, the delectable taste will remain as a concentrate.


Fino – Pale and more expensive. Best served at the table; not in cooking. Includes Manzanilla and Amontillado (an older, darker fino).

Oloroso – Dark in color; includes Amoroso (very dry), which is a good choice for red meats. Sweet cream sherries are a special blend with higher alcohol content. Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez grapes add the sweetness. These are excellent for dessert sauces.

Cooking Sherry – Salt is added as a preservative to low-quality wines. It is not drinkable and never used by professional cooks.  

Buying Tips

• The quality of sherry will directly affect the flavor of the food, but it does not have to be expensive. In fact, most fine sherries are reasonably priced.

• Other countries produce this great wine, but Spanish products will best reflect traditional aging methods.

• Cooking sherry has the advantage for convenience of purchase and extended shelf life. On the other hand, it is usually more expensive.

• The British term for sherry is “sack.”

Storage Tips

Store upright in a dark place and do not rotate or shake bottle. Use within two-five years. Once opened, a dry sherry may last as long as a month. Sweet, chilled sherries will lose some flavor, but can be usable even longer, sometimes three or four months. Sherry is fortified (higher alcohol content than wine), which acts as a preservative. When possible, select sherry for its longevity over white or red wine.

Usage Tips

Dry sherry lends itself to an accompaniment for poultry and can be used to deglaze. Add it to soups and stews. Use the sweeter variety for desserts, sauces, and toppings.

Substitution Tips

• Non-alcoholic wines
• Chicken stock
• Port (higher alcohol content)

Try one of our favorite sherry recipes:
Skewered Barbequed Shrimp
Pork - Pineapple Quick Fry
Sabayon with Strawberries