Sherry wines are well known throughout the world. Their quality precedes them and, for this reason, there are many people who are fond of their unique and special flavor.
There are several types of Sherry wines, but one of the best known is the amontillado wine which, like the Palo Cortado, is an elegant wine, with a flavor as peculiar as it is recognizable.
What is an amontillado wine
It is wine from the region of Montilla, Andalusia. Amontillado is a fortified wine that can reach up to 20 degrees of alcohol.
What makes amontillado wine special is its double fermentation process: biological aging and oxidative aging. It is at the end of this process that the wine that has matured in the barrels is considered to be amontillado wine.
What’s the meaning of its name?
The name of amontillado wine is closely linked to its origin. It is said that, many years ago, when this wine was transported from the Montilla region to Seville to be sold, the continuous action of the sun and air leaks caused the wine to oxidize and gain complexity.
Upon reaching its destination and being consumed, this very special wine was said to have been amontillado and remounted throughout the journey.
How is the amontillado wine?
Amontillado is a mahogany-colored wine with a variety of aromas that range from the sweetness of yeast to the uniqueness of dried fruit, raisins and varnishes. A clearly sensory experience.
On the palate, amontillado wines are dry, highly structured and with a pleasant acidity. Its recognizable bitter touch gives it a special elegance.
How is amontillado wine made?
Amontillado wine is one of the few wines that is born one way and becomes another type of wine. To begin with, this wine is obtained from a very special grape, the palomino grape.
Once the must has been obtained, it is poured into the barrel. At this time, wine alcohol has already been added so that it reaches an alcohol content of 15 degrees. From here, the flower veil is created and biological aging begins. The veil of flower refers to a layer of yeast found on the surface of the wine.
It should be noted that, during biological ageing, the wine is not considered to be amontillado, but fine, a type of generous dry white wine that is made in Andalusia. Biological aging usually lasts about 5 years.
After this period, oxidative aging begins.
Oxidative aging is understood as the loss of the florveil of fortified wines , which makes it come into direct contact with oxygen that helps it mature into amontillado. This last phase can last for decades.
Difference Between Amontillado and Oloroso
As is the case with palo cortado wine, amontillado is often confused with oloroso, due to their great resemblances. Therefore, we are going to explain the differences between these two wines so that you can enjoy them to the fullest.
Oloroso wine is a fortified wine that is also made in the Montilla region, and that ranges between 18 and 20 degrees of alcohol, although it can reach 25 degrees in wines aged for 30 or 40 years.
Unlike amontillado wine, Oloroso wine does not have a biological phase, but goes directly to the oxidative phase. This means that Oloroso winehas a high level of glycerin , which, together with its alcoholic strength, makes this wine more balanced in body and thicker on the palate . In addition, it has less aroma than amontillado.
Amontillado cooking wine
In haute cuisine, amontillado wine is used to give body to sophisticated dishes. Thanks to its balanced acidity, it goes very well with roasted meats such as suckling pig, lamb or any dish cooked on the grill, whether meat or vegetables. On the other hand, due to its toasted touch, it goes well with sauces that contain nuts.
Amontillado wine also pairs very well with strong consommés or soups, since the dryness of the wine balances the strongest and most exquisite dishes.
Due to its alcoholic strength and its aromas, amontillado wine pairs well with highly cured cheeses, Serrano ham and asparagus.
Amontillado wine temperature
To enjoy amontillado wine in all its splendor, it must be served at its ideal temperature, which ranges between 12 and 14 degrees. A lower temperature will not allow us to feel all the nuances, while a higher one will make the taste of alcohol overshadow everything else.
When to take it?
When you are going to serve it, it is best to open it a few minutes before and pour it into wide glasses to allow it to oxygenate. Thus, the person will be able to sink their nose into the glass and enjoy its aromas. Try to make the stem of the glass high so that your hands are not in contact with the goblet and do not heat the wine.