Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Sherry vinegar, or more properly "Vinagre de Jerez," is considered by some to be the finest vinegar in the world. It's wine vinegar made from sherry, the famous Spanish fortified wine. "Fortified" means that when the grapes ferment into wine, neutral spirits are added, contributing flavor and character (and alcohol content). Real sherry vinegar is produced in the Spanish province of Cádiz on the Atlantic coast, inside an area known as the "sherry triangle."
Vinagre de Jerez owes its pedigree to the unique viticultural region
where it's made - the area's location near the ocean, the chalky soil - as well as to its maturing process, called the solera
system. As it matures over years, the sherry passes through a series of many oak barrels, all the while being mixed with wines of various ages. Unlike wine, vinegar does not have an exact vintage due to this mixing, which imparts unique character.
The result is vinegar that strikes the perfect balance
between acid and sweet, delivering layered flavors reminiscent of wood, leather, and earth. The production and quality of sherry vinegar is monitored and controlled by the Consejo Regulador and has its own Denominación de Origen, which is protected by Spanish and EU law.
This sherry vinegar "Al Pedro Ximénez" is aged in the famous and historical bodegas of Emilio Lustau in Jerez, Spain, where sherry originated. The vinegar is blended with Pedro Ximénez sherry - the exact process is a well-guarded secret - but the resulting product has the pungency of vinegar softened by the nuttiness and sweetness of aged Pedro Ximenez wine.
Suggestions for Use
Lustau's sherry vinegar can stand with the best balsamics, and presents a wonderful all-around resource for your kitchen. Think outside of the box! Use this vinegar for added depth, richness and flavor in salads, in marinades, drizzled to bring out the flavor of soups and stews. Sherry vinegar is delicious on roasted peppers, and sensational in this braised chicken recipe.
About the Producer
What is now Emilio Lustau SA was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo y Veyan, an original Almacenista (artisinal sherry maker) at Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza. In the Lustau bodegas, a team, headed by Juan Fuentes Romero, the Capataz General, has the responsibility for making sure that the sherry blends maintain the high standards of the Lustau tradition.