FOR years it was considered an unfashionable tipple loved by grannies at Christmas.
But after more than a decade of falling sales, sherry has suddenly become fashionable again.
The Spanish wine – the favourite drink of legendary Coronation Street landlady Annie Walker – is enjoying a revival… and it’s not thanks to the older generation.
Trendy youngsters – who popularised craft ales and gin – are increasingly turning to the fortified white wine from Andalucía as the hip drink of choice, according to a leading UK wine seller.
Retailer Majestic said its sales of sherry have soared by 46% in the past year and premium sherries – priced between £10 and £15 – have seen sales rise by 71%.
In 2016, sales of sherry in the UK fell to 10 million bottles last year, less than half the 22m sold in 2005 – but the number of bottles shifted is up by 8% in 2017.
The rising numbers are in spite of Brexit and the falling value of the pound making a bottle of real Spanish sherry more expensive than last year.
“Good sherries are high quality, food-friendly wines that are tapping into the changing preferences of the generation that lit the fuse under craft ales and craft gins,” said Joe Aylmer, sherry buyer at Majestic.
“It’s no longer a social faux pas to opt for sherry in bars. Sherry can be used as an ingredient in cocktails, with tapas or simply served ice-cold on a hot summer day.
“It goes great with tonic as a low alcohol alternative to G&T too. It’s a complete reinvention of the style.”
Sherry bars are springing up in fashionable areas of London and Manchester where premium sherries are served in cocktails.
Anthony Reynolds, wine writer and owner of Marchtown wine restaurant, said it’s no surprise the old-fashioned favourite is making a comeback.
“Sherry is a fine wine and has been considered as such by many serious experts for a long time,” he explained.
“It seems as though the culture is catching up – just as it did with craft beers. I’m a definite fan, whether it’s a dry glass of very dry sherry on a sunny day, or a very dark and almost treacly sweet sherry poured over ice cream.”