Food & Drink

How Sherry Is Getting Its Own Renaissance in LA

Published On 12/23/2016 Published On 12/23/2016
big bar
Big Bar's Nog Actually | Eugene Lee
The Normandie Club
Lustau sherry | Jean Trinh/Thrillist
Flickr/Jen R

Best sherry night

Marvin

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Every Tuesday starting at 6pm, the folks behind this French wine bar and restaurant give their patrons a chance to get initiated into the world of sherry by offering a handful of by-the-glass options that cover the dry-to-sweet sherry varietals. Guests can also get some small Spanish bites to complement the sherries, from jamón to Castelvetrano olives and the ridiculously good Spanish canned octopus (trust us on this one).

Eugene Lee

Best bar for winter sherry cocktails

Big Bar

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Big Bar’s bar manager Cari Hah always has a few sherry cocktails up her sleeve, and it’s no different with her new winter cocktails menu. She has some sherry-based libations to get you into the holiday spirit, like her Nog Actually, a creamy nutmeg and cinnamon-laced heavy hitter made with Lustau amontillado sherry, a serious list of spirits from rum to cognac, and Biscotti liqueur. Be on the lookout for her Mount Crumpit and “Jack and Coke” drinks, which both also use Lustau sherries.

Best bar for a flight of sherry

Fundamental LA

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If you want to get your learn on, Alicia Kemper, the wine director at Fundamental LA, has a well-curated list of her favorite sherries, many of which come from smaller productions, like Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla. You can get a flight of three sherries for $18, and try the whole spectrum -- from “fino (light and dry) to Pedro Ximénez (rich and syrupy),” Kemper says.

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Best outdoor patio to enjoy a glass of sherry

Cliff's Edge

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LA has its perks, like how our great weather allows for al-fresco drinking all year long. Cliff’s Edge not only has a magical patio that makes you feel like you’re dining in a remote jungle, they also happen to have a serious list of over a dozen sherry contenders by the glass to choose from. They also just added a Mulled Sherry cocktail to the menu with bourbon, persimmon honey, and lemon. And hey, Cliff’s Edge made it on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Best 100 US Wine Restaurants list this year, so they have some street cred.

Best spot for sherry aperitifs and digestifs

Eveleigh

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If you want to live like the French do, Eveleigh’s head bartender China Morbosa has created a full menu dedicated to aperitifs and digestifs. Here you’ll find a variety of sherries, but also unique sherry cocktails like the Earl Grey Cobbler that’s made with earl grey amontillado sherry and bergamot bitters. The drinks pair best with Eveleigh’s house-made charcuteries.

Moruno LA

Best bar to get sherry on tap

Moruno

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If you like beer on draft, how about sherry on tap? This casual tapas bar in Grand Central Market might just be the first spot in Southern California that’s pouring sherry from kegs of Bodegas Yuste “Aurora” Manzanilla. The beverage pairs best with Moruno’s marinated anchovies with Beurre de Baratte. But if manzanillas aren’t your thing, you can snag other sherries that come straight from a bottle instead, like a amontillado that pairs well with Moruno’s rotisserie chicken, or an Oloroso with its roasted butternut squash.

Best restaurant to get sherry by the bottle

Simbal

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More often than not, you’ll find that you can only purchase sherry by the glass at bars and restaurants, but at Simbal, General Manager and Wine Director Ron Carey, offers sherry by the bottle. He says he always carries at least three to four sherries, “representing each region within the Sherry Triangle” (the area in Spain where sherry is produced). So, if you have a group that’s all down to try sherry to go along with the bold flavors of Chef Shawn Pham’s Southeast Asian cuisine, it might just do you well to order a bottle for the table.

Otium

Best sherry and food pairings

Otium

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At the swanky Otium by the Broad Museum, you’ll find that the restaurant not only carries sherry by the glass and bottles, but it also puts them in cocktails, featuring as many different styles of the Spanish wine that their bartenders can. And the food pairs quite perfectly with the drinks. Bar Director Chris Amirault gives some tips on Otium’s food-and-sherry pairings: “The salty and dry nature of fino and manzanilla sherry pairs excellently with the raw bar items such as our hamachi with avocado, dill and coriander; or our kurodai with shiso and yuzu. For something heartier, dry-aged beef paired with a bold and full-bodied sherry like palo cortado or an oloroso. For dessert, simply a glass of amontillado alongside our chocolate four ways.” And when in doubt, you can always ask their sommelier for some tips.