Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Amusing Wine Story

I lived in Rota, Spain for three years in the mid-1980's, and became an aficionado of sherry during that time, making many trips to nearby Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa Maria where sherry is made. I recently started following a blog devoted to sherry, and found this amusing entry today:

This magnificent wine [Apostoles Palo Cortado] comes from a solera established in 1862 to celebrate the visit to the bodegas of Queen Isabel II. The Queen was keen to see the pressing of the grapes, but as her visit was in October, the harvest was long over. Manuel Maria Gonzalez sent people out to buy any unused grapes they could find and organised a pressing at the bodega of the large quantity they had managed to obtain. The quality of the resultant wine was so good that it was housed in an enormous specially made butt holding the equivalent of 33 butts. This butt, which is still there, was named El Cristo, as Christ was 33 years old. It is flanked by the Apostoles soleras. The solera consists of 12 butts, each with the name of one of the Apostles - except Judas, whose butt is kept in the vinegar store!

This particular wine is made at the González-Byass bodega in Jerez; I've toured that particular bodega. In one area they put a sherry glass on the ground with some sherry in it, and a tiny ladder propped up against it. Mice come running from under the barrels, climb the ladder, and sip at the sherry. At the time I visited there was one alcoholic mouse that woudn't wait his turn, so he got a running start and leaped into the air, landing in the glass with a Plunk!

Queen Isabel II, mentioned above, was one of the most promiscuous women ever to wear a crown in Europe, with (possibly) only Catherine the Great of Russia surpassing her sexual appetite. Isabel married a rather *ahem* effeminate man, of whom Isabel is supposed to have said, "What can I report of a man who, on his wedding night, wore more lace than I?"

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Great story! :-)