Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Sweet sherry from the region around Jerez in Spain is a special case among sweet fortified wines, since the sweetness of a Cream sherry results from the blending of a fortified straw wine called PX (after the Pedro Ximénez grape from which it is exclusively made) with a fortified bone-dry Oloroso. The latter has been aged in a solera, a collection of casks to which younger wines are added so that they acquire character from the older wines it contains, yielding a wine with a consistent mature flavor. This blend yields a dark-amber to pale-brown wine with a rich, nutty, and dried fig or date character, with at least 15.5 percent alcohol and over 11.5 percent unfermented grape sweetness. Pure PX is mahogany brown with an enormously intense raisin aroma and flavor, and at least 21.2 percent grape sweetness. It is sometimes aged in cask for decades as a rare and unctuous specialty.