Fino sherry is a type of sherry that is made by the reductive process. Palomino grapes are crushed and fermented as with any other wine. The barrels are then graded, with the best -- the most delicate, aromatic, and flavorful going into the Fino program. The wine is lightly fortified to 15.5% alcohol, then filled into barrels. These barrels are only 5/6 full, to promote the growth of flor, a yeast that forms a protective scum on top of the wine, stopping oxidation, and lending its own flavors.
Fino sherry that is made in the town of Sanlucar de Barrameda is called Manzanilla, and has its own D.O., a protected and regulatory status from the Spanish government.
Fino sherry is usually pale, lightly textured, and very dry. It is susceptible to poor transport and storage conditions, and should be drunk within a week or two of being opened. The aroma and flavor is unique in the world of wine, sort of a combination of saline, fresh goat cheese, and vinyl shower curtain. It should be served slightly chilled, and pairs well with salty things like olives, almonds, and cured meats.
Some popular cocktails containing Fino sherry
- Sherrita Bonita — Reposado Tequila, Fino sherry, Orange bitters, Lime juice, Agave syrup
- Choke Artist — Tequila, Cynar, Fino sherry, Orange bitters
- Hoarse and Boggy — Cranberry liqueur, Fino sherry, Zucca, Rye
- Surf & Turf Cocktail — Old Tom Gin, Dry vermouth, Fino sherry, Curaçao, Bitters, Lemon peel
- Aztec Conquest — Fino sherry, Bourbon, Triple sec, Orange bitters, Chocolate extract