Thursday, November 24, 2011

the Amari file: Spanish interlude

I took this picture in 2009, at Star Bar in Ginza. I had no idea at the time that I was looking at the last Xerez-Quina still produced.
On a trip to Tokyo a couple of years ago, I became acquainted with the Xerez-Quina of Valdespino. You can see a clearer depiction of the label, and its listing of 15% abv., here. Today I learned, through the help of friends, that Eduardo Ojeda of Valdespino (whom you can see in this video) believes Valdespino's to be the only Xerez-Quina still produced in the Sherry zone today. I was also told that the name of the product will soon change, from Xerez-Quina to simply "Quina," owing to a change in the labelling regulations.

Why does this matter? Well, because you are looking at the last remaining example of the Sherry equivalent to Barolo Chinato. This is Sherry that has been infused with quinine, herbs, and spices. A solera aged wine made into a Spanish Chinato.

What other Xerez-Quina labels were there in the past? Well, Ruiz was one. So was Agustin Blazquez. Saenz. R. O'Neale. Merito. Los Arbolitos. Bodegas Morilla "Santa Lucia"V. Diaz & Co., A&A Sancho, Jorge Thuillier, and Luis Caballero. And a few more.

But we are left now with a single example of Xerez-Quina, of which only a small quantity is made, and none imported into the United States.

I wonder if we will let this last example also disappear, as we cast about for something clever to say on Twitter.

1 comment:

Joe PMF said...

I just finished a bottle of this--purchased in Portland, OR in October 2014. Apparently it's being imported to the US these days.

Dirt cheap, and I loved it. A weird alternative to Bonal.