• Danny Joyce | Editor

Cava Bodega Celebrates International Sherry Week, 7th - 13th November

International Sherry Week, the world’s largest celebration of wines from Southern Spain, takes place this year from 7th to 13th November and Cava Bodega in Galway's Westend is joining in the celebrations. Chef patron JP McMahon has long been a passionate proponent of Sherry, seeing it as too often undervalued and underappreciated, and is keen to share his knowledge of, and love for, the Spanish staple.

While the drinks menu at award-winning Cava Bodega is entirely devoted to Spanish wine and Sherry, the fortified wine is also a regular feature in the tapas created by Jp and his team. Favourites include Clams, Chorizo and Oloroso Sherry; Free Range Duck with Plums and PX Sherry; Pork fillet with serrano ham, apricots & Amontillado Sherry; Octopus, Chorizo and Oloroso Sherry; and whole Prawns in Fino Sherry.

These popular tapas dishes will feature on the Cava Bodega menu during International Sherry Week from Monday 7th until Sunday 13th November. Diners can also sample flights of Sherry including glasses of PX, Fino and Oloroso Sherry for €15. The week will also see a different Sherry showcased each night at €5 per glass.


On Thursday, 10th November from 5pm to 6pm, JP will host the Cava Bodega Sherry & Tapas Tasting event. With limited tickets available at €35 per person, guests will enjoy tapas and Sherry pairings personally selected and presented by JP McMahon.

JP is delighted to celebrate International Sherry Week at Cava Bodega saying, “When Irish people think of Sherry, we often think of it as something our grandmother might drink or something that’s served only at Christmas. In Cava, we encourage diners to try Sherry by pairing it with different tapas. There are seven types of Sherry meaning it’s very versatile - for example while Fino is a light white, fresh Sherry that complements seafood, Amontillado is a nutty brown Sherry with hints of orange that’s excellent with chorizo or cured Spanish meats and cheeses.”

Cava Bodega is located on Middle Street, Galway, open Monday to Thursday, 5pm to close; Friday, 4pm to close; Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to close.


A Quick Guide To Understanding Sherry And Matching It With Food

Extracted from Cava Bodega Tapas, A Taste of Spain, Fourth Edition, Jp McMahon


A fortified wine made in Spain since 1100 BC, Sherry is a protected designation of origin and was the first region in Spain to receive this prestigious status back in the 1930s. All wine labelled as ‘Sherry’ must legally come from the Sherry Triangle, which is an area in the province of Cádiz between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. It is the particular climate and three types of soil that make sherry a unique wine from the South of Spain.


The process of making sherry is very similar to the way white wine is made, but sherries are fortified, that is brandy and sugar are added to them during the process of maturation. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from dry and light versions such as Finos to darker and heavier versions known as olorosos, all made from the Palomino grape. Sweet dessert wines are made from Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel grapes. After fermentation is complete, the sherry is fortified and then put into barrels and aged. Light sherries receive very little aging and develop a yeast layer (flor) that protects them from oxidizing. Darker sherries are aged for longer periods in a Solera System. This is a process of blending sherries of different vintages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. A solera is the actual name for the set of barrels used in the aging process.


In all, there are seven basic types of Spanish sherry. All of them work well with food. Indeed, sherry is best drunk with food that complements its flavour.


Fino is a light, white, and fresh sherry and is best served with seafood tapas. Manzanilla is essentially a light variety of Fino, made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. It goes well with Paella. Both of these light sherries are served from the fridge.


Amontillado is a nutty brown sherry with hints of orange and is excellent with chorizo or with cured Spanish meats and cheeses. Oloroso is a dark, scented sherry with aromas of dried fruit and oak. Naturally dry, it is best enjoyed with red meats and game. It’s a real treat for sherry lovers. Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged like an amontillado. It can be drunk as a digestive or with a range of Spanish desserts.


Moscatel is a sweet dessert sherry and lingers long in the mouth. It goes well with any chocolate dessert. Pedro Ximénez is a deep robust sweet sherry with hints of caramel. Originating in the Canary Islands, the grape came to Jerez in the baggage of a soldier called Pedro Ximénez.

Book your table for Sherry Week now at www.cavarestaurant.ie or call 091 539 884. Cava Bodega Sherry & Tapas Tasting Event, Thursday 10th November, 5pm to 6pm, priced at €35 p.p.


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