I can't believe it has taken us so long to catch on to manzanilla, this dry fino sherry was made to be enjoyed with oysters. Manzanilla is made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia.
We have chosen the La Gitana manzanilla produced by Javier Hidalgo, who is the fifth generation producer of La Gitana. He has written a book about La Gitana and he is enthusiastic about the match between his manzanilla, oysters and seafood:
"There is little doubt that the finest of all marriages is between manzanilla and shellfish. Indeed almost any makes an ideal partner, be it lobster, langoustine, clam, crab, prawn or mussel. However there are certain that stand out: such a one is the oyster, for the seawater in it's shell goes well with the salty tang of the wine. One idea is to pour a few drops of the manzanilla onto the oyster, so as to take in the two typically Sanlucar flavours at the same time, sea and wine".
Manzanilla is often described as having a slight salty flavour, believed to develop from the fact that it is manufactured on the sea estuary of the Guadalquivir river. It's this slight saltiness that makes it work so well with oysters, it doesn't taste that salty to me, its crisp, fresh and dry and as a true aperitif it cleans your palate.
A lot of the restaurants we supply are now serving oysters with manzanilla they are a perfect match. Why not give it a try yourself?