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I know nothing about Sherry. But there are a few recipes I've been looking to prepare that call for sherry. A few questions. 1. What would people recommend as a good QPR sherry for only cooking, i.e., only cooking probably won't be drinking it. 2. A good QPR sherry for cooking that also would drink well if I decide to explore the world of sherry. And since I'm in Ohio and things might be limited, are there ones to avoid.

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Although I can't say I'm a fan of drinking Sherry, I really like to cook with it. It really adds a nutty, bittersweet quality to dishes. Really complementary in many sauces. Great to use when deglazing pan seared fish or chicken. Normally I use a medium or extra dry sherry. Pedro Ximinez is what I've been using lately. I like Hartley & Gibson as well.

Whatever you do, don't use the 'cooking sherry' sold at the supermarket (ie. Holland House, etc.). They're pure filth and will not lend anything to your dishes but a strange chemical taste and smell... Yeck!
I use two different types of Sherry in my sauces. The fino is usually a Wisdom & Warter, fairly inexpensive, and just fine. I frequently add a cream or Amontillado at the end to give a richness to the sauce. Currently, my favorite is Barbadillo Cream Sherry, and it is delicious. You'll enjoy a glass of this very much while cooking.
I find Sherry lasts over a month refridgerated.

I use, almost exclusively, Lustau Los Arcos, which is an Amatillado. It is certainly high enough quality to drink -- and I do. But 90+% of the time its use is cooking. A little more expensive than other "cooking" Sherrys, but still not expensive ($13/750ml) and I can taste the difference in the food.

Another Sherry question. I'm going to be making an Asian recipe that calls for 2 tablespoons of either shaoshing rice wine or Sherry. I'll likely get more use out of Sherry, so I'd rather buy that and have it on hand. Since I've never used either of these two things for cooking, what Sherry would be the best replacement for shaoshing rice wine? Or is there nothing really close and would I be better off springing for the rice wine? And with only 2 tablespoons used (though this is a recipe that serves just two), would not using either affect the dish that much (lots of other flavors in the recipe -- garlic, ginger, red pepper, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce? Any thoughts? TIA

I'm betting using water instead of alcohol would not affect the dish too much, but still noticably.

If you can use rice wine, than you want a Fino Sherry. You can get the Lustau for under $15. Yes, the rice wine is going to taste different, and, depending upon the quality, may taste better with those other ingredients you mentioned, but a Fino Sherry should still be very, very good. I might go for the Sherry because you can always cook with Sherry, but there aren't too many dishes that really will benefit a lot from sake.


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