Amontillado: Rediscover it
Don’t worry if you don’t know when to drink amontillado,” said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Though the pleasures of this fortified wine “have entranced wine lovers for centuries,” many of us are no longer sure when to indulge. It’s great with mushroom risotto, but in part because of its high alcohol content, I like it best as an aperitif paired with ham and nuts. The bottles below offer a fine introduction.
Hidalgo La Gitana Napoleon ($20). This young amontillado has the tangy and saline traits of a manzanilla, but softened by a “nutlike” caramel quality.
Valdespino Tío Diego ($24). Another tangy sherry, this one is more delicate in texture and has even less pronounced nutty flavors.
Fernando de Castilla ‘Antique’ ($40). In this older amontillado, “flavors of toffee, nuts, and cinnamon arrive in layers.” It’s so good, “it filled me with wonder.” ■