When I went to one of my favorite hangouts, Poco Deli, (good food, good wine, friendly service), I was surprised to find a Manzanilla Sherry, specifically the Tio Pepe.
I say this because it’s unusual for a restaurant in Manila to carry the stuff.
It’s a shame, really… It’s one of my preferred go-to wines to imbibe the Spanish Tapas culture.
To have a better understanding of this, it’s best to define and differentiate what tapas are to the Spanish as opposed to us Pinoys.
We Pinoys can visualize tapas as part of one of our favourite dishes, the tapsilog: cured beef or mutton (TAPa) with garlic fried rice (SInangag) and sunny side up eggs (itLOG) (Poco Deli, BTW, serves one of the BEST Gourmet Tapas on earth, served tapsilog style).
The Spanish, however, define tapas as snacks. They can be cold cuts (like chorizo), cheese, gambas, olives, or basically any bite-sized Spanish food you can eat with your hands. The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish word “tapar”, which means to cover something. This comes from the practice of using a small plate to cover their sherry from fruit flies, and the need for little pieces of food to fit the tiny plate.
Which brings us to the bit about the Manzanilla. It is a fino sherry, which means it is dry (not sweet). It’s not something I would recommend to drink alone, it’s meant to be consumed with, well… Spanish Tapas. The Tio Pepe is a quintessential example of a proper Palomino Fino sherry made using the Solera system. One can enjoy its nutty aromas, and delicate, dry taste.
In Poco Deli, you can pick anything from their cold cuts menu, their cheese platter, or even their sausages, gambas, or salpicao to use as Tapas.
What tapas are you willing to try with your sherry? Salud!
*To find out more about Poco Deli: