We're all off to sunny Spain, E Viva Espania!
And so we are... heading to sunny Spain for October's recommendations. Notice the plural there - yes I have two delights for you this month.
Firstly, one of my favourite aperitifs. Sherry - Jerez - Xeres however you want to write it. I know it conjures up spinsters and schooners of sweet sherry after church, but if you pick the right one for the right occasion, sherry can be a real surprise.
I like a very dry, well chilled sherry as an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to tapas-y type nibbles (olives, marinaded white anchovies, salty nuts etc etc). My sherry of choice is usually a Fino - dry, crisp and always very very cold - even over ice on occasion.
If you're after a bit more information - the wheres, whys, hows of Sherry - then look here.
My tip for the month is a good old favourite - Tio Pepe - and specifically a Palomino Fino as also recommended by Susy Atkins in the Telegraph.
I can find it for about 7EUR in my local supermarket - but it's often hidden amongst the white wine - we don't want too many people to find it you see!!
Try it - I'm sure that you'll be another convert and slowly but surely we can dispel the fusty image that Sherry still has in the UK. Harvey's Bristol Cream has an awful lot to answer for (and no I wouldn't touch the stuff with a barge-pole!)
I promised you two treats this month - and here's my second tip.
Ye- what? I hear you cry - well it's another Spanish wine region, a well kept secret in my opinion - under rated and not well known. It's a DOC/AOC area of South Eastern Spain - near to Murcia - and other wine producing gems such as Jumilla.
It predominantly produces reds with the Monastrell grape as their base. Though these are often blended to make lovely, full-bodied, easy drinking wines. Furthermore, as it's not that well known an area, the wines are often very good value too.
I've blogged before about our favourite online Spanish wine store and we keep going back to them for reds - the wines they supply suit our preferred style of wine - big robust reds full of peasants feet and sunshine!!
The Yecla we've most recently tried - and boy was it yummy (and less than 5EUR a bottle) was Nembus - highly recommended if you find it!
So there you have it - crisp dry aperitif courtesy of Tio Pepe and then hearty reds to follow with the typical rich food of the season - stews, roasts, oh and a good bit of cheese too!!