Hold on a Xeco!
Isn’t that what grannies drink? Isn’t that what Uncle Monty drinks? Isn’t that what they put in trifle?
You’ve got questions.
With years of combined experience in various aspects of the wine trade (but admittedly precious little in front of the camera) and a dedication to sharing our love of this much-misunderstood wine, we’ve got the answers.
Who knows, perhaps that simple but highly sophisticated drink you’ve been looking for all your life - that next-level "She & T" that’s been eluding you each evening - has been under your nose the whole time?
For a potted history on sherry - and a laugh at our expense! - check out our XECO mini-movie or scroll down for more info on how to enjoy our wines.
Our XECO Fino is made from the Palomino Fino grape variety which produces a crisp and refreshing dry wine that is extremely versatile.
Like all sherries, it is made through a special process of fractional blending that is unique to wines from Jerez in Spain (but for more on that, please visit our blog) and has been aged for four years on location in Andalucia in American oak casks. This gives it a uniquely dry and savoury quality that works brilliantly with all sorts of food - from olives to sushi to fish and chips!
Drink it extremely well chilled, either straight-up in a wine glass or mixed with your favourite good quality tonic or lemonade to make it sparkle.
See below for more ideas and feel free to experiment!
How to serve Xeco
XECO Fino is a fantastically easy-going wine. Due to the special sherry production method, the wine is non-vintage and consistent year after year - and it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week (without the need of those vacuum wine conservers).
It’s said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, which is probably why most people drink it very chilled and straight up. Then again, people say all sorts of things. We say, drink it however you like it.
At XECO H.Q. we're drinking our XECO Fino this summer with a good slug of fresh lemonade - a twist on the classic 'rebujito.' XECO is also delicious with tonic and a couple of slices of crisp, green apple.
Let us know how you drink yours? And be sure to spread the word and tag #GiveMeAXeco on Instagram.
Here are a selection of some of our other favourite serves...
XECO Fino sherry served very chilled
XECO Fino sherry, sweet vermouth, Aperol, a dash of soda water
XECO Fino sherry, tonic and a few slices of apple
XECO Fino sherry, dry gin, lemon, gomme, orange bitters, soda water
(Launching Autumn 2017)
The Spanish pronounce it ‘ah-mon-ti-ya-doh’ but you can say it however you want - in the XECO office, we we refer to it affectionately as 'Monti'. In any case, however you say the word won't change its wonderfully nutty, aromatic character, its glorious amber hue or those subtle flavours of sun-baked fruit and fresh vanilla.
Amontillado wines are partially aged oxidatively meaning the wine has been aged in contact with oak. Rich and really quite sweet on the nose, this wine is bone dry by the time it lands on your tongue making it a wonderful - surprising! - aperitif. Always drink it chilled - almost certainly alongside a slice of cheese. Yum.
The Xeco Story
XECO is the brain-child of three 30-something 'fino fiends' who have long shared a love of fine sherry - and a frustration that this love wasn't shared by friends.
With 30 combined years of experience in the industry, the trio share more than just a love of this magical Spanish wine - they also have a deep understanding of how it’s made and of the wonderful traditions upon which it is built.
In early 2016 they set out to create a new brand of sherry to put a contemporary edge on an age-old product, and in doing so help to dispel some of the myths around the category and encourage a new generation of discerning drinkers to give sherry a second look.
To do so, they teamed up with a magnificent Spanish sherry house ('bodega') that has been producing sherry wines since 1876. So, although the name may be new, the wines have a long and distinguished lineage.
The story behind the labels
Aside from Spain, nowhere is so closely associated with sherry than England. Trade has existed between the two countries since the 13th Century and although we haven't always seen eye-to-eye on everything, the one thing we've always shared is a love of sherry.
We wanted to celebrate this, so have drawn up a cast of characters from both countries' rich histories, all of whom have been inspired to write about, drink and indeed even steal sherry wines.
(Follow-us to see how the Cast evolves - and we'd also love to hear your suggestions for new fine English/Spanish pairings.)
Henry III & Alfonso X
In our view, there is no better barter than that which was brokered between Alfonso X and our king Henry III - sherry wine for English wool. Alfonso X lived up to his name, “The Wise”, as following the Treaty of Alliance in 1254, sherry entered the English consciousness as a go-to ‘tipple’ for any occasion. Even today, the English consume only marginally less sherry than the Spanish!
Henry VIII &
Catherine of Aragon
Daughter of the Spanish regents, the beautiful Princess Catherine was only 3 years old when she was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the English throne. When Arthur died, she married his younger brother, Henry VIII and became the first of his (in) famous 6 wives in a renowned, ill-fated, English-Spanish alliance. She reportedly complained, "The King, my husband, keeps the very best wines from (...) Jerez for himself."
Shakespeare & Cervantes
Leading lights of the English and Spanish literary worlds, these two quill-wielding luminaries coincidentally died within a day of one another in April 1616. Many a line was devoted to their mutual love of sherry wine, also known as ‘Sack’, such as “If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be to (…) addict themselves to sack.”
Sir Francis Drake &
The Golden Hind
Reviled as “El Draque” or “The Dragon” by the Spanish, Francis Drake infamously made off with 2900 casks of sherry having sacked the town of Cadiz, near Jerez. We celebrate not his piracy, but rather the glee with which the Sherry was received when he returned to London and presented it to Elizabeth I – cheers ensued, in both senses of the word!
Where IS Xeco Made?
XECO, like all sherries, is made within the so-called 'Sherry Triangle' in the Andalucian region, in the south of Spain. It was the first region in Spain to be awarded 'Denomination of Origin' status, so just as champagne isn't champagne if it doens't come from Champagne, sherry is not sherry unless it comes from within D.O. Jerez. (Pronounced, 'heh-rez', Jerez literally means sherry in Spanish.)
Nowhere else in the world makes this particular style of wine with its unique system of 'criaderas' and 'soleras' - also known as the 'solera system'.
To create our wines, XECO has collaborated with a beautiful and historical bodega called Díez Mérito which laid down its soleras in 1876. Thanks to the vision of its new owners, the Espinoza family, Diez Merito is entering a new chapter in its distinguished history.
The region’s soil and climate, the family’s skill and dedication and a firm belief that sherry is ready for 'a revolution, a renaissance', matches perfectly with the ambition of XECO to put sherry on the map for a new generation.
MAKE MINE A XECO
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Where to buy XECO
XECO Fino is now available to order from online retailer Master of Malt (click here).
Please stay tuned for updates as our list of stockists grows!