Fairbanks California Sherry: Not an original, but still a tasty wine

Photo by Heather Hamilton
Photo by Heather Hamilton

Despite not actually being from Fairbanks, this California Sherry wine definitely packs a punch.

This sherry is light in color, a touch of amber in an otherwise clear liquid, and it’s got a powerful scent. At first, the scent is consumed with the odor of alcohol, but a second try reveals a deeper, nutty and earthy undertone.

This particular sherry contains vanilla, almonds and honey. These scents meld together into something that smells like it should be warm, and the ingredients become difficult to pick apart.

The flavor is sweet with honey, almost like mead, but it immediately fades into an even smoother vanilla flavor once the wine hits the middle of the tongue. The back end is tart and offers the tiniest of stings, but the initial feeling of warmth remains, even when the sherry is chilled. The aftertaste is light, but it lingers long after the last sip. It isn’t unpleasant, and some water is all it takes to get rid of it.

Purists wouldn’t call this wine a sherry, however. Sherry is traditionally a Spanish wine, typically made from Palomino grapes and is produced in the Sherry Triangle in the province of Cadiz. In Spain, the wine must be made in this region in order to be legally called a sherry.

That’s right, Fairbanks Sherry is technically a knock-off.

That aside, this dessert wine grows on you with every sip. It goes well with deeper flavors, like chocolate or vanilla, but might not agree with light and fruity flavors.

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It’s also great for cooking. So if you’re not much of a drinker, there are other ways to enjoy the flavor, such as with baked chicken, and even pork dishes.

Drink: Fairbanks California Sherry

Producer: Fairbanks

ABV: 17%

Rating: 3