Harveys Sherry: Why is it popular?John Harvey & Sons, the British company behind the popular sherry brand, has been in existence since 1796. Their key product, Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry, was the first “cream” sherry on the market, and its sweet taste really appealed to the British market. The company is now owned by Grupo Emperador Spain S.A, but they maintain a focus on supplying the UK with this sweet, easy-to-drink blended cream Sherry. That’s all well and good, and explains why the brand is so popular. However, there is a lot more to Sherry - and fortified wines in general - than the mass-produced Harveys Sherry brand. Let’s take a look then at what to try instead!
What to try instead of Harveys SherryLet’s assume that you like Harveys Sherry for its sweet taste. That’s OK, we don’t blame you! Sweet Sherry is great, so why not try some others:
- Marqués de Poley Cream PX is a great place to start, and believe it or not it’s actually not a Sherry. In fact, it comes from the Montilla Moriles wine region. Wines from this region are often confused with Sherry, so you’ll be in familiar territory. It is also made in the cream style, so will be a familiar place to begin for fans of the Bristol Cream style of Harveys Sherry. With a score of 87 points from Guía Peñín, this one is a decent step up from your standard Harveys Sherry and at a very fair price. It’s sweet and tasty enough to sip by itself after a meal, though will go really well with sweet desserts and pastries.
- Alvear Pedro Ximenez 1927 also comes from Montilla Moriles, and from the Pedro Ximenez grape. Here, you’ll enjoy a luscious and rich dessert wine style tipple. This one comes more highly rated from Guía Peñín, with an impressive 93 points. The step up in quality is in part down to the winemaking: This PX is aged using the producer’s original Solera ageing system, dating back to 1927 - hence the name! Great with creamy desserts and outstanding with blue cheese!
- Emilio Hidalgo Pedro Ximenez is a Sherry, coming as it does from the Jerez region of Spain. With solid scores including 92 points from Wine Spectator, this is a quality example of a sweet Sherry and a clear alternative for fans of Harveys Sherry to try. The producer, Emilio Hidalgo, makes Sherries at the entry level all the way up to luxury and premium bottles. This one comes highly recommended to try next because, for one, it’s delicious and two, bragging rights: You can tell your friends that this is made by the same producer that makes legendary Sherry wines that sell for hundreds of euro, including Santa Ana 1861 and Hidalgo Privilegio 1860!