The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Sherryfest Is Coming To Chicago For The First Time This Sunday

By John Lenart in Food on Oct 15, 2016 9:00PM

Photo via Shutterstock

After years of unsuccessful attempts, only recently have I been able to fall in love with sherry. But whether you're just discovering your love of sherry like me, or are a long time sherry expert, this week holds something special in store. Oct. 16 to 18 Sherryfest makes its debut in Chicago. Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration of the unique fortified wines from Jerez brings to Chicago a lineup of fantastic events and all-stars from the world of sherry.

Sherryfest presents a number of opportunities for you to sample and learn about this magical wine from Spain. With previous stops in New York City, Toronto, Portland and San Francisco, Sherryfest is focusing on Chicago's food and beverage scene this year—and according to organizers, this one will be tailored specifically to Chicago's sherry scene.

Sherryfest kicks off, appropriately, at Chicago's sherry capital, Vera, with a Welcome Party on Sunday Oct. 16 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For just $20 all-inclusive, this is a tapas party you won't want to miss.

The centerpiece of Sherryfest is the Grand Tasting, held Monday Oct. 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Fulton Market Kitchen. Here you can experience the largest gathering of sherry producers ever assembled in Chicago. Not only will you be able to taste virtually every variety of sherry, but you'll also get to rub shoulders with sherry luminaries like Gonzalez Bias master blender Antonio Flores.

If you can't take Monday off work, don't worry. Tickets are still available for a producer dinner Monday night from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Yusho. This dinner features the sherries of Barbadillo and Gutiérrez Colosía two of Jerez's most prominent producers. $78 per person.

Finally, kick back at Sherryfest's After Party at Billy Sunday from 10:00 p.m. until midnight, featuring the wines of Valdespino and La Guita. This party will feature cocktails made with sherry from Billy Sunday's head bartender Lee Zaremba and Grupo Estevez' Jaime Gil. No registration is needed for this finale to Sherryfest. Just swing on by.

So whether Sherry has been your jam from way back or you're just getting into it, this week offers a number of not-to-be-missed chances for you to sample and learn about sherry, while rubbing elbows with producers and experts from around the world. Don't miss out.