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October 21, 2009

Iggs Spanish restaurant in Edinburgh is hosting a sherry tapas dinner tomorrow evening and it will be an eye-opener for anyone who thinks that sherry belongs in your granny’s sideboard.

Tim Holt of de Soto Sherries will be leading the evening along with the restaurant’s owner Iggy Campos. Mr Holt was born in the UK but has lived in the Andalucian town of Sanlucar de Barrameda and worked in its sherry trade for the last seventeen years.

Tickets cost £25 and the event starts at 5.30pm.

A few years back, I was in Sanlucar de Barrameda during a festival. The streets were lined with tents set up by different social clubs, sporting organisations and companies affiliated with the town. As well as a stage for musicians and dancers, each tent had a couple of deep freezes which were packed to the gunnels with icy half bottles of salty manzanilla sherry.

Each bottle came with a little plastic glass on a neckstring, much like you might get during a tequila happy hour in a Costa Brava nightclub.

From about 10pm through to dawn, the streets of Sanlucar were filled with people dancing, singing and knocking back their little chilled shots of manzanilla. I’ve never thought of sherry the same way since.