As a professional chef, the best cooking sherry for any particular dish can vary depending on the specific flavors and ingredients you're working with.
I've had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of cooking sherry brands and types over the years.
That being said, one option that always stands out to me is Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine. This sherry has a rich, nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with red meat dishes, like beef stew or roasted lamb. Its higher alcohol content also means that it can stand up to strong flavors without being overpowering.
But no matter which brand or type you go with, the key is to experiment and find what works best for your specific dishes.
Once you find a cooking sherry that you love, you'll wonder how you ever cooked without it!
What Is Cooking Sherry?
First things first, let's talk about what cooking sherry actually is. Sherry is a fortified wine that originates in Spain.
Cooking sherry is made specifically for use in the kitchen and has a slightly higher alcohol content than traditional drinking sherry.
It also often has added salt to enhance flavors and help preserve the wine.
What To Look For In Sherry Wine
When choosing a cooking sherry, there are a few key features to look for. One of the most important is the alcohol content.
Generally, you want to look for sherry with an alcohol content of around 17%. This will give you plenty of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients in your dish.
Another feature to consider is the type of sherry. The most common types for cooking are Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, and Amontillado. Fino and Manzanilla are both very dry and have a light, crisp flavor that works well in dishes with delicate flavors like seafood.
You can see most of these types of cooking wines feature in our wine hampers.
Oloroso and Amontillado are both more full-bodied and have a nuttier flavor that pairs well with heartier dishes like stews and roasts.
Finally, you'll want to consider the price. While there are certainly some expensive options out there, you don't need to break the bank to find a high-quality cooking sherry.
Generally, you should be able to find a good option for around $15-$20 per bottle.
The Best Cooking Sherry You Should Buy!
So now that you know what to look for when shopping for cooking sherry, let's dive into the best options on the market.
Here are my favorite picks for the best cooking sherry wines:
1. Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
Holland House's Sherry Cooking Wine is an excellent option for anyone looking for a good all-around cooking sherry.
It has a nice balance of sweetness and acidity and is versatile enough to use in a wide range of dishes.
Plus, it's affordable, with a current price on Amazon of just $4.29 for a 16 oz bottle.
2. Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla
If you're looking for a dry-cooking sherry that's perfect for seafood dishes, look no further than Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla.
This sherry has a light, fresh flavor with notes of salt and almonds, making it a great choice for dishes like paella and shrimp scampi.
It's pricier than some other options on this list, with a current price on Amazon of around $17 for a 375mL bottle, but it's well worth the investment for the flavor it brings to your dishes.
3. Osborne Fino Pale Dry Sherry
The Osborne Fino Pale Dry Sherry is another great option for those looking for a dry-cooking sherry.
It has a crisp, refreshing flavor with notes of green apple and almond, making it a great pairing for white meat dishes like chicken and pork.
At around $15 per 750mL bottle, it's also relatively affordable compared to some of the other options on this list.
Can I Substitute Cooking Sherry With Regular Sherry?
Can I Use Cooking Sherry In Non-Alcoholic Dishes?
How Should I Store Cooking Sherry?
So there you have it: our top picks for the best cooking sherry wines. No matter which option you choose, adding cooking sherry to your pantry is a surefire way to elevate your cooking to new heights.
With its unique flavor profile and ability to enhance the flavors of other ingredients, cooking sherry is a must-have for any home cook.