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Sherry takes off at M&S

UK multiple retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a rise in Sherry sales this year, particularly for pale, dry styles.

Ahead of the Christmas sales season, M&S has reported that Sherry as a whole is already up by a third on last year, while PX is up 180%.

It would appear that the profusion of Sherry bars that have been appearing in the capital since 2010 may finally be having some effect.

M&S’s Sherry range has doubled in size compared to three years ago, now standing at 10 listings after the introduction of three new wines earlier this year.

Sue Daniels M&S Sherry winemaker: “The increasing popularity of tapas bars, and restaurants has certainly contributed towards a growing interest in this underrated Spanish drink, widening its audience and interesting younger drinkers. We’re delighted to see an increase in demand for these underrated wines.”

Andrew Bird, M&S head of trading for drinks commented: “The increase in sales is coming from younger customers, who are venturing beyond the cream styles that were drunk by their grandparents. We are seeing this demographic experimenting with drier fino and manzanilla styles in the summer, and enjoying PX as a fashionable after-dinner alternative to Port.”

Sherry had been seen as a “Christmas tipple” for grandmothers since the 1970s but a fresh focus on quality and drives from the likes of Gonzalez Byass with the “en rama” launches have seen its fortunes slowly revive.

President of DO Jerez Consejo Regulador, Beltran Domecq, told the drinks business that he saw en rama and other releases as an increasing sign of Sherry’s “individuality”.

The 10 leading Sherry bars in London according to db can be seen here. The latest addition to the UK capital’s Sherry bar scene is profiled in December’s issue of the drinks business.

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