Andalusia’s province of Cádiz, sitting in the southwest corner of Spain, is famous for being sherry country. The best sherries in the region are produced within the celebrated Sherry Triangle, between the towns of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria. Begin your sherry pilgrimage at the Museo de la Manzanilla and Bodegas Barbadillo in Sanlúcar de Barrameda to learn all about this much-loved tipple, and then tour some of the best sherry bars within the triangle.
Dating back to 1925, Tabanco El Pasaje has become more than just a bar; it’s a piece of Jerez culture and tradition, where locals gather to enjoy events such as flamenco dancing, singing, and wine tasting. In this friendly, colorful bar, the famous Bodegas El Maestro Sierra sherry is served straight from the barrel. It also serves excellent tapas dishes, which pair perfectly with its sherries.
A seemingly rough and ready bar, Taberna der Guerrita is hidden on a street corner in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and may not look like much from the outside, but once inside, you’ll find a sophisticated air and one of the widest ranges of sherries available in town. Owned by Armando Guerra, a wine and sherry aficionado, it specializes in manzanilla wines, although it has over 200 varieties of Andalusian wines and sherries from which to choose. Guerra also runs regular wine and sherry tasting events here, which have now become so famous that they’re attended by people from as far as Paris and London.
The oldest bar in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Bodegas Obregón was founded in 1935 by José Luis González Obregón, one of the great experts in sherry wines and brandies in Cádiz. Obregón worked for a number of other companies, learning the trade, before establishing and bottling his own brand of sherries, brandies, and liqueurs. Bodegas Obregón is essentially the storehouse for the business, filled with barrels, boots, bottles, and hogsheads in which the spirits are stored. Decorated with old bullfighting posters, it has the odd barrel table and a few mismatched chairs, but the majority of its patrons just stand around inside or out on the street sipping their glasses of sherry.
More of a restaurant than just a sherry bar, Casa Balbino hails itself as the temple of tortillas camarones, a kind of shrimp fritter typical in the Cádiz region, made from a batter of chickpea flour, onions, and parsley. Sitting on one of the prettiest squares of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, framed by elegant buildings, fountains, and palm trees, this place provides an atmospheric experience both inside and out. They have a big wine and spirits list, but don’t forget to order a glass of the house sherry – manzanilla Solear Barbadillo – a unique award-winning sherry made in Sanlúcar itself.
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