Every year in the summer I try to do a course at the Pablo de Olavide University. They run their summer courses in the town of Carmona in a wondeful old palace. The course has to have something to do with my work, so this year it was the wines from the Demoninación de Origen (D.O.) or appellation Montilla-Moriles, which is in the province of Córdoba. They make sherry-style wines from the Pedro Ximénez (PX) grape. Most people know PX as a dark sweet wine. It can, however, be used to make finos, amontillados, olorosos, etc. The area also makes a lot of young white wines. The course was for two days but I already had work today so was only able to attend the first day.
There was a general talk about the D.O. by its director which was followed by a lecture given by the head wine maker at Alvear, one of the best wineries in the area. His talk was on finos, amontillados and olorosos. I was very interested in the next lecture, given by a research scientist, on the yeasts involved in the ageing of finos. That is the yeast that covers the wine when it is ageing in the cask. After another lecture given on the wines of the winery Bodegas , we headed down to the cellars of the building for what was going to be a real fun experience, a food and wine pairing exercise. We paired a young white wine with smoked salmon, a fino with acorn-fed Iberian ham, an amontillado with cured tuna and almonds, oloroso with sachichón, moscatel with cheese and finally PX with dark chocolate truffle. This was a great way to finish the day!