For the final installment of Sherry Week, I will be looking at the dessert wine Pedro Ximenez (PX). Like I referred to last night, this wine is sweet because the grapes are left to slightly dehydrate under the sun. This removes water from the grape juice, which concentrates the sugar content. It is then fortified to a higher percentage of alcohol so that it can be aged via the oxidative method like Oloroso. With that increased alcohol content, microorganisms are unable to live and cause spoilage to the wine. PX ranges in sugar but can contain upto 500 grams per liter (that is over a pound of sugar per liter!). To provide a comparison, the same volume of Mountain Dew soda contains about 130 grams of sugar! One major difference is that the level of sweetness in PX can be decreased by ensuring the wine has enough acid to mitigate the perception on the palate. That being said, PX is most likely the sweetest wine made around the world! It is a richly flavored wine as well. With the raisining of the grapes and the aging process, it commonly exudes notes of dried figs, raisins, dates, honey, dark chocolate, coffee,and licorice.
To pair my PX, I chose to cap off the week with a nice indulgence! I poured a bit of PX over my bowl of Tillamook Rocky Road ice cream. The Tillamook creamery is located northwest of the Willamette Valley AVA in northern Oregon. They have the best rocky road I’ve tried (I took it upon myself to compare the 5 my local grocery store carries and it was far and away the winner). The wine is a deep amber/brown color. I was expecting significant legs and while it had them, the viscosity from the high sugar and alcohol content coated the goblet. The legs would’ve gone backwards if they moved any slower. As the label indicates, it is a very sweet wine! The perceived sweetness is made less bold by the acid content. PX is known for its raisin notes and this bottle was no different! It had striking notes of toffee, chocolate, and coffee in addition to the raisins. When paired with the ice cream, the toffee notes were perfect with the chopped almond pieces. Drizzling PX over the top gave the entire bowl a bit of raisin, a great addition to the flavor profiles already in the bowl. With so many great elements, to compliment each other, this dessert was a great way to end Sherry Week!