WineHandpicked by IWSC

14 award-winning sherries to try

From fancy Fino to syrupy Pedro Ximenez, here are the best sherry bottlings from the IWSC 2023, all showcasing the versatility of Spain's fortified wine

Words by IWSC Judges

fino sherry with olives on the table
Handpicked by IWSC

Is there a more versatile drink than sherry? This fantastic-value fortified wine can be lean, briney and bone dry; savoury and nutty with a haunting aroma; or it can be as rich as can be, sticky-sweet and full bodied. We’ve gone through this year’s IWSC results and hand-picked the best sherries to try if you’re a novice to this Spanish star.

Sherry fans have been shouting from the rooftops about its taste, quality and versatility for years, but sherry still remains something of a secret to the general public. Fino has gained a little ground in recent years, thanks to the spread of tapas bars in the UK and elsewhere, but sherry is still not the wine of choice for many. It’s time that changed.

Inside a sherry bodega with its solera butt system

Sherry hails from Jerez in south-west Spain. Made primarily with the Palomino grape which is grown on chalky soils, it’s important to know the key styles. Fino and manzanillas are dry – sometimes racingly so – with a maritime, coastal vibe, and they generally make great matches with seafood and jamón.

Tres Palmas Fino NV is a great example of this, an IWSC Silver medal winner. It impressed with its ‘savoury minerality’.

Amontillado is the next key style: in the winery the protective layer of flor (yeast) that keeps finos and manzanillas fresh is allowed to ‘die’, which gives amontillados a nuttier, more oxidative character. Del Duque VORS Amontillado NV boasted hazelnut and a touch of caramel, according to judges. Don Zoilo Oloroso En Rama NV also scored highly, showing this style’s typical toasty aromas.

Finally, Noé VORS Pedro Ximénez showed all the hallmarks of the richest, sweetest sherry style, offering notes of prunes and Christmas cake. It was one of many medal-winning examples of the sherry style from this year’s awards.

Each sherry in this year’s IWSC was judged blind by an expert panel, led by Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior MW. Once you discover Sherry’s charms, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Here is the pick of Sherries from the IWSC 2023.


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.


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