The team at Jaleo is on a mission to get you to try sherry.
Sommelier Mario Luna explains that the Spanish fortified wine is a key component of tapas. Unfortunately, he says, it’s the one most diners overlook.
“When you come into Jaleo, you’re (looking through) the eyes of chef José Andrés. And everyone learns about tapas when they come in. But Sherry is a foundation of tapas. Sherry, jamon, queso, pan con tomate — that’s the building blocks of tapas.”
The first three — ham, cheese and grilled bread with tomato, for those who don’t speak Spanish — are popular staples at his restaurant, but sadly, he says, many guests skip the sherry.
“So people (only) get to experience three-quarters of it.”
To get the word out, Luna hosted a luncheon Dec. 5 for invited guests, where he paired four different sherries with everything from the aforementioned items to chicken croquetas, patatas bravas, sautéed spinach and pork sausage.
Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers between 17 and 20 varieties of sherry on its menu at any given time, priced between $11 and $18 a glass, or $16 to about $1,000 a bottle. The restaurant also offers the spirit in two different flights, for those interested in sampling more than one.