27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 54

Wine of the Week

SOME people, I suppose, stick to the same sherry year in year out. There's safety in familiarity, and the way that 0 sherry is made enables ship- .10 pers to produce a brand that will always taste the same. I find this reassuring when in strange provincial hotels, but at home I ring the changes. Sometimes, in fact, I desert sherry altogether in favour of a dry madeira, or an unfortified white wine, or vermouth, or one of the aperitif white ports (about which I have written here, and propose soon to write again, for I have found a beauty). Just now I am a sherry-drinker again, by vir- tue of a glass of montilla 1 was given, and en- joyed, in the back rooms of Berry's immemorial shop in St. James's Street. Strictly speaking, mon- tilla was not originally entitled to be called a sherry at all, for it came not from Jerez, but from Montilla, in the province of Cordoba, a hundred miles to the north-east. Its dry nuttiness was so admired around Jerez that the sherry firms there took to making an amontillado—a wine, that is, in the montilla style. Nowadays, I think, the name montilla signifies a style and a type rather than a place of origin, and Berry's conies from the true sherry country, near Jerez. It is much drier than . an oloroso, but rather fuller and fruitier than a fino—at 21s. a bottle it seems to me a useful all- round sherry, with an interesting and appealing character of its own.