On a recent trip to London, I ordered a glass of sherry at Morito, the pint-size tapas-bar offshoot of the acclaimed Exmouth Market restaurant Moro. When he heard my order, my server—a bearded twentysomething kid who exuded cool like a fog—raised his fist. Right on, man. Sherry power. “Sherry,” he said, with a nod of approval. I asked him if he drank sherry himself. He glanced at me and said, “Not before I started working here. Now I love it.”
In the past few years, trendsetters like him have caused a minor explosion of sherry bars in London. These are places like Capote y Toros in Kensington, where the wine list offers seven pages of sherries; Trangallán, hidden away in north London’s Stoke Newington neighborhood, which supplements a deep sherry list with occasional all-sherry pairing dinners; and Barrica, in the Fitzrovia neighborhood, which helped kick off the trend in 2009.
At José, chef José Pizarro’s perpetually jammed tapas bar in Bermondsey (a short walk away from the foodie-mecca Borough Market), about 40 percent of all the wine sold is sherry, according to Pizarro. If you consider that the place serves more than 1,600 people each week (and only seats 17), that means something like 33,000 people a year—a number more or less equivalent to the entire population of Monaco—are wandering in and asking for sherry. “And they’re young people,” Pizarro says happily.