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The two basic types of sherry are fino and oloroso. The distinctive feature of fino is that it develops in a barrel beneath a blanket of naturally occurring yeasts known as flor (literally ‘mould, flower’). This performs the dual function of protecting the sherry from oxidation by the air, and imparting fino's distinctive yeasty taste. Fino (the term means simply ‘fine’ in Spanish) is naturally pale in colour and austerely dry, although most commercially available finos receive a very slight sweetening with sugar.

A fino that is aged sufficiently long in cask to acquire a deeper colour and nuttier taste is known as an amontillado.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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