The Book on Amontillado

The New York Times

No. 2: Fernando de Castilla Amontillado Antique Jerez

Diving into amontillado is the equivalent of committing to a long, complicated novel. You may be surprised, even astounded by what you find. You will almost certainly be rewarded if you permit yourself to be challenged.

I feel as if I’ve learned something every time I’ve taken the plunge, though the first lesson always seems to be a rueful reminder of how little I actually know. That’s strange to say, as amontillado is one of the more familiar of the arcane wine terms. It’s been used for centuries to denote a particular style of sherry. Even schoolchildren have heard of it (that is, if schools have not completely forsaken Edgar Allan Poe in favor of more inclusive ghoulishness).