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Las Sacas ...
Traditionally in Sanlucar there are four big seasonal "Sacas" are perfomed by the Capataz.
Saca comes from sacar in Spanish which means to remove - this is the term used for the process of removing a portion of all the solera casks blending then bottling. It is interesting to note that the "flor" on the Manzanilla is influenced by temperature, moisture and other climactic conditions and therefore will influence the personality of the Manzanilla.
“The rain in Spain falls mainly…….” in the south? Not quite what Professor Higgins tried to teach Eliza Doolittle, but it certainly represents the strange truth of this year’s weather. It has rained more this winter than it normally does in three years. As well, it was a very mild winter temperature wise. So a very rainy March along with a soft, rainy winter makes for some seriously thick “flor.” Now, in the Springtime the “flor” is always thick, as the softer temperatures and the rain create the perfect atmosphere for the “flor” to prosper. With the additional rain, the humidity is more constant and the “flor” grows thicker. The thicker the “flor” the greater the protection from the oxygen and the more refined the color will be. As well, the breadiness on the mouth also comes from the “flor,” those flavors should also be more pronounced this Spring. These conditions are very similar to what we experienced this past fall – both unusually wet and mild. So we should see similarities in the taste and texture of the wines. [The Sherry Hound - April 2013]
Pairing with spring Manzanilla
Almejas a la Marinera
2 pounds of small clams
1 cup of Manzanilla
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon flour
Soak the clams in water with a little sugar for about two hours to get all the sand out, changing the water about every ½ hour.
Start with olive oil in the pan on a medium flame, add the garlic sliced, when it is slightly golden add (in this order) the paprika and stir it and then quickly add the flour (otherwise the paprika can burn) and stir it around. Then add the clams, the wine and the chopped parsley. Add salt to taste. Let this cook on a medium flame until the clams open, then it is done. If cooked in the “cazuela” it can be served in that. Make sure you have a lot of bread to dunk.
Perfect with the spring Manzanilla! [The Sherry Hound - April 2023]