NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "I left mi corazon in la bota no. 59," wine writer Talia Baiocchi scrawled in chalk last year on a barrel of sherry in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a small city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in southern Spain, and it's easy to understand why.
The sherry bodegas -- warehouses where the wine is aged -- are gorgeously atmospheric with high ceilings, dirt floors, narrow windows and cool temperatures. The winemakers love to explain their craft as they walk around the bodegas and stop occasionally to taste a sample from a bota (barrel) to show how its contents develop.
And the wines go perfectly with the food served in the tapas bars of Sanlúcar and nearby El Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera, where most sherry is made. Below, we offer a short trip through sherry country. (Baiocchi provides a much more complete one in her recent book Sherry: The Wine World's Best-Kept Secret, a finalist for a James Beard Award this year.)