Flor is a Spanish term that refers to a film of yeast that develops naturally on some wines after they are fermented. It needs very specific conditions to form: barrels must not be filled completely to allow oxygen contact with the wine, alcohol content needs to be less than 15.5%, temperature must be cool and humidity high. As a result, flor thrives during spring and autumn months and tends to weaken during summer and winter. The yeast feed of alcohol, nutrients, and oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and acetaldehyde, giving the wine a distinctly sharp and pungent flavor.
In the region of Jerez in southwest Spain, flor is essential to produce fino and amontillado styles of their fortified wines. Other regions that produce wine with flor development is Montilla in Spain and Chateau-Challon in France. Try a cold glass of Emilio Lustau Fino Jarana or Los Arcos Amontillado before dinner to open your appetite, with sashimi or pork dumplings.
Author: Maytte Rivera