Harveys of Bristol is the largest sherry company in the world, and Harveys Bristol Cream is the most popular and recognisable brand of sherry. It is sold in over 130 countries world-wide and comes bottled in distinctive bright Bristol Blue glass bottles.
John Harvey was a well respected wine merchant in Bristol in the mid-19th century - a time when Britain was drinking more than 90% of the world's sherry. Many wine merchants were at that time producing a blend of sherry called Bristol Milk, but when Harvey served one of his own blends of sherry alongside Bristol Milk to an aristocratic lady, she is reported to have said "If that be Milk, then this is Cream" - Harveys Bristol Cream was born.
Bristol Cream is made from a blend of oloroso, amontillado, fino and high quality sweet wines. Harveys use one particular grape for its sweet wine which gives the sherry its unique character, that is the pedro ximenez or PX grape. The PX is a small, sweet grape which is harvested and dried for two weeks to concentrate the sugars before pressing. The resultant blend of wines gives rise to a very fruity, smooth yet fresh sherry with a complex, mellow flavour.
It is a warm chestnut brown colour and is traditionally served at room temperature as an apperitif. Mostly due to influences from the USA sherry is now more often served on ice, or as a dessert wine, but Harveys Bristol Cream loses none of its characteristic flavour when served in this way; it is truly a versatile sherry.