Sherry vs Brandy: What’s the Difference? (COMPLETE Guide)

Sherry and brandy are two of the most popular types of alcohol in the world.

We will discuss sherry vs brandy, as well as their unique benefits and drawbacks. We will also help you decide which one is right for you!

Sherry vs Brandy: The Gist of It

Sherry is a fortified drink with a high alcohol content that tends to be bright, citrusy, dry, and champagne-like. It pairs well with charcuterie, appetizers, and tapas.

Brandy is a distilled wine with a richer, sweeter, fruity flavor and a very high alcohol content. It’s a favorite for drinking neat and as a base for mixed cocktails.

Read our related article on Port vs Sherry where we compare these two wines, their origins, flavors, uses, and more!

A Brief History of Sherry and Brandy

Sherry is a fortified wine with a wide range of flavors depending on the maker.


Sherry is a fortified wine that has a long and rich history. The drink originated in the town of Jerez, which is located in southern Spain.

It is believed that sherry was first produced sometime in the 13th century when local winemakers began fortifying their vintages with brandy or other spirits to help extend their shelf life.

However, it was not until the 16th century that sherry began to grow in popularity.

At this time, large-scale wineries known as bodegas emerged across southern Spain and began to commercialize the production and sale of sherry throughout Europe.

Today, sherry is enjoyed all over the world as a delicious beverage with unique flavor profiles ranging from sweet and nutty to dry and savory.

Whether sipped on its own or paired with meals, this versatile tipple holds a special place in the hearts of connoisseurs everywhere.

Read our related article, Does Sherry Go Bad? If so, when? Here’s what you need to know about shelflife and using Sherry after opening!


Brandy is a type of alcohol made from distilled wine. The word brandy comes from the Dutch word “brandewijn”, which means “burnt wine.”

The distillation process greatly increases the alcohol concentration.

Brandy was first produced in the 15th century, and it quickly became a popular drink throughout Europe. Some brandies are aged in casks to enhance both flavor and color.

By the 17th century, brandy was being produced in large quantities in France, Spain, and Italy.

In the 18th century, brandy became even more popular, thanks in part to its reputation as a medicinal drink.

It was believed to be effective against a variety of ailments, including colds, flu, and indigestion.

Today, brandy is enjoyed around the world as a sipping drink, a digestif, or as an ingredient in cocktails.

And while its medicinal properties have been largely disproven, it remains a popular choice for those looking to relax and enjoy a good glass.

Sherry vs Brandy: Which Should I Drink?

sherry and brandy
Sherry and Brandy both have their times and places.

When it comes to choosing a post-dinner drink, many people are torn between sherry and brandy. Both drinks have their share of fans, but which is better?

When Sherry is Better

Sherry has a distinct flavor that is a result of the unique methods used to produce it.

The wine is aged in barrels made of oak, and it undergoes a process known as the flor system.

This involves adding a layer of yeast to the wine, which helps to protect it from oxygen. As a result, sherry has a high level of acidity and nutty flavor.

Sherry is typically drunk as an aperitif, or before a meal. It is thought to help stimulate the appetite and promote digestion.

Sherry is also believed to have health benefits due to its high levels of antioxidants. These substances can help to protect cells from damage when consumed in moderation.

Sherry can be citrusy and almost champagne-like, making it a nice drink to pair with tapas, charcuterie, or as a refreshing after-meal beverage.

Read our related article, How is Sherry Made? Learn where Sherry came from and how it’s made in this wine guide!

When Brandy is Better

Brandy is known for its complex blend of unique flavors and fragrances that can be hard to find elsewhere.

When you prefer a bold, full-bodied style or a crisp and clean liquor, there is sure to be a brandy that suits your taste preferences.

Brandy can be exceptionally delicate and fruity, especially when enjoyed properly from a brandy snifter that keeps the aromas from escaping quickly into the atmosphere.

Brandy is exceptional for making cocktails to enjoy with appetizers, before dinner, or after dinner to relax.

What Are the Drawbacks of Sherry and Brandy?

sherry and brandy are two popular alchoholic drinks
Sherry and Brandy are not similar in flavor, but the occasions for drinking them are about the same.

When considering different types of alcohol, sherry and brandy may not seem like natural competitors.

However, these two spirits are quite similar in several important aspects, including their flavor profiles, their fermentation processes, and their alcohol content.

Perhaps the most significant difference between sherry and brandy is that sherry must be fortified with a flavorless spirit as it ages, while brandy gets its flavor primarily from aging.

This difference has an impact on both the taste and the aroma of each spirit, since fortifying usually results in stronger flavors being present in sherry than in brandy.

Although they have some key differences, there are also notable drawbacks to each type of alcohol.

For example, sherry can be extremely acidic and dry, which makes it difficult for many people to enjoy.

However, this is the very reason it pairs so well with appetizer foods.

In contrast, brandy tends to be sweeter and can have an overpowering flavor that seems sharper or more alcoholic than purer types of liquor.

This makes it a favorite for mixed cocktails.

Despite these disadvantages, both sherry and brandy have many loyal advocates who consider them to be among the finest drinks available.

Wrap Up

Brandy and sherry have a very high alcohol content, with brandy being higher.

Behavioral health experts recommend that men have no more than 3oz and women have no more than 1.5oz of spirits per day.

These spirits are delicious, but excess consumption is very hard on the internal organs, so enjoy them with moderation and savor the experience.

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