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The wine most associated with Spain may not be Rioja at all, but rather, Sherry (a corruption of Jerez, the city at the epicenter of Sherry production). Sherry starts life as any other wine, crushed and fermented to 12 to 16 degrees alcohol. But then neutral spirit is added to raise the alcoholic strength another couple of degrees. At this point, some casks develop a growth of floating yeast called flor. This protects the wine from oxidation, and these are destined to become fino, the lightest and driest of all Sherries. Other casks don't develop this flor, and oxidation renders   More