Saturday, October 20, 2012

Terrace View - Apple Cider

October makes me think about a trip to the Hudson Valley to go apple picking, or at least buying a nice selection of fresh apples from the farmer's market. It also makes me think of cider, both fresh and fermented. Hard apple ciders are an under appreciated beverage and this is the perfect time to enjoy one.

In regions where the climate is too cold for wine production, fermented ciders have a long tradition. Normandy in France and Asturias in northern Spain are most notable and we have ciders from both regions as well as an American cider from Massachusetts.

Massachusetts
West County Cider "Redfield" $16.99 - This is from a farm in the Berkshires and made with the scarlet fleshed Redfield apple. Natural fermentation, fresh and super dry, touch of tannin, a delicious cider with interest.

Normandy
Eric Bordelet Sidre Tendre $13.99 - Light, sweet, yummy with just a little earthiness. It's great as an apertif or with dessert.

Asturias, Spain
Castañón Natural Cider $8.99 - This is a natural cider, dry and tangy, earthy not fruity. It reminds me of Geuze from Belgium and probably unlike anything else you've ever tasted.

Valverán Sparkling Cider $18.99 - A brut cider produced using the Champagne method, with a second fermentation in the bottle. This sees 9 months on the lees, aromas of hay and dried flowers abound in the nose leading to a dry sophistication on the palate.


For food pairing and function these ciders shine as an apertif, the low alcohol content is perfect for early party sipping, and they make great partners with cheese. If the cider is light and not too dry, like the Bordelet Tendre, it will show well with a fruit dessert like a tart or pie. Not as well known is that cider does very well with spicy food and I like it with barbeque too. Any situation that works with "sweet tea" will work with cider. Try one!

Cheers,
Michael