Celebrating Hard Cider~ Apple and Pear

 

apple-tree-limb
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

— W. B. Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds

cider-judy

One of my favorite hard ciders is a cider my bubbly friend introduced me to…Bold Rock Granny Smith Apple Hard Cider.  Available most anywhere this cider is sold in 330 ml bottles. Made with apples picked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Crisp, nice effervescence, just the tiniest touch of sweetness to take the edge off of the tart apple.

Cider
A west-coast style dry-hopped cider featuring Ahranum, Citra, and Centennial hops to compliment the bite of local Granny Smith apples.

I tend to enjoy the Hard Rock Granny Smith Apple Cider with creamier mild cheeses such as Havarti, but a mild Gouda may be more to your liking.  Country ham biscuits a perfect pairing with this cider.

Here’s a link to cheese and cider pairings to enjoy with your cider:

https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/easy-pairings-hard-cider-and-cheese

cider-tasting-sign

Best way to greet Autumn?  Sip hard cider!  This week we attended a dandy cider tasting at River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia.  I tend to like a fuller, rounder taste to my cider (maybe just a light touch of sweetness) so my favorites were: Daufresne Pear Cider and Foggy Ridge Stayman Winesap cider. Each of the ciders we tasted are available 750 mL bottles.

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

The lovely Kristen from Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar greeted us with a chilled glass of Castel Hill Terrestrial cider. The Castle Hill Terrestrial  ($19 range) Crisp, crystal clear, semi-tart, green apple notes, very dry.

castle-cider

Our next sip was Potters Oak Barrel Aged Reserved Cider ($17 range).  Love the label on this one…it reminds me of Halloween! Aged in oak barrels, notes of caramel, vanilla and toasted oak. Very dry with a quick finish, crisp apple, pear and brandied cherry notes add the complexity of the flavor of this cider.

potters-cider

Our next sip was Foggy Ridge Stayman Winesap. ($17 range)  Traditional hard cider (apple) taste. Considered “off-dry”. Full apple flavor with green apple skin notes and smooth finish.

Foggy Ridge Cider was highlighted in the “Best American Hard Cider” article in Bon Appetit magazine:

10 Ciders to Turn Wine Snobs Into Cider Snobs

Stayman Winesap, Foggy Ridge Cider
Dugspur, VA

Somehow, sweetness is considered a bad thing in today’s dry-leaning cider world, but subtle sweetness and fruit are just as satisfying as the crispness of a dry cider. Here the Stayman Winesap apple has notes of cherry and ripe apple, dropping you somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains, without actually having to hike there.

foggy-ridge-cider

Our next sip was Le Brun Organic Cider. ($11 range).  Nice aroma of Fall spices and apples…like “drinking apple pie”.  Just a touch of sweetness. This was the perfect pairing with the appetizers that River and Rail served that evening, especially the grilled pork belly and coleslaw petite sandwich and the Gruyère cheese puff.

le-brun-cider

food-at-cider-tasting

Pictured above, left to right:  Grilled Chicken Sausage Biscuit, Flat Bread with Pear, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion, Grilled Pork Belly and Coleslaw Petite Sandwich and Gruyère Cheese Puff.

During our discussion of cider and food pairings we noted that cider (with it’s hint of sweetness) is a very good pairing with Thai food.

Our next sip was Daufresne Pear Cider.  ($14 range) My favorite cider of the evening!  I commented “The pear cider is a very good pairing with the Pear, blue cheese and caramelized onion hors’ d oeurve!” …and thought I was very clever.

Located in the lower part of Normandy, France, is the cidery Daufresne.  Made from small ripe pears it has sweetness that is balanced with acidity. I would enjoy this cider as an Apéritif or with a light creamy dessert or just to sip on on.

cider

We completed the evening with a Pippin Gold Cider made with apple brandy that was a dessert style cider with a higher alcohol content (18%). Delicious and the perfect way to end a fabulous cider tasting.

pippen-cider

apples redapples green

fiesta-friday-2016

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6 thoughts on “Celebrating Hard Cider~ Apple and Pear

  1. Christina Nifong October 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm Reply

    Looks like such a fun event! Thanks for sharing and for your insights on the cider!

    Like

    • Becky Ellis October 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm Reply

      Thank you Christina. Happy weekend…hope you are staying as snug as a bug in a rug in this rainy chilly weather!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rosalee Kaplan October 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm Reply

    Hi Becky, I tried hard cider for the first time this summer in a sushi restaurant in Blacksburg. I never thought about trying it because I’m not a beer drinker and just assumed it would have a similar taste. What a wonderful surprise. I love the taste. In fact I have a bottle of Bold Rock hard cider in the refrig right now. Thanks for the review. I learned a lot. Love, Rosalee

    Like

  3. Becky Ellis October 7, 2016 at 12:21 pm Reply

    So glad to hear that you enjoy cider too Rosalee! I am going to the Roanoke Co-op today to look at their cider selection…will let you know if I find any ciders that are particularly yummy.

    Like

  4. MmrliRuddy October 12, 2016 at 12:35 am Reply

    Love hard cider. I really like it so much better then most other alcoholic beverages, plus it feels so fall like to me.

    Like

  5. Becky Ellis October 12, 2016 at 12:42 am Reply

    I agree! Happy Fall! I just tasted Ace Pumpkin Hard Cider. Yum! So many pumpkin ciders are too tart, but Ace is nice and smooth with just a touch of sweetness and spice.

    Like

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