November 11 – 20, 2016 is National Cider Week!
In honor of National Cider Week I am tasting lots of hard ciders. Sippin’ on these ciders reminds me of my travels in Europe during my college days when I could not afford much wine so I drank hard cider. We bought it by the gallon back then and loved every drop!
Recently I visited Eli’s Provisions on the downtown market in Roanoke, Virginia and picked up a few interesting ciders (and plan to go back to pick up a few more soon!). https://www.facebook.com/elisprovisionsroanoke
I am not necessarily a fan of pomegranate, but this Schilling Mischief Maker Pomegranate Hard Cider was a pleasant treat paired with a nice sharp cheddar cheese (tastes like crisp apple pie with a wedge cheddar). A combination of apple juice, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice make up this bright and tart hard cider. It comes in a 12 ounce can and has 5% ABV (alcohol by volume). I would not choose this cider as a sippin’ cider because I like a tiny bit of sweetness in my cider, but it does make a very nice pairing hard cider.
Schilling Hard Ciders are made in the Pacific Northwest. These ciders are vegan and gluten-free.
Why I thought I should try Rhubarb Hard Cider??? I don’t like rhubarb so I did not like this cider. It was pretty and fizzy in the glass but other than that it fell flat. Actually it did not have much taste to it at all. Just sayin’….
For those who love pineapple upside down cake this is the perfect cider for you! ACE Pineapple Hard Cider has the aroma of ripe pineapple that gets your taste buds ready for a nice appley pineapple treat. Sweet and fresh. 5% ABV. It is the first pineapple hard cider to be developed in the world. I do like fresh pineapple but a little goes a long way and I don’t necessarily want 12 ounces of pineapple flavored beverage so this was not my favorite…but I’m glad I tried it!
According to the ACE Hard Cider website, their signature drink the Hawaii 5-0 is a mix of Ace Pineapple cider, coconut rum, ice and a garnish of fresh pineapple. This original cider is perfect for a backyard BBQ, or Bacon dishes.
I purchased this gem of a cider at the Natural Foods Co-op on Grandin Road in Roanoke, Virginia… https://www.facebook.com/RoanokeCoop. Love ACE Pumpkin Hard Cider! 5% ABV. This cider has just the right amount of spice and sweetness. Flavored with cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Available only in the Fall. Perfect for sippin’ on these crisp Autumn evenings!
Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider Brut is the cider to choose if you want pure apple taste and nothing else – extra dry, no sweetness. Too dry for me because I do like a little sweetness in my sippin’ cider.
Two of my favorite hard ciders continue to be…
Even after tasting so many different ciders, the Bold Rock Granny Smith Apple Hard Cider is still one of my favorites. Available most anywhere…including Tinnell’s Finer Foods on Crystal Spring Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia: http://tinnells.com/ … 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. 4.7 ABV.
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:
Daufresne Pear Cider is another one of my favorites. 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. Available at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke, Virginia…http://mrbillswinecellar.com.