Tag Archives: beverages

Happy 8th Birthday Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar, Roanoke, Virginia

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke, Virginia, celebrated the cellars 8th birthday. Pictured above: Mr. Bill and Rebecca at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

I always enjoy the signs that greet guests outside their front door.

We celebrated with a tasting of Francois Montand Brut Blanc de  Blancs. ($15 range) In the 1940’s Francois Montand moved from his beloved Champagne to the Jura, some of the oldest vineyards in France. He continued to use his expertise in champagne to make bright flavorful sparkling wines made according to the traditional bottle double fermentation method.

Consistent bubbles dancing in the flute with bright notes of golden delicious apples and Meyer lemons. Makes a delightful aperitif. Delicious pairing with Ceviche.   

It’s almost Cider Season so I picked up a bottle of Domaine du Verger Rosé Cidre Bouche. This wonderful French cider is made with red fleshed apples which gives the cider a pink hue. ($12 range) Notes of red apple and just a touch of cinnamon with just the right amount of effervescence.

clear glass mason bottles with apple juice

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Thinking of cider, some dear friends gave us some of their homemade hard apple cider when we visited their farm earlier this year.  It’s made with Granny Smith, Yellow Delicious and Stayman apples.

close up photography of wine glasses

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Weingut Schwarzböck Gruner Veltliner ($17 range) was one of our favorites that we tasted that day. This Australian wine is crisp and refreshing with plenty of lively acidity. Notes of lemon and lime and a touch of white pepper. Perfect pairing with spicy Asian food. 

glasses of rose wine

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Bernard Magrez Bleu de Mer  Rosé 2017 is one of our “house Rosés”…we keep a bottle in the refrigerator to serve to last minute guests. $12 range. This French rosé is bright with strawberry and cherry flavors.

Yves Guégniard Domaine de la Bergerie Sous La Tonnelle. $16 range.  ‘Sous la Tonnelle’ means ‘Below the Rainbow’. Blended 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. This French white wine is deliciously crisp with notes of white peach, apricot, pears and mango.

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National Champagne Day ~ August 4, 2018 ~ Insanely Good Reasons To Have Cold Champagne In Your Refrigerator

August 4, 2018 is National Champagne Day!

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It’s also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day ~ Can it get any better than that?!  

I’ve noticed August 4 has been mentioned on the internet as “National Champagne Day” but I have no idea why…of course I think every day should be National Champagne Day and I don’t want to wait to celebrate so on we go!!!

This article originally appeared on TablogUS.com:

10 Insanely Good Reasons To Always Have A Cold Bottle Of Champagne In Your Refrigerator *

When was the last time you popped the cork of a champagne bottle? Most likely it was for a special occasion..a wedding, graduation, ringing in the New Year?

But why wait to celebrate?!

There have been many wise men and women who have advised whole-heartedly that we drink champagne every day:

sea sunset beach couple

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“In a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of Champagne every evening.”

~ Willie Gluckstern, author “The Wine Avenger”

“Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient champagne.”
~ Dorothy Parker American poet and short story writer

Napoleon Bonaparte said, ” I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate…and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.”  Having a cold bottle of champagne in your refrigerator (or 2, or 3) is always good for a celebration and will lift your spirits during more dismal times. So pop a cork and enjoy these 10 insanely good reasons to keep a stock of cold bubbly on hand:

  1. As Charles Dickens said, “Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life.”  With champagne chilling in your fridge you will be ready at a moment’s notice to celebrate anything and everything…

Champagne =Celebration!

Just the sound of the “Pop!” of a champagne cork sends a message to your brain ~ it’s time to party!  Once reserved only for royalty and the upper crust of society, now everyone can enjoy this celebratory drink because…

champagne does not have to be expensive to be an enjoyable aperitif.  Trending now…more inexpensive pairings…champagne and pizza, scrambled eggs and champagne…but if you  pop some Beluga caviar on top of either one then you’ve got a pricey snack!

The best way to find delicious champagne that will fit your budget is to get to know your local wine merchant. That’s the guy who owns the local wine store that’s been in the business forever and you can trust.  Visit his store often and he will steer you in the right direction because…

  1. …he knows that champagne will not disappoint.  A glass of champagne makes guests feel special.  Before venturing out to dinner with friends, invite them over for a champagne toast and serve a little toast because…

champagne pairs with caviar which should be served with little toast points or blinis. And it pairs equally as well with simple potato chips which Marilyn Monroe loved in the movie The Seven Year Itch (“Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in Champagne. It’s real crazy!” Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch ~1955) because…

  1. Marilyn knew that champagne is a good conversation starter which is helpful on a date or evening out when you don’t know your company very well.  Most everyone has an opinion about champagne whether they love it or not and most everyone has a champagne experience to share because…
  2. this fanciful beverage will tickle your nose with 100 million bubbles in each 3.4 ounce glass and…
  3. serving champagne can be classy without being pretentious…or go ahead and be pretentious by serving a magnum (equals 2 standard bottles) or jeroboam (equals 4 standard bottles) or cutesy by serving a huitième (equals 1/8th standard bottle) with a straw because…
  4. your good crystal is gathering dust in the china cabinet and you really need an excuse to use your Waterford crystal flutes and…
  5. they will look so beautiful filled with rosé champagne ~ which is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other day you want to say “I love you” because…
  6. if for no other reason, as you are running out the door to a party, champagne makes a wonderful last-minute hostess gift.  Or when you arrive home to crawl into an inviting bubble bath, take it literally, just like Marilyn Monroe and sip on a cold glass of bubbly while soaking in a bathtub filled with the contents of 350 bottles of champagne!

Pop your cork with these bubbly recommendations (all champagnes listed here are non-vintage unless otherwise noted and prices are approximate and listed in USD):

for a toast…Veuve-Clicquot~ renowned “yellow” label is instantly recognized as fine bubbles worthy of a special toast to friends and family. Tasting notes:  Fine bubbles with an elegant mousse. Citrus notes with flavors of pear, toasty brioche ($65)

http://www.veuve-clicquot.com/

for a good value

  1. Besserat de Bellefon Cuvee des Moines Brut. Tasting notes: Fine, consistent bubbles in the glass. White peaches a touch of earthiness with hazelnut undertones. http://besseratdebellefon.com/en
  2. Charles de Cazanova Brut. Tasting notes: Toasted brioche, gala apple, lemon zest, graphite and ginger with a hint of honey. ($35 – $45 range) http://www.champagnedecazanove.com/uk/home/index.php

for fancy bubbles to pair with simple potato chips…  2006 Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne Brut Cuvee Belle Epoque 2006.  Fabulous bubbles in a hand-painted bottle.  Princess Grace of Monaco declared Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne with the iconic anemone to be her favorite champagne.  Tasting notes: Delicate and beautiful with aromas of white fruits – white peach, pear and lemon with a hint of pineapple.  give way to hints of pineapple. Notes of rich marzipan, nuts and buttered toast. Balanced in silkiness with a long fine finish. ($150.00)

http://www.perrier-jouet.com/

for a prestigious presentation…Piper Heidsick Brut magnum. 1 million bubbles in a flute of champagne equates to 12 million bubbles in this magnum bottle (magnum = 2 standard bottles = 12 flutes of champagne). Tasting notes:  Rich and rounded, creamy mousse, citrus notes with butter and caramel.  ($80)

http://piper-heidsieck.com/en/

for your love on Valentine’s Day…rosé champagne… Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier ~ beautiful salmon pink color, soft bead, fresh berry on the nose. ($70)

http://www.laurent-perrier.com/en/

Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Tasting notes: silky on the tongue, beautiful fine bubbles, lively black cherry and raspberry fruit and rich brioche. ($70)

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé SauvageTasting notes:  Fine, satiny bubbles, this vibrant, deep-hued rosé layers rich accents of lightly buttered toast and walnut with lively flavors of raspberry puree, wild cherry, blood orange zest and ginger.

“I wish I’d drunk more Champagne.”
The dying words of LORD KEYNES

Santé!

photo of liquid pouring

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*TablogUS.com, February 5, 2016

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Summertime Is Sangriatime … Try These Fun Sangria Recipes!

Fresh Strawberry Blackberry Sangria

This fresh berry sangria is very sweet and refreshing…perfect to sip on a summer evening.

Prepare sangria the day before serving. Place sangria glasses in freezer the day of service to chill glasses.

1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut in fourths

6 ounces fresh blackberries

10 ounces Bacardi frozen Strawberry Daiquiri mix

Fill empty Daiquiri mix can 1/2 full with Blackberry Flavored Brandy

1 bottle Broadbent Rosé Vinho Verde

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons simple syrup

1 33.8 ounce bottle Lime Perrier Sparkling Water

Make a day ahead to allow the fruit to macerate. Place the strawberries, blackberries, strawberry daiquiri mix, blackberry flavored brandy, Rosé Vinho Verde and simple syrup together in a large glass pitcher.  Mix lightly to combine all ingredients.  Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.  When ready to serve, stir lightly before pouring into chilled glasses.

Pour Lime Perrier Sparkling Water into chilled glass until 1/3 full and then fill the rest of the glass with Strawberry Blackberry Sangria. (More or less water can be used to taste.) Stir very lightly. Dip a few of the berries out of the pitcher and into each glass of sangria.

Note: Traditional sangria pitchers have a pinched lip so that the fruit and other solids do not plop into the glass and splash.

Peachy Rosé Sangria

This recipe was originally published in the South Roanoke Living Magazine, July 2016 issue.

This Peachy Rosé Sangria is a lighter, fruity version of classic Sangria. The Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach is a blend of the natural flavors of succulent European raspberries and rare red peaches from Ardèche in the south of France, combined with the world-renowned Grand Marnier…makes any get together a FIESTA!

1 bottle Rosé

5 ounces Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach

6 ounces fresh raspberries

12 fresh strawberries, capped and sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

3 small fresh peaches, pitted and chopped

1 cup seltzer water

Ice for service

Place strawberries in a small bowl, sprinkle with sugar, stir to combine. Set aside.

Place Rosé in sangria pitcher.  Add Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach, raspberries, sugared strawberries and peaches. Stir to combine. Place in refrigerator overnight.  When ready to serve, add seltzer water and stir lightly to combine with other ingredients.  Serve in glasses over ice.

Authentic Sangria Recipe from my Bubbly Friend who is a native of Spain.  Traditional Sangria tends to have more “perfume” from the fruit and red wine and can be an aquired taste.  It is enjoyable on a very hot summer day. I especially enjoy it with Tortas De Aceite – pictured below ( a light, crisp,  flaky and slightly sweet biscuit in the shape of a torta – available on-line or locally at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op), Spanish cheeses and Chorizo Salame.

Sangria

1 orange

1 lemon

1 Lime

1 medium apple (I used an Ambrosia apple), pared, cored and sliced

18 pitted fresh cherries cut in half or frozen sweet red cherries

3/4 cup brandy. (I used blackberry brandy.  Do not use an expensive brandy for this recipe.)

1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine.  Use Rioja to get the authentic Spanish flavor, but definitely choose a wine you like.

1 (12 ounce) can lemon-lime soda to taste. Some people use orange  soda, it depends on how you like it.

1 cup orange juice to taste

Directions

  1. Slice the orange, lemon, and lime into thin rounds. Place the citrus in a pitcher with the apples and cherries. Pour in the brandy and refrigerate for 2 hours of more. Chill the bottle of red wine, lemon-lime soda, and orange juice at the same time.
  2. Gently crush the fruits with a spoon, and then stir in the red wine, lemon-lime soda, and orange juice. Add additional brandy or orange juice to taste.

You can leave it in the refrigerator until you need it  or you can add ice. The problem with the ice is that it waters down the mixture.

Sandy’s Peach Mango Sangria

In the south of Spain Sangria is often called Zurracapote or abbreviated as Zurra. This version of sangria is created with peach or nectarine.

In a large pitcher mix together:

10 oz. Bacardi frozen peach daiquiri mix

2 cups sparkling water (I like S.Pellegrino sparkling mineral water for this recipe)

1/2 cup triple sec

1 ripe mango, pitted and chopped into small pieces

1 large ripe peach, pitted and chopped into small pieces

After all ingredients are mixed together, add:

1 bottle chilled (750 ml) rosé Korbel sparkling wine or cava

Garnish with fresh raspberries.

 Serve well chilled.

I enjoy Korbel Sweet Rosé “California Champagne” for this recipe.

Refreshing Sangria From Paso Robles, California
Glunz Family Winery And Cellars

Delicious served over ice with a garnish of fresh white or red fruits…

de la costa SANGRIA ~ White

Made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  Bursting with ripe citrus flavors and a bit of sweetness to balance it out. Available on-line or locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.  $12 range.

de la costa SANGRIA ~ Red

Made with a blend of Zinfandel and Merlot grapes.  Intensely flavored with cherry and berry flavors finishing with a dash of citrus and sweetness.  Available on-line or locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.  $12 range.

“A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around.”

~ Carolyn Birmingham

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Lovin’ Sippin’ Cider!

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Both of these ciders are luscious sippin’ ciders.

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I love tasting ciders that are new to me during Cider Week!  Bold Rock Blood Orange Cider is such a treat! Blood orange juice blended with the juice of Blue Ridge apples. Crisp tart apple flavor paired with tangy citrus. Bright reddish-orange color. This is a fall and winter seasonal cider.

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Kelly’s ciders are imported from Ireland and the UK and bottled in the United States. Nice raspberry pop to it. Aroma of fresh raspberries. Tiny bit of effervescence and sweetness.

cider-drink-lucky-with-candle

Several local restaurants (River and Rail, Lucky, Fortunato and Local Roots) are having a friendly competition to see which bar creates the best cider cocktail during Virginia Cider Week (November 11 – 20, 2016).  Lucky Restaurant created the SCOTCHY Pippen- Foggy Ridge Pippen Gold, Rye, Drambuie, Lucky Artichoke Bitters #vaciderweek #foggyridgecider. Our Scotchy Pippen was prepared by Hunter Johnson, one of the owners of Lucky and local celebrity bartender.  He explained that this cocktail is “boozy” or “Spirit forward”.  I found it to be rich and deliciously sippable, perfect for Fall.

The ingredients for this cocktail:

1/2 ounce Drambuie
1 1/2 ounce Rye whiskey
3/4 ounce Foggy ridge pippin gold cider
Add a little squeeze of lemon if you’d like
1 drop Artichoke bitters
Orange twist

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir (stirring the ice gives the cocktail some “ice melt” which helps to diffuse the spirits since this is such a “spirit forward” cocktail). Strain and serve over large ice cubes in a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel.

pippin-cider-1

We enjoyed our cocktail with a Lucky cheese plate…freshly baked crusty bread with olive oil, olive tapenade, olive mix and camembert cheese.

cheese-plate-lucky

 

peach

Francisco and the Giant Peach cocktail River and Rail Restaurant. (not a cider drink…just a little cocktail I enjoyed recently…)

Peach infused Lunazul Tequila, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, House Dry Vermouth, Floral Peach, Herbs & Bitter Notes. Stirred. Served on a Large Ice Cube. Lemon Twist Garnish.  Crisp peach flavors, refreshing!

olives

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Texas Honey Cider ~ A New Favorite!

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Celebrating Cider Week

with a new favorite…Texas Honey Hard Cider!

12 ounce can of light honeyed sweetness ~ not sugary sweet.  5% ABV. Austin Eastciders Texas Honey Cider made in Austin, Texas.

How do you like them apples?

Hard apple cider, honey, sugar and brown sugar. Light, appley and delicious!

Available locally in Roanoke, Virginia at the Natural Foods Co-Op on  Grandin Road:  http://roanokenaturalfoods.com

http://austineastciders.com/cider

Special Announcements in River and Rail Restaurant’s Newsletter:

River and Rail Restaurant, Roanoke, Virginia:  http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

Thanksgiving Cocktail & Cider Week 

Cider Competition: 

From November 11 – 20, River and Rail will be participating in a friendly competition with Lucky and Local Roots in the Annual Foggy Ridge Cocktail Competition. 

Our Foggy Ridge Cocktail, crafted by Shane, is also perfect for your Thanksgiving Celebration.

Come in and order one, or two – and make it at home for friends and family to celebrate together this month.

Recipe: 

Equal parts Eagle Rare Bourbon, Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold, and Cardamaro, with two dashes of each apple & angostura bitters.

The cocktail is stirred, shared, and enjoyed.

CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING WINE TASTING WITH MR. BILLS

Dec. 5th, 7:30 PM – 9 PM

$30 per person

Champagne & Sparkling Wine Tasting

Food Pairings

Holiday By the Bottle Discounts

If you haven’t attended our Wine Tastings, this will be one not to miss. Call 400-6830 to reserve your table.

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Grilled Romaine With Bacon, Fresh Corn Aioli And Ricotta Salata + Cider!

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The perfect entrée salad recipe for autumn…grilled romaine and charred fresh corn… yummy smokey taste…like a happy little picnic in your mouth.

For an entree size portion:

1 head romaine lettuce. Wash and trim off any brown spots on the romaine lettuce. Leave the end of the romaine intact.

romaine-grill-1

4 pieces black pepper thick cut bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, reserve the bacon fat.

1 ear fresh corn, grill until tender and lightly charred.  Take the ear of corn off the grill and remove kernels of corn from the cob with a sharp knife.

Roasted corn aioli  for garnish.

Heat the grill.  Brush romaine lettuce with bacon fat on both sides.

Place romaine on hot grill and grill until it is slightly wilted and charred (approximately 5 minutes over medium heat).  Turn romaine over and char on the opposite side.  Remove from heat and place on a serving plate.  Cut off the stem end of the romaine and discard.

Heat the corn kernels in the remaining bacon fat. Heat over high heat so that the corn browns just a bit. Pile the corn on either end of the grilled romaine on the serving plate.  Sprinkle the grilled romaine with crumbled bacon and finely grate Ricotta Salata cheese over the bacon. Dollop a small spoonful of corn aoili on top of the salad. (I used Private Selection brand Roasted Corn Aioli but you can make your own…here’s a link to a recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aioli-recipe.html)   Serve immediately.

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Virginia Cider Week is right around the corner!  November 11 – 20, 2016.

On Saturday we visited Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar for a  Foggy Ridge Cider Tasting.

http://mrbillswinecellar.com

The lovely Devon Steiner, representing Foggy Ridge Cider provided tastings of their cider…here’s the lineup:

cider-line-up-1

Devon explained that their cider contains apple juice, yeast and Co2 and no other additives.  I enjoy the light effervesce of this cider that tickles my nose and I love the rich apple flavors that are so unique in each cider.

stayman-cider-1

If you want a cider that’s fruit forward and has a tang of fresh apples this is the cider for you. Although it is perfectly lovely on its own, I prefer a tiny bit of sweetness to my “sippin’ cider” so I would tend to pair this cider with food. Foggy Ridge suggests pairing their Stayman Winesap with spicy foods.

first-fruit-cider-1

The First Fruit Foggy Ridge cider was sweeter than the Stayman Winesap.  I declare it just fine for sippin’! Foggy Ridge website suggests browning a pork roast in bacon then roast in First Fruit cider and stock, with apples and onions…yum!

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The Foggy Ridge Handmade Cider is bottled in baby champagne bottles…adorable! Devon explained that this cider is dry like champagne…crisp with a smooth finish.

Here’s a link to a lovely article including an interview with Diane Flynt, the orchardist (as well as picker, presser, and cidermaker) at Foggy Ridge:

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/03/the-cider-press-foggy-ridge-cider-in-dugspur-virginia.html

And a link to  the Foggy Ridge newsletter sign-up:

http://foggyridgecider.com/category/inspiration/

Devon shared with us that there is a lot to look forward to during Virginia Cider Week including:

Annual Roanoke Foggy Ridge Cider Cocktail Competition
The gloves are off as local restaurants and bars vie to see who can make the best cocktail using Foggy Ridge Cider brands. Joining the competition once again is Local Roots, Lucky, Fortunato,  River and Rail, and the newest competitor added this year Blue Apron.  The public votes by purchasing cider cocktails from any or all of the Cider Cocktail locations. At the end of Cider Week, we see who sold the most cocktails and they are named the winner. Many of these cocktails have gone on to further fame in other competitions across the state and country. It’s a great way to see how versatile cider really is in the masterful hands of our participants. Come out and “vote” for your favorite.

Foggy Ridge’s website…http://foggyridgecider.com/events

And for dessert? Here’s a recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts from Food and Wine Magazine:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/apple-cider-doughnuts?xid=NL_DAILY103116

And Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold Cider… made with apple brandy…a dessert style cider with a higher alcohol content (18%). Delicious and perfectly fabulous with dessert.  Foggy Ridge recommends  peaches soaked in Pippin Gold served with homemade pound cake.

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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

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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

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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:

http://www.bonappetit.com/drinks/article/best-american-hard-cider

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.

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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.

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tempIFrame.style.border=’0px’;
tempIFrame.style.width=’0px’;
tempIFrame.style.height=’0px’;
var IFrameObj = document.body.appendChild(tempIFrame);

if (document.frames) {
// this is for IE5 Mac, because it will only
// allow access to the document object
// of the IFrame if we access it through
// the document.frames array
IFrameObj = document.frames[‘ADBACKPlugFrame’];
}

}

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