Monday, October 1, 2012

'Cider Week' in the middle of cider season

Cider fans must be ecstatic in October and November. Not that you can't get the beverage at other times of the year, but we're just now getting into its most visible season.

October 12-21 is Cider Week in New York City and the Hudson Valley, for example.  Special themed events such as tastings and demonstrations can be found on the event website. A few participating venues in the greater Capital Region are the Saratoga Farmers Market, Hudson Wine Merchants and Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, and the Red Onion in Saugerties.

Cider come in "hard" and non-alcoholic styes. Here's how the folks at Farnum Hill Ciders in New Hampshire explain the former:
The word "cider" means fermented apple juice, as the word "wine"  means fermented grape juice.

Cider is another old beverage renewed in our day. It was made, stored, and consumed all over the U.S from early times. But eventually, Temperance politics and Prohibition ended legal sales. Apple growers had to replace their cider orchards with "apple pie orchards." Bitter, sour, weird apples that could make great cider lost all value in the States.

But real cider is not brewed. There’s no grain, no cooking, and no fast route to high quality. Serious cider is all apple juice, pressed from superior cider varieties. It represents the land that grew that fruit. It takes time and patience. Great beer can be made in weeks; great cider, not.

The most complex cider is tannic, like red wine. Its gold color means people tend to chill it. But serious cider from the right fruit deserves to be tasted at about 60˚F. Also, cider tannins offer antioxidant effects, but with far less alcohol than red wine.

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