Views from New Amsterdam Winter Market 2013

Images of floral beauty taken at the stall of, and garland making demonstration lead by, Emily Thompson of Emily Thompson Flowers www.emilythompsonflowers.com

Thank You to Rowan Imports for cider, and to Sterling Publishing, Countryman Press, Storey Publishing, Timber Press, Ten Speed Press, Chelsea Green Publishing, Johns Hopkins University Press, and Running Press for all the wonderful books included in our raffle gift baskets for the November & December Markets. Thank You All for helping us support New Amsterdam Market and share the cider joy.

Cider Review: Cider52: Slyboro Cider House Old Sin

POM00000712Cider: SLYBORO OLD SIN

Maker: Slyboro Cider House at Hicks Orchard

Origin: Granville, New York  website: www.slyboro.com

ABV: 8% Bottle: 750 ml

Style Notes: Dry, sparkling cider, forced carbonation. Splash of Slyboro Ice Harvest Cider added.

Makers Fruit Notes: Macintosh and Russet apples.

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Deep clear shining amber. Strong aromas of baked apple and caramel, enriched by splash of Slyboro Harvest Ice Cider.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried with Berkswell raw sheep milk cheese*.

Cheesemonger’s Notes: Pair with a rich double or triple creme such as Pierre Robert for a creme brûlée effect. Bolder, slightly complex companions such as Harbison, Batch 35, Ossau Iraty, and Roquefort should produce delicious results as well.

Overall Impressions: A well crafted American cider that needs a re-tasting away from all the lovely Asturian acidity and funk.

*This cider was part of a January of 2013 Murray’s Cheese tasting class. Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and cider making practices. This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese is being offered again in April.

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

Cider Review: Cider52: Slyboro Cider House Hidden Star

POM00000307Cider: SLYBORO CIDER HOUSE HIDDEN STAR

Maker: Slyboro Cider House at Hicks Orchard

Origin: Granville, New York

website: www.slyboro.com

ABV: 8% Bottle: 750 ml, cork

Style Notes: Semi-dry, sparkling cider, forced carbonation.

Fruit: Apples.

Makers Fruit Notes: Blend of Northern Spy and Liberty apples grown at Hicks Orchard in the Adirondack foothills.

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Bright, pale golden. Aroma of baking apples, buttery, warm caramel, hints of toffee and spice. Sweetness balanced by fresh crisp acidity.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried with Montgomery’s Cheddar from Somerset, England.* Somerset Cheddar is a Slow Food Forgotten Foods Ark of Taste heritage cheese. This raw cows milk cheese is wrapped in linen and rubbed with lard before cellaring, and ripens from the inside out creating a delicious rind.

Cheesemonger’s Notes: The subtle qualities of this cider will nicely support the sweet butterscotch notes in Aged Goudas (Old Amsterdam, Robusto, 3 or 5 year vintages) plus the carbonation and acidity will cut through the dense flavor giving this sometimes overpowering cheese more play time with your palate.

Overall Impressions: All around pleasing cider. Worth another try when palates are not overwhelmed with Asturian “amargo”.

*This cider was part of a January of 2013 Murray’s Cheese tasting class. Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and cider making practices. This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese is being offered again in April.

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

Cider Review: Españar Sidra de Asturias 2011: Cider52

servicios_1242950537_450Cider: ESPAÑAR SIDRA DE ASTURIAS  2011

Maker: Llagar El Gobernador  Origin: Viadi (orchards), Asturias, Spain

website: www.sidraelgobernador.com

Importer: Rowan Imports  website: rowanimports.com

ABV: 6 %   Bottle: 750 ml, cork

Style Notes: Asturian cider, naturally occurring indigenous yeasts used in fermentation.

Fruit: Apples.

Makers Fruit Notes: A blend of three hand picked DOP/PDO (Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas-protected designation of origin) certified heirloom cider apples varietals: Raxao, Regona, and Durona de Tresali (pictured). Apples are allowed to fall and mature on the orchard floor before processing.

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Bright, clear, golden, green. Tart green apple, grass, wet straw, citrus, winey, yeasty, slightly tannic.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried with Jasper Hill Farm’s Winnimere, a raw cows milk washed rind cheese from Vermont.*

Note: An earlier tasting successfully paired Españar Sidra de Asturias with spicy marcona almonds, and Asturian cheeses: Queso de Valdeón, Afuega´l Pitu, and Ahumado de Pria, a smoked mixed milk cheese, and walnut date cake. Read more about Asturian Cheeses at Quesos de Asturias.

Overall Impressions: A clean, crisp, Asturian cider that drinks like a light, white wine.

*This cider was part of a Murray’s Cheese tasting class This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese, in January of 2013.  Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and Asturian cider making practices.

Apple images from www.sidradeasturias.es

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

Cider Review: Valverán 20 Manzanas Frost Cider: Cider52

servicios_1242950632_450Cider:  VALVERÁN 20 MANZANAS FROST CIDER

Maker:  Valverán Origin: Sariego, Asturias, Spain  website: www.llagaresvalveran.com

Importer:  Rowan Imports  website: rowanimports.com

ABV: 10 %  Bottle: 375 ml, cork

Style Notes: Inspired by Quebec, Canada’s Ice Ciders, this is Spain’s first Frost Cider.

Fruit: Apples. Regona, Raxao, and Durona de Tresali, from Valverán’s orchard, el Rebollar.

Makers Fruit Notes: Each bottle ofValverán’s frost cider, 20 Manzanas, is made from the concentrated must of 20 apples.  The apples are picked at the peak of maturity and macerated, after-which the effects of a natural frost are reproduced.  The resulting must is fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 12 months in French oak casks.”

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Deep golden amber, full, smooth, sweet smokey burnt caramel and baked apple. Notes of wood, sherry, toffee, and raisin, with hints Asturian apple acidity and “amargo”.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried with Valdeón, a Spanish mixed  goat and cow milk blue cheese. Valdeón has a bold, spicy, white pepper minerality and made for an extremely delicious pairing.*

Cheesemonger’s Notes: Blue cheese and 20 Manazas is classic pairing.

Overall Impressions: A sipping cider, as an apéritif or for dessert. A cold season treat. Mixology options: when exploring Port and Sherry cocktails, 20 Manzanas would be an interesting Asturian twist.

*This cider was part of a Murray’s Cheese tasting class, This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese, in January of 2013.  Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and Asturian cider making practices

Note: Valveran’s Massaveu family have been making wine for more than 40 years, and began producing cider in 2010, producing unique ciders by combining methods of cider and wine production.

Apple images from www.sidradeasturias.es

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

 

Cider Review: CASTAÑÓN Sidra Natural 2011: Cider52

mundo_de_la_manzanaCider: CASTAÑÓN SIDRA NATURAL 2011

Maker: Castañón Sidra Natural  Origin: Asturias, Spain  website: www.sidracastanon.com

Importer: Rowan Imports website: rowanimports.com

ABV: 6%  Bottle:  750 ml, cork

Style Notes: Traditional Asturian sidra, fermented with native yeasts.

Fruit: Apples

Makers Fruit Notes: Blend of Regona apples and 21 other PDO certified native varietals.

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Pale straw, hints of green, unfiltered, unpasteurized, visible sediments. Bracing acidity “amargo”, tart fresh apple fruit, dry, tannic, effervescent.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried with Salva Cremasco, an Italian cows milk cheese*. Try pairing with melted cheeses and fruit jams, or rustic garlicy onion jams, hearty salads, kale, bitter greens, cured meats, sausages, aged cheeses. When in doubt pair with Spanish tapas.

Cheesemonger’s Notes:  The zingy acidity of this cider will nicely match that of a goats milk cheese such as Montenebro or Humboldt Fog. For those who prefer things on the stinkier side try this with Hudson Red or Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk.

Overall Impressions: (We) could drink this with anything. Sweet or savory. Fresh, tart, full of “amargo”, about 80 calories a bottle, and just this side of vinegar, it’s clear why Asturianos favor this drink throughout the day. Traditional Sidra de Asturias may not be what you were expecting from a cider, but it is certainly worth trying.

Note: June, 2012 marks Castañón’s first export shipment to New York.

*This cider was part of a Murray’s Cheese tasting class, This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese, in January of 2013.  Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and Asturian cider making practices.

Apple images from www.sidradeasturias.es

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

 

Cider Review: EM Emilio Martinez Signature Cider 2011: Cider52

servicios_1242950584_450Cider: EM EMILIO MARTINEZ SIGNATURE CIDER  2011

Maker: El Gobernador  Origin: Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain

website: www.sidraelgobernador.com

Importer: Rowan Imports  website: rowanimports.com

ABV: 8%  Bottle: 750 ml, champagne cork

Style Notes: Asturian sparkling cider, champagne method.

Fruit: Apples

Makers Fruit Notes: A blend of three hand picked PDO  (Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas-protected designation of origin) certified heirloom cider apple varietals: Raxao (pictured), Regona, and Blanquina.

Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Pale straw, sparkling, dry, yeasty, winey, crisp green fruit, with “amargo”- a pleasant tart astringency.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: We tried Saint Maure, a French Loire Valley goat cheese*

Cheesemonger’s Notes: Goat milk cheeses are an excellent choice. Try pairing with a tangy Boucheron, Vermont Butter and Cheese’s mixed goat and cows milk Cremont, a Catalonian Nevat, or an ash coated Mont Enebro, from Avila in Castilla y Leon. Don’t feel like goats milk cheese ? Try a young, supple, caramelly Gouda.

Overall Impressions: A sparkling cider traditionally served in Spain for holidays and celebrations. Try this instead of a cava, prosecco, or other sparkling wine. A festive drink with tapas, or mix it with blood orange juice for Spanish influenced take on a mimosa.

*This cider was part of a Murray’s Cheese tasting class, This Cider House Rules: Paring Cider and Cheese, in January of 2013.  Rowan Imports was on hand to discuss this cider and Asturian cider making practices.

If you want to read a bit about apples used in Asturian cider visit this link http://www.sidradeasturias.es/variedades.php

Apple images from www.sidradeasturias.es

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.