Cider has always been the natural beverage of apple-growing areas throughout the world. The apple grown and fermented for cider is the ‘vin de pays’ of apple country. Cider can be sweet or dry, still or scintillatingly sparkling.
Perry as an aperitif
Back in the 17th century cider and perry were popular among the English aristocracy who had beautiful flutes made in which to serve an aperitif to guests as we might serve a sparkling wine today. West Country cidermakers pioneered the methode champenoise through the development of pressure resistant bottles that enabled them to put natural fizz in their produce before Dom Perignon was even born. Perry continues to fill the aperitif role today.
Cider Matching with a Cheese Plate
Cider and cheese are a naturally great pairing. When combined, they form a flavor powerhouse of complex earthy aromas and flavors. Cider can be used to heighten characteristics that it shares with certain cheeses, or the pairing can serve to highlight the subtle contrasts between the two.
Rich cheeses love the bubbles present in cider—it helps cut through the creaminess of the cheese, and refresh your palate for the next bite. Slicing through butterfat and salt, cider’s acidity elevates the nuanced and complex flavors in cheese. Cheddar and picled onions are the classic dry cider accompaniments in South Country England (try Red Sails Dry Cider), while galettes and crepes match with the sweeter Normandy ciders (Red Sails Cider Gold).
For aged sheep’s milk cheeses, choose tannic ciders to cut through the protein and butterfat. Red Sails Cider is made from real cider apples that marry well.
Try washed rind cheeses with Red Sails Wild Cider. This combination is a funk-lovers dream. Barrel-aged with naturally occurring yeast gives a tart, earthy characteristic that works wonderfully with the complex, pungent rind character of the cheese.
The pairing of Camembert with Red Sails Cider Gold Medium Dry is a nod to the cider-rich culture of Normandy, France and to its keeved cider techniques.
If you’re feeling blue, pick a sweeter cider. Red Sails Cider Gold Medium Sweet will make a delightful salty-sweet pairing with blue cheeses.
Cider and cheese are such great partners that simply grabbing a bottle of your favorite cider and a wedge of your favorite cheese may prove to be the best pairing of them all!
Ciders with a Charcuterie Platter
The terroir approach pairs food and drink from the same region. By this logic, try pairing a Tasmanian Red Sails cider with food that reflects the produce of the region. Fish and seafood marry well with traditional perries that tend to have grassy and tropical fruit aromas. Oily fish like salmon or mackerel benefit particularly from the crisp, lemony flavours of Red Sails Dry Perry.
Red Sails Dry Cider made from traditional cider apples and matched with pork charcuterie reflects the classic pork and apple combination.
Ethically produced, dry cured hams are a becoming a feature of the region. The hint of residual sweetness in the strongly flavoured, keeved Red Sails Cider Gold brings out the salty, unrivalled flavours in the ham.
Then there are the spiced and pickled vegetables. Try these with Red Sails Wild Cider created from the natural yeasts alive in the orchards and on the apples.
Cider is essence of the apple. It creates spirit and pleasure and lightens all seasons. It is regional, local, provincial.