The reason sparkling wine is so commonly associated with New Years celebrations has a great deal to do with the way it’s built. It looks flashy and it drinks flashy. The rising bubbles make for a show. The impact of the effervescence is showy on the palate. And of course the alcohol causes its own kind of show.
I’m here to suggest that sparkling cider is every bit as appropriate for ringing in 2017 since it possesses all the same qualities as Sparkling Wine, and I have a few suggestions on which ciders will work well.
But before the recommendations, let me add that one of the benefits of serving sparkling cider over sparkling wine is its lower alcohol content. This can mean one of two important things: 1) you can drinker as much cider as wine and not get nearly as drunk or 2) you can enjoy even more sparkling cider than wine and not get any drunker than if you were drinking less sparkling wine. Either way, you win. You’ll win with any of the following ciders as an excellent accompaniment to the coming New Year Celebration:
Eve’s Cidery Autumn’s Gold Sparkling Cider (New York)
This cider is so well-built as to astound…From the luscious, sugary esters to the rigid but giving tannin-built structure to the layers of flavors. Beautiful cider
Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit (France)
This is pear-based cider from one of the world’s greatest cider producers. It’s sweet, and sparkly and complex and deeply delicious.
Alpenfire Glow Rosé Cider (Washington)
Produced from a single red-fleshed apple (Hidden Rose), This is cider that is begging for a companion dish of rich short ribs, barbecued salmon, or even a cassoulet. Delicious and decadent…but also a celebration in a glass perfect for the New Year’s celebration.
Tilted Shed Ciderworks Inclinado (California)
Built on the model of Spanish sidra, the Tilted Shed Inclinado makes use of awild ferment that leaves a veil of that Spanish tang in this California sidra’s nose. But in addition, you get lovely high-toned floral notes, a slight tilt toward the herbal and sweet orange aromas. It’s Muted apple notes combine with a very slight tangy/acetic character so familiar to Spanish sidra drinkers.
2 Towns Ciderhouse “Outcider” Unfllilted Hard Cider (Oregon)
The “Outcider” gives us pure, straightforward, fresh apple aroma. It’s medium bodied cider with a rich acid core, sugar weight and slight tannic notes. On the palate the sweet apple flavors dominate and are beautiful.
Eden Semi-Dry Sparkling Cider (Vermont)
It’s ripe, but not overripe apple that spreads across the palate with a small dollop of sweetness. A sweet bitter note is interesting too. Flavors of peach and a woody hint round out the sparkling palate.
Guzman Riestra Sidra Brut Nature (Spain)
This is absolutely delicious sparkling cider and an excellent and exciting example of new generation Spanish cider. This could very easily replace Champagne.
West County Cider “Reine de Pomme” (Massachusetts)
This is beautiful cider from a classic producer that has a muscular character and offers complex flavors and aromas you won’t soon forget.
AppleGarden Farm Cider (California)
Enjoy the ripe apple flavors, the barest touch of earthy notes and herbal character, and a cleansing and balancing citrus flavor. This is lovely cider produce by a tiny cidery located in Marin County, California.
Foggy Ridge Fruit First Cider (Virginia)
On the palate you’ll meet moderate carbonation that spreads out in a nice juicy wave. That’s when the pure tart apple hits your buds. The hint of sweetness is balanced by some pretty serious acidity.