Cider, Sidra, Sonoma, Txotx!

For beginning cider drinkers it is the Spanish ciders of Asturia and Spanish-style ciders made elsewhere that are the most difficult to embrace without “a little practice”.  With their high levels of volatile acidity, their sour character, and their often earthy component, these ciders are stylistic anomalies in the cider world.

It took me a little while to really get happy about seeing a Spanish-style cider waiting to be had. It was volatile acidity, the extreme sourness, that seemed to shout so much louder than anything else in the drink. But then, as I began to taste Spanish-style ciders more widely and wrap my lips around nicely balanced examples, I simply fell in love…head over heels.

So have a number of American cidermakers. Among them is Tilted Shed Ciderworks in Sonoma County, California. Their Inclinado (meaning “Tilted” in Spanish) cider is their own take on Spanish style ciders and produced with their region’s ubiquitous Gravenstein apples.

The folks at Tilted Shed, however, have gone well beyond simply producing an homage to Spanish Cider. On June 24 they will be hosting their TILTED TXOTC! party that celebrates all things Spanish and cider.

The 2 pm to 5 pm event at the Tilted Shed Ciderworks tasting room in Windsor, California will feature not only the release of the 2016 Tilted Shed Inclinado, but will also see them pouring a number of other authentic Spanish ciders. James Asbel, owner of Ciders of Spain, an import company that specializes in bring to American drinkers the finest Spanish ciders, will be on hand pouring a number of his read deal ciders from Austuria. Darlene Hayes, a local cider expert, author and writer will be on hand to dish out an education on Spanish ciders. And of course Spanish cheese will be paired with the ciders.

But most fun of all (outside of drinking the Tilted Shed and other ciders) will be the traditional “catching of the cider” out of the barrel as you are surrounded by other cider lovers yelling “TXOTX” (pronounced “choach) in the manner they do at cider celebrations in the Spanish cider country. Tilted Shed will also be giving lessons on how to “throw” cider, again in the Spanish manner of holding the cider bottle high in the air and catching the tumbling cider in a glass held low — all for the purpose of aerating and fizzing up the cider.

These are the kind of events cider producers across the country are more and more indulging in as they transmit the history of cider and the current renditions of the drink to a new generation of cider lovers. Tilted Shed renders such events in a  particularly enthusiastic fashion and I highly recommend you make plans to attend their June 24 TILTED TXOTC!

2 Responses to “Cider, Sidra, Sonoma, Txotx!”

  1. Darlene Hayes

    Thanks for the shout out, Tom. I’m actually leaving for Spain tomorrow, and Scott of Tilted Shed will join me on Monday. We’ll spend a week in Asturias followed by several days in the Basque region visiting cidermakers and cider orchards. We’ll undoubtedly return with some gems to share with folks at txotx. Hope we’ll see you there. We’ll teach you the art of the escanciar!

  2. tomwark

    Darlene….It’s a trip I’d love to join you on. Bring back the good stuff!!


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