The Angry Orchard Cider Company has been turning apples into cider for almost 20 years now. We have sampled not a few of them in this column, including Crisp Apple, Elderflower, and others.
The Cincinnati company began with Italian culinary apples and French bittersweet apples and have expanded from there to source from the Pacific Northwest. The apples undergo the fermentation process, as can any fruit that contains sugar, yeast’s favorite food.
Now, Angry Orchard has released a new Cider House Collection cider, called The Muse. Cider maker David Sipes, after some experimentation, settled on a blend of apples from the Alto Adige region of northern Italy, as well as apples from Normandy and Bretagne, those French locations having a tradition of growing apples for cider. Once fermented, the cider was aged on French oak staves.
The Muse is a sparkling cider, in a Champagne-style bottle under cork, intended by the makers as a celebration beverage similar to the sparking wines of Italy (Prosecco), Spain (Cava) and Germany (Sekt).
Angry Orchard The Muse, carbonated apple wine with natural flavors added, 750 ml bottle. Gluten free, 7.7% abv. The price ranges from $15-$18, depending on location. Off-dry, mildly sweet (in the demi-sec range, if you are a champagne drinker), with sharp and fast-rising bubbles that greet you with a blast of apple on the nose, bringing hints of sweet and sour.
The various apples used in the blend come through one by one in a harmonious whole with flavors of white apple, sweet and sour, and some background oak hints of vanilla and smoke, and spice along the way to the finish.
Angry Orchard recommends pairing this cider with medium-heavy fare, including creamy goat cheese and grilled chicken. Any summer celebrations coming up? This is one to consider.
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Let’s wrap up this week with something a little closer to home: Samuel Adams Rebel IPA, 6.5% abv. Dark gold beer under a white head with a rich malt nose. the palate is a blend of hops and malt, with very good bitterness, good light carbonation, medium alcohol that blends in smoothly, and medium-plus to high flavor intensity of bread, caramel, hints of grain, and pine/herbal notes. Another refreshing choice for summer.
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Tickets ($50) are still available for Thursday night’s ninth annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Church Landing in Meredith. For information about the benefit festival visit thecman.com or call 968-9330 to order tickets.