Drinking CIDER, Eating FOOD

Glass beauty sliceDo you have “how to drink”  questions about cider?  About correct glasses, maybe, or best occasions, or food-pairing rules?  Guess what: good cider in a jam-jar with  a cheese sandwich is as delightful in its moment as good cider in stemware on your birthday. In short, we’re not sure rules increase pleasure.  Yes, annoying persons may still use wine lore to impress (or embarrass.) But wine-lovers, as distinct from wine snobs, are over all that. Here’s Ntsiki Biyela, a celebrated young South African wine-maker: “Wine is never the same today as it is tomorrow. It even depends on where you drink it and who you are with and what mood you are in. It’s a very, very nice thing.” (NY Times, 8.23.2011.) Ciderwise, we agree. So here’s the  mission statement: SERVE CIDER to GLADDEN THE MOMENT Some principles of gladdening: Serving temperature: The more chilled-down the drink, the less full and vivid its flavors will seem.  So decide for yourself  whether you crave a nice chilling ‘mouthfeel’ over the utmost nuance of flavor. We like Farnum Hill Ciders, with their tannic structure and bouquet of subtle delights, at red-wine temperatures, 55-ish degrees Fahrenheit. (The recommended “room temperature” for red wines was set before central heating.) On the flip side, when a label says “SERVE ICE COLD,” you have been warned. Presentation: For the fullest sensory effect, a basic wine-tasting glass or something similar looks nice and works well. That incurved shape focuses aromas, which then ‘become’ flavor on the palate. We like glasses, period.  Love mason jars! Love crystal stemware at times! Love those French-style bistro tumblers at other times! Love grandma’s set of etched whatevers!  Well rinsed, the toothbrush cup!  Mid-19thC, elegant New Jersey ciders were unethically but successfully labeled Champagne, and doubtless sparkled in swanky crystal. But cider is NOT champagne already. Now and then we like our XD in flutes, but they’re a pain to wash. The English have a history of special mugs for cider. Customary in pubs nowadays are pint and half-pint glasses, though we’d take a look at the percent alcohol before filling that big glass with FHC. Old cider regions sport various habits and customs: check out the high-risk ‘sidra’ pours of northern Spain!  Over there they speed-aerate their super-dry, super-tannic-and-acetic sidras by holding the glass several feet from the pour. It’s a skill. The glasses are shaped like wide-bottom buckets to hold maximum turbulence. In Norman restaurants, local cidres often arrive in variously-shaped little glasses, as aperitifs. Ideas? TO BE CONTINUED. SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!
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