Spanish sidra from Grupo El Gaitero is an interesting example of sidra that became a mass product before the term was even invented. Already in the 19th century, El Gaitero started exporting their sidra to Spanish and American colonies. Today El Gaitero is one of the biggest sidra brands in Spain.
Company: Grupo El Gaitero
Place of Origin: La Espuncia, Villaviciosa, Asturia, Spain
Apples: a blend of apples from Asturia
Package type: 750ml champagne corked bottle (the silver foil on the cork looks really cheap and tears easily when I am trying to open the bottle. That doesn’t leave a good first impression).
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute
Appearance: pours a clear, deep golden with a big white head. Carbonation is heavy with small nice bubbles and seems to be natural.
Aroma/Nose: the aroma has white wine notes with red apple skins and apple juice. I can also sense some ripe apples and pears with interesting distant sweet ripe melon hints.
Taste: Sidra El Gaitero (Etiqueta Blanca) is relatively sweet. Sweeter than I expected judging by the scent. The initial raisin like sweetness changes after a while to light acetic acidity. But, the perception of vinegar increases with every sip and with increasing temperature. The medium palate has overripe apples. The finish is dry without any perceivable tannins.
Overall: Sidra El Gaitero (Etiqueta Blanca) can be described in a few words as sweet, fizzy apple vinegar. While the aroma is quite pleasant, the taste is less complex consisting of literally only three taste notes. In addition, if you have a sensitive stomach be careful as the relatively strong vinegar perception could cause stomach pain. Summarizing, I think that this sidra is drinkable and could find an audience but it’s just too simple to earn a better rate from me. I don’t think I would consider buying it again. 2.5/6
Availability: almost every supermarket in Spain. As for other European countries check supermarkets selling products from Mediterranean countries.
Price: purchased locally from Mitte Meer in Berlin.