February is here, which simply means that Valentine’s Day is getting nearer. I’ll solve your cider dilemma for this evening by picking seven versatile ciders packed in an elegant bottle. All ciders I’ve selected for this occasion are either sparkling or still and have a clear sophisticated taste suitable for every palate. Each of them has the right balance of sweetness/dryness, acidity, gentle tannins and lack of any notes that could be considered by some as unpleasant such as wild/barnyard, nail polish or vinegar. More importantly, all pair well with food that can be served at a romantic dinner. And, all are to die for.
Each cider is listed first by cidermaker, then by label name & year if applicable, region & country, and apple variety if known.
Ramborn Cider, Avalon 2015, Luxembourg – a blend of 82 apple varieties
You can’t go wrong with any cider crafted by Caroline from Ramborn. But with the exquisite Avalon I assure you that the person to drink the Avalon will experience pure heaven with each sip. The Avalon is very well-balanced on the palate, with a long, and pleasant lingering finish. The level of both sweetness and acidity is just right. Moreover, the Avalon comes in an extremely inviting packaging, which makes it an elegant gift for this occasion. My personal recommendation. For the full review click here.
SIA Abavas dārzi, “Kalējkrāmi”, Premium Brut, Turkuma, Latvia – a blend of three Latvian apple varieties
Refreshing and balanced lemon-like acidity with a broad palate make the Premium Brut from Abavas indeed a perfect bubbly for a romantic candlelight dinner. Not to mention the beautiful bottle. Premium Brut tastes like a quality sparkling white wine made from white grapes with pleasant and refreshing notes of fresh apples. Since the Premium Brut is not too dry it can be appreciated by a wider audience. A very pleasant pour that will help to create a romantic atmosphere. For the full review click here.
Gutshof Kraatz, Wilde Kerle 2016 – Uckermark, Germany – a cuvée of apples growing in the wild
Fruity, apple forward, with soft tannins, fruity apple forward palate along with exceptionally long and lingering aftertaste make this Apfelwin from Gutshof Kraatz an elegant evening companion. The Wilde Kerle is simply perfect if you want to impress your better half by serving an excellent tasting Apfelwein. Fantastic for slowly sipping will pair well with any kind of food. For the full review click here.
West Milton, Lancombe Rising – Dorset, UK – a cuvée of Dabinett, Yarlington Mill and Chisel Jersey
One of the few UK’s producers of keeved cider, West Milton created Lancombe Rising, a cider with an extraordinary and extremely rich palate of dried fruits, red apple and light citrus flavours with the right level of sweetness. Suitable for all palates. For the full review click here.
De Vergeten Appel, Moesj 2016, North Brabant, the Netherlands – a cuvée of apples coming from MDe Bilt, Schijndel and Susteren
Due to high carbonation and a clear, vinous and fruity taste of the Moesj 2016 with notes of crisp apples and citruses I can easily name this Dutch cider crafted by the passionate cider-maker, Johan Holleman from De vergeten Appel, a prosecco among ciders. Moesj 2016 has the right level of acidity with a nice breadth of flavours that can be appreciated by everyone who decides to drink this beauty. Highly recommended! For the full review click here.
Doz de Dauzanges, Cidre Rosé, Normandy, France – a cuvée of apples and pears
With only 2% of ABV Cidre Rosé from Doz de Dauzanges is a pleasant and refreshing offering as it’s not too sweet due to the elegant red berries-like acidity balancing out the sweetness. Also, Cidre Rosé is suitable for those, who are looking for clear cider without notes of funk or strong tannins, are just looking for a change or want to finish the evening with a light bubbly. For the full review click here.
Joachim Döhne, Apfelschaumwein Brut 2013 – Hesse, Germany – a cuvée of Boskoop, Jakob Lebel, Schöner von Herrenhut and Kaiser Wilhelm
Both the palate and the nose of this Apfelschaumwein are intensely rich, with good structure and depth. Taste wise somewhere between French cidre, German Apfelwein and dry Champagne with a strong but balanced acidity. One of my picks for an enjoyable romantic dinner. For the full review click here.