Vermont Cider Week is coming right up, making it the best time to brush up on the beverage that's making headlines across the country. That's right, Vermont cider is shining right now. Producers are on the cutting edge of the industry and Vermont has a particular advantage when it comes to terroir - it must be in the soil. We're challenging you to find a new favorite this Cider Week and to up your Vermont "Ci"-Q. Here are some places to get started . . .
- Of Apples and Orchards: Chronicling the 'Cider Revival' in Vermont and Beyond - Vermont Edition, VPR
- How to Taste Vermont's Best Ciders in One Day - Food and Wine
- Think you know what cider is? You're probably wrong. - Washington Post
- Tasting Four New Ciders from Shacksbury - Paste
- Know your Craft: Stowe Cider elevates the apple - Wicked Local
Now you're ready to hit the store, but you need a good spread - the perfect pairing. We checked in with pairing pro Will McNeil at Hen of the Wood to see how he'd go about pairing cider...
"Hard cider is a naturally pairing jack of all trades! It's pretty easy to find food that tastes great with cider, whether you're drinking at a midweek dinner or a celebratory feast. Cider's naturally occurring low alcohol and carbonation help tremendously! Cider can add a little light to heavy meal or great complexity to a light meal. Its natural fruitiness pairs as well with pork as it does with a green salad.
Cider also plays extremely well with Vermont cheese! Many drier styles of cider pair beautifully with rich, buttery cheeses (think cheddar, gouda or a creamy blue), while the big apple flavors of semi-sweet cider is gorgeous with fresh or soft-ripened cheeses. The old 'rule of thumb' that was taught to us day one in culinary school is that if two things come from the same region, they will naturally pair together. Point: Vermont cheese loves Vermont cider!"
So grab the new release from your favorite Vermont cheesemaker and follow Will's lead when pairing. Perhaps try Windfall with some Twig? A Green Mountain Blue Cheese with Whetstone's Orchard King? Woodcock Timberdoodle with Champlain Orchard Heirloom?
Now you're hooked, right? Perfect! It's time to jump into Vermont Cider Week! Try a bevy of Vermont ciders at events spanning the state.