This is the second annual Virginia cider week, a promotion created last year to shine a light on the rapidly growing craft cider movement in Virginia. The Old Dominion now boasts eight cideries, drawing on the Commonwealth’s history of apple growing and rejuvenating the favorite colonial tipple. I wrote about it in The Washington Post last year, and Frank Morgan offers an excellent Virginia cider primer on his blog, Drink What You Like.
The craft or artisan cider movement isn’t limited to Virginia of course. Eric Asimov wrote about it in last week’s New York Times Dining section, and he and his tasting panel selected Virginia’s Foggy Ridge Serious Cider as their favorite. It’s mine, too.
And there are two basic approaches to making cider. Diane Flynt at Foggy Ridge thinks of herself as a winemaker using apples instead of grapes. She makes cider once a year, in the autumn after harvesting her fruit. Others take their cues from the beer industry, as my colleague, Daniel Fromson, recently reported in the Post. You can probably guess where my preference lies, but the more the better – especially if they’re working to restore heritage apple varieties.
Cider just seems appropriate for autumn, and it would make an excellent bubbly for your Thanksgiving feast. I love it with spicy foods, such as Peter Chang’s Sichuan cuisine.