Another post in my occasional series on quality ciders that have crossed my apple-strewn path (see link at the bottom for more), which brings us to the curious Gros Oeillet variety mentioned in the title that I'm told makes up at least 90% of this "naturally sparkling craft cider." Funny enough, this means either 'big eyelet' in French, as in curtain rings, or 'large carnation', as in oversized buttonhole filler. Must be the shape of it I guess. Still, not quite as amusing a name as a Devon cider apple variety called 'Slack my Girdle' apparently! Bet you're glad you know that now. Back to this rather tasty cider actually, for those who like a lovely really pure appley taste, nice fresh bite (but avoiding that sometimes rather harsh acidity you can get in apples) and delicate fizz (rather than injected burpy CO2), which comes from natural second fermentation (similar to real ale or Champagne I'd imagine). It's fairly dry and light too, although certainly not tart with its sweet apple character and not overly strong at 4.5% abv. This bottle was sampled with a lentil and prawn dopiaza curry actually and went pretty well with the spice and sweet/sour flavours in the sauce; I hadn't really thought about drinking cider with curry before but might do from now on. I'd think it would work well with a nice tangy mature cheddar or similar cheese with a bit of real flavour.
Costs £2.19 for 50cl at Sainsbury's, and £1.75 on promotion from 12 June to 2 July and 24 July to 2 August during their 'Vintage Cider Festival'.
Previous posts on cider: Aspall, Suffolk and McCann's, Co. Armagh