Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can Woman Live By Wine Alone?

One of the impediments to blogging in the past few weeks was simply this: I had become a bit tired of wine. There were nights I felt like if I drank another "basic red" I was going to scream. I dipped into my tiny cellar, looking for wines that might inspire and turn this trend around, but had no luck. Everything I tasted seemed a bit blah and predictable.

I turned to water. I developed quite an addiction to Honest Tea (and have a growing collection of the lids printed with inspirational sayings to prove it). Then, reminded of happy, relaxing times in England that were accompanied by drinking hard cider, I turned to fermented, alcoholic apple juice.

That did it. My palate and mood lifted.

Aspall Organic Draft Cider ($6.99 for 500ml, Whole Foods) is, in my opinion, the alcoholic non-grape beverage for wine lovers. It has a rich, fermented taste that is not as overwhelmingly earthy and pungent as some ciders in the market, a nice fizziness that makes it good with many of the same foods that go well with sparkling wine, and leaves your mouth full of the crisp taste of English apples. It is also relatively low in alcohol compared to most table wines at 6.8% alc/vol. And for the price, it's certainly excellent QPR.

If you want to try something new, get yourself some Aspall Cider and make this delicious pork stew to accompany it. It's full of apples, parsnips, and pearl onions (confession: I used the frozen kind because life is too short to peel pearl onions), with some sage, shallot, and mustard for zing and lots of hard cider enriching the sauce. This is a one-pot, all-inclusive meal that is comforting and rich without being heavy. It simmers on the stove for hours, too, which makes it perfect for entertaining or just filling your house with the fragrance of autumn on a cold winter day. Of course, if hard cider is just a no-go zone for you, this recipe would be equally nice with an appley, unoaked Chardonnay, a dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer, or a light red from the Beaujolais.

Don't eat pork? Try Aspall's Cider with a Welsh Rarebit, perhaps sliding some apples under the cheese sauce before you broil it.


Hampers said...

I am sure, women can live with wine alone. It makes a perfect combination. You have captured Aspall Organic Draft Cider non grape beverage so well. Keep on posting.

Constance Chamberlain said...

I live in CT and there is a winery here called Bishops Orchard Winery that sells fruit wines -- they don't sell any traditional grape wines, but they are made of everything from apples to peaches to raspberries... and I find them to be quite delicious. Similar to the cider, they make one called Faulkners Spiced Apple which can be served warm or chilled and it's a delightful treat. Not sure if you can get them out there in Cali but if you're ever in the area, I'd recommend stopping by and picking some up -- or if youre really interested I'd be happy to drive down, pick some up and send you some!... then I have an excuse to get ME some as well.

gih said...

Yes, I do believe on that. Women really love it when it comes to taste.

denparser said...

Hmmm. it depends on a person about what his taste all about.