Cider Takes Center Stage With These Food Pairings

With dishes that might have you ordinarily reaching for beer or wine, discover how cider can make for a perfect pairing from salad to scallops.
Photo courtesy Finnriver, Facebook

With the growth of cider producers and the variety of styles available, it deserves a place at the table with dishes you might otherwise enjoy with beer or wine. Here are pairings that will take you out of your comfort zone.

Yuzu Kosho Buffalo Chicken Wings
Getty

Recipe: Yuzu Kosho “Buffalo” Wings

Expected Pairing: Beer

Instead: Hopped cider, Blue Bee Hopsap Shandy (Richmond, VA)

Blue Bee is Richmond’s first urban cidery, located in the Scott’s Addition district (nicknamed Scott’s Addiction due to the plethora of distilleries, cideries and breweries). Using heirloom Winesap apples and Cascade hops, you get the crisp, juicy apple characteristics while dry-hopping adds a touch of bitterness and citrus.

Seared Scallops and Ramps
Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Recipe: Perfect Pan-Seared Sea Scallops

Expected Pairing: White Wine

Instead: Dry cider, Dunkerton’s Dry Organic (Herefordshire, UK)

Zesty lemon notes, fresh fruit and white blossom flavors will tug at your Sauvignon Blanc-loving heartstrings. This is slightly effervescent and vibrant, which is a great counterpart to the richness of scallops.

Squash Salad with Crunchy Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Dressing
Photo by Aaron Graubart / Styling by Hadas Smirnoff

Recipe: Squash Salad with Crunchy Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Dressing

Expected Pairing: Rosé

Instead: Rosé cider, Wölffer Dry Rosé Cider (New York)

Rosé and salad go great together, so why not try a rosé cider? This Hamptons-based producer brings bright strawberry notes and fresh peaches that will complement a light dish. The cider’s color was achieved by the addition of a small amount of red grape skin extract. However, other cider makers allow the juice to have a small amount of contact with apple skins to produce a blush.

Lamb Shank

Recipe: Pinot-Braised Lamb Shanks with Maple-Glazed Apples

Expected Pairing: Hearty Red

Instead: A zinful cider, Sonoma Cider Company Dry Zider (Sonoma, CA)

With seven months in Zinfandel barrels (American oak), this is a hearty, toasty and tannic cider that visually resembles a red wine. It can stand up to a robust dish and also delivers more refreshment than a hearty red.

Tipsy Laird Trifle
Photo by Con Poulos / Styling by Mariana Velasquez

Recipe: Tipsy Laird

Expected Pairing: Dessert Wine

Instead: Fortified apple wine, Finnriver Spirited Apple Wine (Chimacum, WA)

Organic apples are fortified with custom-distilled apple brandy and then oak aged, which creates a lovely, gold-hued and viscous warmer. Luscious apple pie and caramel flavors work perfectly with this dessert.

Published on April 3, 2017
Topics: Cider
About the Author
Carrie Dykes
Tasting Coordinator

Joining Wine Enthusiast in 2015, Carrie’s love of wine and thirst for knowledge is immediately recognizable, and her superior organizational skills keeps our in-house tastings organized and efficient. When not putting flights together, she’s contributing content to the print magazine and Web site.

Email: cdykes@wineenthusiast.net



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