How Do You Like Them Apples?: Kate Bernot Discusses Cider In Chicago

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No sooner did beer finally cement its status as a highly respected fermented libation—totally on par with whiskey and wine—than cider made a play, effectively sloughing off its associations as cheap, bubbly apple juice à la Scrumpy Jack, Strongbow or Martinelli’s. And who better to lead a Taste Talks convo about the swift ascension of cider than RedEye Chicago food and drinks writer, Kate Bernot, who examines the trending beverage with help from Virtue, a Michigan-based craft cider company, and others? We chatted with Bernot what cider-centric topics will be discussed at the upcoming October event.

Why Cider is Actually Kinda Like Wine: “Most people’s perceptions of cider are shaped by mass-market, American ciders, which are only one piece of the cider spectrum. While the cider category’s growth has recently tracked alongside the craft beer movement, cider is actually more similar in its production methods to wine than it is to beer. Like wine, cider offers a range of flavors, styles and varieties that reflect the regions and countries in which it is made. A Basque cider will taste markedly different from a Normandie cider or an English cider or a cider from Vermont.”

Cider Tasting Tips: “My advice to newcomers is to try ciders from different regions, countries and producers. This may take a bit of detective work; try finding a bar or liquor store that stocks a few ciders and asking for recommendations. Once you’ve tried a few from the yellow, sweet side to the effervescent, crisp side to the funky, unfiltered side, you should find a style you enjoy. Try using wine vocabulary—acidity, effervescence, residual sugar levels—to describe the cider.”

As American as Apple (Cider): “Small production American cider makers aren’t bound by the same traditions as their European counterparts and often take greater stylistic liberties. Now is a fascinating time to be involved in the cider world, and I’m looking forward to hearing our panelists share their expertise with us in October.”

For tickets, visit here.

Taste Talks Food & Drink hits Chicago October 3-5, 2014. See the full schedule and buy tickets here.


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