Ring in 2017 with cider, of course, made bubbly and elegant by the traditional French Champagne sparkling wine method, méthode Champenoise. Also known as méthode traditionnelle, the labor-intensive process more complex than it sounds: a secondary fermentation that goes on within the bottled cider to produce bottles. The process kicks off with a “tirage,” or mixture of sugar and yeast, to get that second round of fermentation started in bottle. The end result is a finely tuned sipper of grace and creamy mouthfeel. Cherish your New Year’s Eve with high-quality friends and family and even higher-quality sparkling cider with this list as your guide.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery | Artisan Sparkling Cider
Featuring Washington dessert apples at their finest, Finnriver Cidery uses riddling racks made by their neighbors to achieve this crisp, effervescent brut Champagne-style cider. Open up a bottle before the ball drops for a light, clean apple flavor that refreshes the palate with every sip. Pair with acidic ceviche on tortilla chips or freshly cracked crab dipped in butter.
ÆppelTreow Winery & Distillery | Appely Brut
The first product made by the Wisconsin-based cidery has been a hit ever since 2001 when the Appely Brut was released. Inspired by French Country ciders, this one in particular is filled with earthy tannins beneath the off-dry finish. Smooth, crisp with a touch of funky apple flavor, the Appely Brut is a sure-fire way to start of your 2017. Pair with Gorgonzola topped crackers to kick off the New Year celebrations.
Orchard Hill Cider Mill | Gold Label Hard Cider
Set on reviving farm spirit in upstate New York, Orchard Hill does so through the traditional fermentation of farm-grown and farm-based products, from cider to mistelles. The Gold Label is crafted from the best heritage varietal apples from Soons Orchard, made through this acclaimed method and resulting in a semi-sweet, balanced cider, a winning combination with Camembert-style cheese.
Whetstone Ciderworks | Methode Champenoise
Delightfully dry and acidic with fine bubbles, Whetstone Cider has achieved the perfect cider for those interested in crossing over from sparkling wine. The company has produced less than 30 cases this year, making each bottle with love and care through the labor-intensive process. Pair with chocolate desserts or cheese fondue to accompany the Champagne-like qualities and mouthfeel of this sparkling cider.
Snowdrift Cider Co. | Cidermaker’s Reserve
Celebrate the New Year with a rich, complex apple reserve made by Snowdrift Cider. Enjoy this cider reserve’s bittersweet notes and spicy aromas that come through the citrus brightness of each swirl and sip. The complex tannins are dressed to impress and ready to be showed off in a complex sip for the New Year to come. Pair with generously buttered rustic bread to start the night or pop your bottle after the countdown.
Flag Hill Farm | Vermont Sparkling Hard Cyder
Aged two years prior to bottling, Flag Hill Farm takes the méthode champenoise very seriously with their Vermont Sparkling Hard Cyder. This cider has a medium body with sharp barrel notes and a light tartness that comes through the palate with earthiness on the nose. Pair with rich, decadent foods like fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
Eden Specialty Ciders | Sparkling Cider Semidry
Made with bittersweet and heirloom apples, this moderately carbonated cider presents tiny bubbles on the palate with notes of honey, tropical fruit and richly tannic apple. This cider leans toward the drier side of semi-dry, making it compatible for both off-dry and dry cider lovers. With ice cider added during the second fermentation process, the natural sugars bring additional flavors to the surface. Enjoy as a solo-sipper or pair with Thai curry.