Winemaker Gordon Rawson has been producing wine since the 1980s, fermenting a variety of fruits — including apples — prior to launching his Washington State winery Chatter Creek in 1996. It wasn’t until recently that Rawson picked the apple back up, threw it in a couple carboys and started his “pilot project” of cidermaking. Today, he’s producing a handful of regularly rotating and seasonal ciders, including the Plum Spice, released just in time for the holidays.
At 6.9 percent ABV and built on a semi-sweet dessert apple base, plum juice and chai spices are blended in for a cider touting sharp-tartness from the thick-skinned plum juice. Warming, spiced fruit fills a palate full then quickly dries and shows spice more as seasoning than sweetness, finishing tart, tangy and festive. Take the simple route and pair with sharp aged cheddar or journey the road less traveled and match it with this spiced dessert recipe for Indian pudding.