As the pandemic pushes on, we hope that you’re eating and drinking well. By now, you’ve likely gotten used to whipping together meals at home, or going the takeout route through your favorite local eatery.
We can enhance all of these at-home dining experiences with complementary hooch. Cider does especially well at the quarantine dinner table, with its food-friendly fruit flavors, brightness and effervescent energy. Here are five pairings worth checking out as you look to take popular frozen foods to newfound heights.
Bend Cider Co. Acai Mint + Indian
This cider from Central Oregon is ultra-refreshing. There’s berry freshness alongside a minty jolt that does really well with popular Indian dishes. We suggest a vegetable biryani or lamb saag in the frozen aisle from, say, Trader Joe’s or Saffron Road.
Riestra Good Clean Funk + Mushroom Ravioli
Pairing this cider is a little more tricky as it’s so tasty on its own. There are layers of baked and dried orchard fruits, nutty notes and some fine, yeast-y aromatics. It even has some nuance typically associate with beer brewed with Brettanomyces. You should be able to find some decent frozen ravioli at your local supermarket. The earthy, umami-ness of the mushrooms play beautifully with the cider’s funky nature.
Golden State Cider Save The Gravenstein + Chicken Taquitos
Showcases the Gravenstein apple, indigenous to the Sonoma area of California, this sip is incredibly focused and clean, with a little citrus and a kiss of wildflowers. The apple is ripe with potential and Golden State is looking to throw some of the spotlight on the Gravenstein with this well-rounded effort. It’s great with chicken taquitos and stands up to salsa nicely.
Bauman’s Clyde’s Dry + Amy’s Chili Mac
Clyde’s Dry is a Willamette Valley staple, teeming with flavor thanks to the inclusion of more than a dozen apple varieties grown in Oregon. The blend is clean and precise, with an underlying zippiness that can cut into comfort food. Try it with a bowl of chili mac, fresh out of the microwave. You’ll love the way the cider plays off of the meaty, savory notes of the chili while lifting the cheese flavors to the heavens.
Bishop Cider Co. Crack Berry + Meatloaf
This Texas cider house’s work is like an adult version of a SweeTART, given the apple treatment. It’s made with cranberries and blackberries and has a nice, brambly quality. It’s fun to take all those fruit notes and throw them at a hearty TV dinner-style meatloaf. With berry season not too far off, it’ll get you in the mood for late spring and early summer. If you’ve saved a few sips for dessert, try it with some frozen yogurt.