New York Hard Ciders and Thanksgiving Wines

NY is the only choice, in my opinion, and the best producers of Hard ciders.


Angry Orchard is the most popular NY hard cider and the most widely distributed. Ryan Burk is the Cider Master. He treats cider making as though he was making a fine wine, in that he discusses, native, wild yeasts, terroir and fermentation.


They use predominantly New York State apples, Baldwin, Rome and Rhode Island green apples that are grown in New York. Once they are picked in September, October, they sort by hand, on a conveyer belt. They toss out the bad apples and then run the apples through a shower.


Next the apples get a good soaking to remove dirt, stones and stems.


Lastly a final wash before they go to the “ mashing process.”  


This produces the juice sans pumice. Ryan talks about native and wild yeasts which occur naturally on the apple skins and leaves. This produces specific terroir(my kind of language). The fermentation takes place in used barrels which are neutral, meaning no oak flavor, is imparted to the cider blend. The ciders are usually filtered.


Ryan mentions that they experiment with wine yeasts also. Great video on the entire process.

The top ciders in my opinion are,,


Thanksgiving wines are the hot topic of course. Many people choose Pinot Noir or another red. These are actually not good choices because our American holiday fare is very rich. We actually want wines that cut the fat and richness of our Thanksgiving feast. Therefore a full bodied white wine such as Chardonnay, only slightly oaked, preferably unoaked is better. Sauvignon Blanc is also a perfect choice. If you want to choose domestic wines, I suggest: ZD WINES Napa: Chardonnay is stunning. They produce a very crisp Sauvignon Blanc. They make a very substantial Pinot Noir and they are famous for their Cabernet. Robert SINSKEY also Napa is famous for his Pinot Noir. However, choose the Pinot Blanc and the Abraxas (white varietals blend) and definitely the Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, which is a Rose’. Yes Rose’s are really the exciting wines for Thanksgiving.  www.Robert all organic vines. I prefer the European style wines however, for Thanksgiving. Therefore I would choose an AOC Chablis, a chenin Blanc from Loire, a Sancerre also.


You might venture into Cru Beaujolais for the reds wine. Serve these gamay varietal wines slightly chilled. Contact for prices and where to purchase.

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