Tuesday, December 06, 2011

(Cider with) Old Rosie

So much for my nostalgic looks back over the previous ten years.  Nothing like saying you will do something and then totally failing.  Not just on this blog but on every single one.  Oh well there is always December and at least it will avoid writing about Christmas.

And now for something completely different.

A couple of months ago as summer was slowly coming to its hot sunny end, I was leaving Morrisons with the Sunday shop.

As I walked across the car park, an image of a cool, dry, slightly sparkling glass of cider came into my head.  I blame it on someone who shall be nameless and who has been prattling on about some trendy designer cider called Jaques.

Anyway I had no intention of walking back inside the shop again, one ordeal a day is more than enough so I wandered back home.

Whereupon I endlessly bleated about this totally irrational desire for a cider (which I have not drunk in like a zillion years) until patient and long-suffering Partner volunteered to traipse off to pesky Morrisons to search for that must-have cider.

There was a three for a fiver deal so he came back with a selection. Westons organic cider and Old Rosie, and Henney's Frome Valley dry cider.

First, Old Rosie.  It is utterly delicious.  Dry, appley, slightly sparkly and slightly cloudy.  So moreish.  Also 7.3% proof so not too many more of them.  Westons web site describes it as medium dry (even though the bottle calls it dry) and lightly carbonated.  You get the idea.

Westons organic - now rebadged as Wyld Wood (6.5%), and the Henney's (6%) are a drinkable alternative when there is no Old Rosie.  As is Thatcher's Katy (also strong at 7.4%).  Katy is another one described as medium dry, but if I can drink it, that means it is dry enough. Another nice appley flavour. The good thing about all of them is that, apart from the obligatory sulphites that you can't get away from these days, they only seem to contain apples.  Unlike the bog standard and somewhat cheaper ciders.

Westons and Henney's are made in Herefordshire and Thatchers is based in Somerset.

A couple of riveting cider facts.  The UK, according to wiki, has the highest consumption of cider per head, and the biggest cider-producing companies in the world.  I don't really know people who drink cider, so I was quite surprised at that.  In EU terms we produce more than 60% of cider within the EU, and traditional ciders in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been awarded a special EU status - PGI, Protected Geographical Indication.  Sounds a bit like not being able to call fizzy wine champagne when it isn't made in the Champagne department of France.

What else about cider?  Oh yes, I had been drinking the delicious Old Rosie for some weeks when I suddenly remembered the Laurie Lee book Cider with Rosie  (my review here). 

What a clever name for the cider, I thought to my little self.  Except it is nothing to do with the book apparently, but named after a 1921 steam engine that the firm bought - and there is a picture on the bottle too.

But, if the cider was introduced in 1988 .... maybe it was named after the book ?? 

Finally Spanish cider.  On which there is very little to say except it is made in the north of Spain and isn't a patch on Old Rosie, or indeed any of the others I have mentioned above.

Oh and I haven't tried the Jacques cider.  It is expensive, and looking at the website it seems you need to be young and blond and wear pink floaty frocks to drink it.  I don't think that is quite me.

Editors note: Totally sick of Blogger still being a pain so unlikely to post more on here.  Catch me on my wordpress roughseas blog.