A wonderful mixed case of drinks celebrating the diversity of apples and pears, during this harvest time. These are a far cry from the mass produced industrial style ciders that are often made from imported apple concentrate, or flavoured with sugary exotic fruits. This selection is all about purity, and getting the most out of the natural fruits. Perry trees easily identified by their great height and cascading white blossom, can reach a grand age of 300 plus years and are capable of producing over a ton of pears per tree. The Dunkertons orchards developed by Ivor and Susie Dunkertons over 30 years ago include quirky sounding varieties, such as Merrylegs (a favourite!), Red Horse, Painted Lady and Thorn. Their fragrant and delicate gently sparkling Perry should be drunk lightly chilled, and with some caution at over 7%!
By contrast the ‘Poire’ (or Perry) from genius Joerg Geiger in southern Germany, is at just 2% alcohol, and will simply bowl you over with its’ ripe and intense stewed pear aroma and flavour. This is the Champagne of pear drinks and can be enjoyed by all – we think this would be a perfect Christmas day morning or first drink of the day celebration drink. Enjoy from a flute or wine glass.
The rest of the case is made up two bottles each of four different ciders. Dunkertons Browns (7.5%) is a full-bodied, single-varietal, medium dry cider, made solely from the eponymous apple tree, which gives firm-fleshed apples with good acidity. Gasping Goose is made at the Newton Court estate, also in Herefordshire, where the home-grown apples and pressed, fermented and bottled on site with loving care. It is light and refreshing at 4.8%. Wyld Wood Organic (6%) is matured in old oak vats, giving a soft, easy-drinking style. Ashridge Devon Blush (4.5%) gets its colour from the addition of organic blackcurrants to the apples, giving a wonderfully fruity twist on traditional cider.
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