The Portcullis in Clifton, Bristol held a Cider Festival between 9th and 13th August. Now cider is not really my favourite tipple, I prefer real ale. However, when the opportunity has arisen to sample different ciders I have been very impressed by the variety of flavours. A lovely warm Saturday seemed a good opportunity to try some more in the company of a friend who enjoys sampling new ciders.
The Portcullis had a good choice of ciders from dry through to medium-sweet mainly from Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Wales, but with a few from further afield, including Hemel Hempstead. My favourite was Millwhites Medium (6.5% ABV) from Hemel Hempstead, with Crossmans Farmhouse Medium-Dry (6% ABV) from Weston-super-Mare a close second.
As with wine, I find pairing cider with the right foods can really enhance the flavours. The Portcullis was offering a Nibbles menu and we shared a platter of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, salami, chorizo, serrano ham, cheddar, brie and stilton, accompanied by bread. The cheeses particularly brought out the fruity flavours in the ciders.