Have a read of how to go about doing a cider tasting and what characteristics to keep an eye out for.
Know your apples:
Eating apples/dessert apples - they add more floral, softer, citrus flavours
Bitter sweet apples - add a lot of structure to cider - they bring astringency/tanin
Featured on the Irish cooking course is the Stonewell Medium Dry Irish Craft Cider which is 20% cider apples/bitter sweet and 80% eating apples.
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How to use:
When tasting cider, the first thing to do is look at its appearance. In a clear glass, hold the cider up to the light and look at the colour and the clarity - generally speaking, the darker the colour the more tannins there are in the cider giving the drink a dryer more bitter taste. Also, have a look at the amount of bubbles, using the ‘bubble meter’.
Give your glass a swirl to help release the aroma, then give it a good sniff a few times and see if you can describe what you smell.
Taste & Mouthfeel
Now time to taste! Take a sip and keep the cider in your mouth for a few seconds to help gather as much information as possible before swallowing. Again, have a think of the words which describe what you’re tasting using the tasting wheel as a guide.
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Known as ‘the natural larder’, Ireland is spoiled for fresh produce and heritage ingredients so it’s no wonder seasonality takes center stage. Irish chefs are bringing a fresh perspective to the culinary traditions of the Irish farmhouse, the wild seas, the old smokehouses and ancient forests and putting an emphasis on turning our attention back to nature.