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Wine of the Week: RedByrd Orchard’s Starblossom Cider

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RedByrd Cider Starblossom

Wine of the Week: RedByrd Orchard’s Starblossom Cider

In the Wines of the Season column in our current issue, we highlighted the many and delicious hard ciders available in our region. It is New York, and this is apple season after all. So for the next couple of months our Wine of the Week series on this blog will take a more in-depth look (and taste) into each of our cider choices.

This week we’re taking a look at Redbyrd Orchard’s Starblossom cider, a bottle conditioned, barrel-aged cider produced in Trumansburg, NY. Redbyrd Orchard is the project of Eric Shatt and Deva Maas, a husband-and-wife team who produce small-craft, sustainable ciders. The two nurture heirloom, wild seedling and European cider apples on their land, and have a mission of bringing “true” cider back into the American lexicon.

Finger Lakes food and beverage fans who witnessed this year’s recent Cider Week had a chance to experience the blossoming craft cider scene emerging in the region. New York is the second largest producer of apples in the nation, so a healthy local cider production makes perfect sense. The Farm Cideries bill recently signed by Governor Cuomo will make producing artisan cider easier for orchardists here in New York State, so we imagine the cider scene locally will see great growth.

The cider is refreshing, sophisticated and incredibly food-friendly, making it a great partner for your Thanksgiving table. Described by ciderest Shatt as more earthy than fruity, and more tannic than sharp, we found delicious hints of fresh cut wildflowers on the nose, complex stone fruits of quince, asian pear and apple on the creamy palate, and a refreshing and clean finish that has surprising depth and fullness. The cider retails at $17.00. Redbyrd Orchard Cider is almost sold out of the 2012 vintage. A precious few bottles of Starblossom can still be found in retail shops and finer dining establishments around the Finger Lakes, and seeking one out is worth the effort.

Keep an eye out around town for the last of the Starblossom, or wait for the 2013 Harvest Cider to be released by Redbyrd in the next week or two; just in time for the big holiday meal. The remainder of the 2013 line will be released later this winter and into Spring of 2014.

Redbyrd offers a Cider share for folks who want to experience the whole line of ciders easily. Learn more about Redbyrd by visiting their website.

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