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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ciderie St-Nicolas tasting (Sept 9, 2012)

 The Date and Time: Sunday, September 9, 2012  4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
The Event: a food and cider/wine tasting with Exquisitaste, Ontario
agents for Ciderie St-Nicolas.
The Venue: Gothic Avenue
The Target Audience: Gothic Epicures
The Availability/Catalogue: all products are available through the
agent, both food and beverage. Check the website,
The Quote/Background:
The Wines: All ciders are in 750 mL bottles with sparkling corks and
hoods. All "glace" wines are 375 mL.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
* Ciderie St-Nicolas Brut Crackling Strong Cider PQ, +277442, Vintages,
$16.25: This "brut" of a cider can put hair on your chest, coming in at
8.5% ABV. It has been a gold medal winner in the past. This strong
cider is useful as an aperitif or as a first course wine. Certainly, it
is dry enough to take on many grape sparkling wines. A good choice in
the cider sweepstakes.
* Cremant St-Nicolas Cremant Light Cider PQ, +61671, LCBO, $10.95: The
juice is from McIntosh and Cortland apples, and fermentation had been
halted at 2.8% ABV. Thus, there is natural residual sugar, with a kick
just half that of regular cider. Orchard fruit dominates the aromas,
with both pear and apple tones (probably from some slight exposure to
the air). Very refreshing for all occasions, it is especially useful
for those who do not drink much but wish to be included in celebratory
events. Absolutely perfect for brunches or lunches.
* Cidre de Glace St-Nicolas/St-Nicolas Ice Cider, $26.60 SAQ:  9% ABV,
from naturally frozen fresh apples.  Gold Medal, Beverage Testing
Institute 2010. Yummy concentrated tones of apples, thick and unctuous.
Can be enjoyed as an aperitif, or (like Sauternes) with foie gras,
blue-veined cheeses, and fruit desserts. Or try it by itself at the end
of a meal like Port.
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price
Rating terms):
* Ciderie St-Nicolas Pom'Or Tradition Sparkling Cider PQ, +179473,
Vintages, $13.45: 7% ABV. Off-dry, fresh apples on the nose but also
some nuances of baked caramel tones and some pie spices. Some light
honey touches, long crisp finish, actually best with food (pork dishes,
cheeses, light semi-sweet desserts). 4 months cool fermentation. Made
from a combination of older heirloom and newer apple varieties in one
of the oldest apple orchards in PQ.
* Ciderie St-Nicolas Rose Cider PQ, +275362, Vintages, $19.95: 7% ABV.
It is a gold medal winner. The apples are crushed cold pressed with
raspberries and strawberries for added complexity and, of course,
colour. A terrific social drink or with dessert, even brunch.
* Glace du Verger St-Nicolas/St-Nicolas Iced Orchard, $20 SAQ: 7% ABV, 
from frozen fresh apples. Silver Medal, BTI 2009. Much like the Cidre
de Glace above, but less alcohol and less concentration. It also costs
less. Enjoy as an aperitif, with foie gras, strong cheeses, or at
the end of a meal like Port. Currently a P.O. from Exquisitaste.
* Ciderie St-Nicolas L'Esprit des Vergers St. Nicolas NV 750 mL: good
solid apple wine, very fresh and juicy (the Lot number had 2011 in it),
off-dry or off-sweet depending on your palate. 11% ABV. $11.50 at SAQ
but available as a P.O. from Exquisitaste.
The Food: We tried this food as accompaniments after the tasting of the
ciders – brie and walnuts with sauce, pistachios, almonds, banana
bread, water biscuits, gluten-free cheese biscuits. The agency,
Exquisitaste also brings in apple products from Vergers St-Nicolas,
such as Geneva Crabapple Butter (deliciously tart and sweet at the same
time), Five Fruits Jam (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cranberry,
and cherries: okay, but hard to distinguish amongst the individual
flavours), Apple and Pear Jelly (full of orchard fruit), Ice Cider
Jelly (great on top of baked brie with walnuts), and Apple Syrup for
ice cream or pancakes. The syrup is in a special collectible and
reusable decanter (at about 7 ounces, or 200 mL, this container is
great for secondary storage of leftover ice cider or grape icewine).
Usually they are in 200 mL jars at about six dollars or so. For
vinegars, there are Tarragon Cider Vinegar stuffed with tarragon leaves
(quite tangy), Blackcurrant Vinegar (about 30% blackcurrant plus
vinegar), and even Ice Cider Vinegar (all apple, including some iced
cider)—all at 375 mL. There is also an alcohol-free cider, called Apple
Must (Mout de Pomme) at 750 mL, which is carbonated apple and cranberry
juice ($8). You can find them all at The Cheese Boutique, All the Best,
Daniel et Daniel, or Evergreen Brick Works (Evergreen Garden Market).
And of course through or
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade):

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