Monday, 14 December 2009

Six Ciders for Christmas Day - The Queen's Speech

Hush-up and stand to attention, it's 'er Majesty on the box. If you've forgotten to get the cheeses out of the fridge, it's too late now...

Pour yourself a generous glass of Duchy Originals Organic Dry Reserve Cider (it could be a long speech this year*), and settle down for the traditional post dinner royal roundup. This robust, earthy, grown-up cider is more medium/dry to my taste, but with a good dry finish. The very light sparkle accentuates a spicy, almost sherbet-y character, which seems to be a house style of Worcestershire cidermaker Knights (now owned by Aston Manor) where this cider is made. You'll find this excellent cider in larger branches of Waitrose. If you don't have a Waitrose nearby, you might like to try it's lighter-weight cousin, Tillington Hills Premium Dry Reserve Cider, also made by Knights and available in many Co-op stores.

If you're finding it hard to concentrate on the speech, you may prefer to picture the bucolic scene in the 'Royal Ciderhouse'. Camilla working up a sweat grinding the apples in the old wooden Scratter. Charles bent double over the twin-screw press, the Royal Smock stained brown with apple juice, rubber-gloved hands carefully spreading the pomace out to the corners of the cheese. Prince William, slumped in the corner by the massive oak barrels, a drinking horn nestled protectively in folds of tweed...

Drink-up, it's time for the Cheese Gromit.

* and no, we won't be watching it either!