wpid-img_20150223_204730.jpgOntario is great at iced wines – we’re the leading producer of this delicious dessert treat. It got me thinking about iced apple ciders, which are produced using similar methods. The apples need to freeze on the trees and hang out until the deep freeze of January in order to cultivate the natural sugars required to make this treat; and Ontario has a great climate for growing apples. Lots of them. So why don’t we see a lot of iced apple ciders on the shelves?

The LCBO does not list any Ontario produced iced apple ciders in their lineup, but they do have a few options from our drunken Quebecois neighbours. I reached out to County Cider Company after reviewing their County Cider to know where I could buy a bottle of their Ice Cider, and they offered to send me a bottle to sample. A 375 ml bottle at 6.5% alcohol per volume retails for $30.05 on their website or at their retail store in Picton, ON.

Iced cider is a tasty treat that has a loyal following in my home province of Quebec. It pairs deliciously with sharp cheese as an after dinner treat, and always impresses people at a dinner party. In fact, the Quebecois love iced cider so much, they have an annual winter festival called Le Mondial des Cidres. Not bad for a style of dessert wine that was only first produced in 1990 at Domaine Pinnacle in Dunham, Quebec. The sweetness of this style enhances rich and fatty foods like foie gras, or of course my favourite, cheese.

Appearance: Deep golden colour, still cider. Mild sediment from the apples. Cork was brittle and we ended up with some on our glass.
Aroma: Sweet aroma, smells a lot like applesauce.
Taste: Medley of Northern Spy, Russet and Ida Red apples. Hints of tartness on the back of the tongue. Thick mouth feel, very sweet with notes of caramel and cinnamon.
Aftertaste: Sweet crème brulée, spicy finish.
Overall: Paired it with some St. Paulin cheese, a pungent cheese with a washed rind. The two worked wonderfully together. I still prefer iced cider from my home province, but if this was available in the LCBO, it would do well. Too bad Picton is such a far drive for another bottle. Would love to see some Ontario apple ciders commercially available, including this one.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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