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Spirit of Autumn

Spirit of Autumn
October 2014
Come fall, you’ll find Brad Ball sipping on hard cider. “There are so many nuanced, striking picks at everyday prices,” he says. Here, the advanced sommelier and entrepreneur—he owns Social Wine Bar and is a partner in Poogan’s Porch and online vino shop Wine Awesomeness—shares his favorites, organized by flavor profile

Notes of pear & marmalade

Foggy Ridge, First Fruit Dugspur, Virginia
“Foggy Ridge produces some of the best cider coming out of the United States. The whole line is spot-on, but the thirst-quenching First Fruit is perfect for cider newbies. The pureness of the fruit shines through, and the palate is properly balanced. This pick is off-dry and pairs perfectly with chicken or turkey and roasted sweet potatoes.” Available at Caviar & Bananas, $19


Notes of tart apple & lemon zest

Poma Áurea, Sidra de Asturias Asturias, Spain
“This version is made in the dry, austere style that’s becoming more and more popular. It is meant for the more adventurous, but the intensity levels are still kept in check, so it’s a good starting point for discovering Spanish ciders. It’s lean with a hint of saline and pairs well with fresh shrimp.” Available at Bottles, $16


Notes of Bosc pear & barnyard

Le Père Jules, Cidre de Normandie Normandy, France
“The French make this cider as stinky as their cheese. It’s earthy and funky, with notes of horse sweat and cheese rind, and stands up well to a rich cassoulet or some heady Camembert. It’s not for the faint of heart but has a certain addictiveness.” Available at Whole Foods, $12