Bonny Doon Vineyard Querry hard sparkling ciderOne of the first things that European immigrants did when they settled in North America was to plant apple trees, just so that they could make cider. During colonial times, the beverage now known as “hard cider” (cider containing alcohol) was consumed with every meal.

Alas, cider production, like all alcoholic beverages in the U.S., would come to a screeching halt during Prohibition. And the journey back has been a long and arduous one.

Fortunately, the cider industry has seen a boisterous resurgence in the last decade. Pioneers like Farnum Hill Ciders have been joined by newcomers like Argus Ciders and Tandem Ciders, to name but two, gaining great acclaim from consumers and press alike.

These days even winemakers are getting into the act. Take Randall Grahm, from the illustrious Bonny Doon Vineyard. In 2010 Grahm decided to try his expert-hand at making a hard sparkling cider. Of course, being extraordinarily creative, Grahm didn’t want to make cider with apples alone – he threw pears and quince in the mix too.

[read more…]

{ 19 comments }

I love dessert, but I love cheese even more. So when it comes to making dinner for friends, I make sure a cheese course is on the menu. And with the explosion of artisan cheese makers around the country, that cheese course has become more exciting than ever.

[read more…]

{ 19 comments }