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Cidre and cider

Tafel in Gaststätte

When apples turn into sparkling wine

Cidre or apple cider is a type of sparkling wine which is a sparkling variant of German “apple wine”. In France they call this drink cidre, in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, South Africa and the USA they call it cider, and in Spain sidra. In France cidre is a trademarked term for cider from Normandy and Brittany.

French cider contains about 3–5 percent alcohol. It comes mostly in the flavours brut (dry) or doux (sweet). Cidre brut contains more alcohol than cidre doux. English ciders often have a higher alcohol content than French cidre. Originally cidre was consumed mainly by simple country folk as a cheap alternative to wine. Today cider is appreciated as a refreshing summer drink and drunk cool.

To produce it, ripe apples are pressed and the apple juice processed. Often the apples are stored after harvest for a while to allow the aroma to develop fully. Fermentation is carried out at relatively low temperatures. This affects the duration of fermentation and thus the flavour.

Just before the sugar is completely converted by the yeast, the cider is racked into new barrels. Most of the yeasts and suspended solids remain in the old barrel. The new barrel is filled without any air trapped and then sealed. The fermentation of the remaining sugar then creates carbonic acid and makes the cider keep. Often, the cidre also has additional carbon dioxide added.

The cidre is ready to drink in a short time but can also be stored for two to four years in the container. Some cidre variants, especially in Asturias, are also made by the “método tradicional”. Cidre produced in champagne bottles by “traditional bottle fermentation” in France is designated as Cidre Bouché. (Source: Wikipedia)