I was in Lidl this week and saw some Kentish grown Galmac apples for sale. I have never tasted Galmac before so I gave them a try and was very pleasantly surprised. As early apples go, these are a corker. A cross between Gala and Supermac, the variety was first cultivated in France and is popular in Europe. The flavour has a pear like quality.

If you find great flavoured apples, you can try small batch pressings to get a unique flavour. You may still want to blend it before bottling, but it is great to see, taste and smell how different varieties of apple produce such different flavoured ciders,

Of course you can always forego the whole “making cider” thing and just go buy the stuff.

Alright, calm down. The world hasn’t ended, but honestly, there is the (very ocassional) decent bottle of cider to be found on the store shelves.

I was in Waitrose when I saw a bottle of ‘curious’ cider. This is made by the chapel down winery who do some fantastic British sparkling wines. My interest was piqued so I bought a 33cl bottle.  I took it home stuck it in the fridge and after an afternoon of gardening cracked the top off. My first impressions of a clean sweet and very apple flavoured cider. The bottle told me it is made from pure fresh apple juice not from concentrate no water added nothing but apples. Certainly upon first tasting, very few other notes came to the fore. The Apple taste was good generic, not too acidic. At 5.2% it had enough alcohol to keep me happy. The The finish was a little short with no tannin to speak of. All in all quite a decent drink and well done for not using concentrate.

However, it was a bit like giving good lager to a real ale fan. I could appreciate its strengths but found it had little weight on my palate.

I suspect that if you have been working hard, drinking  one of these on a hot day would be a very pleasurable experience. I also suspect people who don’t generally like cider will get on well with this. It’s only us miserable old gits who like the taste of the farmyard scrumpy who may perhaps be just a little disappointed.