Hudson River Valley Wineries

This blog is dedicated to news, events, profiles and reviews of fine food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. We especially feature and spotlight the burgeoning wineries of the Hudson River Region. We accept and will relay information about releases, events, festivals and any toher happening related to food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. Send pertitnent information to

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Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He has been a published executive for more than 20 years. He shepherded the wine book program of Wine Spectator as well as worked with Kevin Zraly, Oz Clarke, Matt Kramer, Tom Stevenson, Evan Dawson, Greg Moore, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. He has also published Salvatore Calabrese, Jim Meehan, Clay Risen, and Paul Knorr. Mr. DeVito is the inventor of the mini-kit which has sold more than 100,000,000 copies world wide. He has also publisher such writers as Stephen Hawking, E. O Wilson, Philip Caputo, Gilbert King, James McPherson, John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, David Margolick, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He is also the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, co-founder of the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, and president of the Hudson Valley Wine Country.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Standard Cider Company - True Ciders From The Hudson Valley

The Standard Cider Company was the brain-child of Jim Silver, who developed the brand for Peconic Bay, on the North Fork of Long Island, while he was executive there. The line was later sold by the owners, to Brotherhood Winery, in the Hudson Valley. Since moving to the Hudson Valley, Brotherhood has expanded the line and especially the sales and marketing effort. Brotherhood has an immense distribution network, much more extensive than Peconic Bay ever had, and much wider distribution across more states.
And in the short period it's been manufactured in Washingtonville, the Standard Cider Company's line of ciders has found a good home. The apples themselves were always grown in the Hudson Valley, now the cider is made there as well. Brotherhood winemaker Bob Barrow has proved to have a deft hand with the product. Standard Cider Company is dedicated to being the best craft producer of hard apple cider in New York. 

True Believer Cider is a blend of five different types of apples grown in the Hudson Valley. Apple varieties include Cameo, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji and Granny Smith. According to tasting notes: "Notably, not included are cider varieties, which can be bittersweet and intense. True Believer is produced in a softer, fruity style since these types are not used. True Believer is pale yellow gold in color, with a sweet apple and spice-cake nose. The bubbles are very small, and very persistent lending a crisp cut to the taste. On the palate the flavors are fresh cut apple, some sweet apple pie character and intense finish." In short, True Believer is aimed at the popular palate, and proves fresh, bright, and refreshing, with lovely apple aromas and flavors. Delicious.
Next up is True Companion. According to the tasting notes, "True Companion is a rich, slightly sweet sparkling cider produced with the addition of ginger...This old world style cider is a perfect accompaniment for all types of foods...." The ginger is the key element here. What a great little addition. Perfect for sushi, Thai, India, or Chinese cuisine. With it's spicy ending, it' the perfect compliment for spicier dishes. Absolutely subtle but till very impactful, and not overpowering at all. 
On the other hand, True Thirst is a classic styled dry cider. For those perhaps looking for something more befitting more sophisticated Farm-to-Table cuisine, or for those who prefer something drier, True Thirst has all the apple aromas one comes to expect from their Standard Cider Company product, but without the sweetness. Perfect as an accompaniment for seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes as well, True Thirst is as versatile as white wine, but with a quenching refreshing palate that's easy going down. Sophisticated, yet gulpable.

Recently I was at a trade show where I saw the ubiquitous and ever cheerful Lori Beers, who is a rep for the Standard Cider Company. At the show she was displaying the newest edition to the Standard Cider Company line-up Rebel Reserve.

Rebel Reserve is a new release just in time for Cider Week for New York City and the Hudson Valley. Made from Hudson Valley apples, this off-dry hard cider is aged in oak barrels. Bob Barrow has done a fine job deftly influencing the fresh, bright apples without overpowering them, much like a lesser hand might have. While it has just a slight hint of sweetness, the oak gives Rebel Reserve a maturity and complexity that is heretofor unknown. This premium cider is an exceptional elixir. Most impressive. Great fruit and acidity, but with the velvety smoothness, with hints of caramel and toast, and whiffs of whiskey, without the bite. Absolutely lovely.

The Standard Cider Company rolling like a juggernaut. Sales are brisk and distribution is stronger and wider than ever before. The line has established itself as one of the best known premiere brands of cider in the north east and mid-Atlantic.


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