Cider: an All-American Tradition for July 4th

"Make no mistake," wrote the New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov (one of our favorite American wine writers) in late 2013. "An American cider renaissance is well underway."

"Five years ago, it was hard to find dry ciders beyond a few producers like West County and Farnum Hill. Most American ciders were sweetened to appeal to a clientele reared on cloying beverages. Fortunately, the audience is growing for dry ciders, which like beer largely range in alcohol content from about 5 percent to 8 percent. Nowadays, far more small producers are making serious dry ciders."

The Boulder Wine Merchant has played its own small role in introducing Americans to great dry cider.

Currently, Master Sommelier and Boulder Wine Merchant owner Brett Zimmerman and his staff offer a wide range of dry ciders, including labels from some of America's leading apple growers as well as top producers from France and Spain, where great-tasting, low-alcohol cider has never been out of fashion.

Above: Farnum Hill is just one of the great artisanal American producers that you can find at the Boulder Wine Merchant. Check on their website. On it, they write, "On Farnum Hill, we stick to the true meaning of the word 'cider,' an alcoholic beverage fermented from particular apples, just as 'wine' is fermented from particular grapes."

What better for your Fourth of July celebration than a quintessential American drink? Although it fell out of fashion in our country in the nineteenth century (when beer and spirits became more popular), cider has been a part of American culture since the era of our founding fathers.

"Cider was by far the most popular drink of colonial America," wrote Esquire restaurant critic in his landmark work, the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, first published in 1983 and reprinted, in a revised edition, in 2013 (Bloomsbury USA).

"Everyone, including children, drank it, and it was bought very cheaply by the barrel, if not made at home."

"The French gastronome Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), who spent three years in America, pronounced the native porduct 'so excellent that I could have gone on drinking it forever.' President John Adams (1735-1826), who lived to be ninety-one, pried himself on drinking a pitcher of cider every morning."

We're so proud to be part of the growing cider movement here at the Boulder Wine Merchant. The ciders we carry are wholesome, tasty products. And their fresh flavors and low alcohol content are ideal for summertime parties, when the heat makes you all the more thirsty.