Food critic David Rosengarten, author of The Rosengarten Report, likes hard cider as a stand-in for wine. Here are his top picks of dry, off-dry, and medium-sweet/sweet ciders:
Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider/Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider
About $12 for a 750-ml bottle
This cider maker in Lebanon, New Hampshire grows its own apples and all are little-known varieties selected specifically for cider making. David says Farnum Hill was the "huge discovery" of his cider tasting.
Poverty Lane Orchards
About $8 for six 12-ounce bottles
A cider produced in Vermont from a recipe developed in Hereford, England. David says it's "lively, foamy, with good acid and lovely fermented apple flavors." In his tasting it was his favorite of the "supermarket" American ciders.
H.P. Bulmer Atlantic Ltd.
Sydre Doux, Eric Bordelet
About $7 for a 750-ml bottle
A medium-sweet cider that David says is "very pure-tasting, with a terrific sugar-acid balance." Drink it with tart fruits.
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