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Ice Cider, Mead, Fruit Wines and Ideas for Food Pairings

October 24, 2018


On October 23rd, a group of about 40 curious people gathered at the Mad River Taste Place to pair unique Vermont wines with many food options in search of the best combinations. It was part of a yearlong project at the Vermont Fresh Network, with assistance from the Vermont Grape & Wine Council, to build markets for Vermont wine in Vermont restaurants - more information about that is listed here. Here's what we found:



Recommended Pairings:

  • Two plates that would go well with any of the ice ciders (Windfall Orchards Ice Cider, Boyer’s Orchard Ice Cider, Eden Heirloom Blend Ice Cider) and/or Maquam Blueberry & Maple Wine:

    • Von Trapp Mad River Blue Cheese, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Figs, Strawberries, Heirloom Apples

    • Lazy Lady La Roche, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Blake Hill Preserves French Onion Jam, Blake Hill Preserves Black Currant with Wild Mint, Babette’s Table Finnochiona Salami

  • Lincoln Peak Cassis and/or Boyden Vermont Ice Red with Marcona Almonds


  • Putney Mountain Rhubarb Blush Wine & Sweet Potato Ginger Buns (or, one might imagine, anything with a strong ginger flavor)

  • Maquam Pear Wine, Lincoln Peak Firelight, and/or Windfall Orchards’ Farmhouse Perry with Jalapeno Cornbread and Rosemary Buttercream

  • Eden Heirloom Ice Cider or Farmhouse Perry - Von Trapp Savage Salami

  • Lincoln Peak Ragtime White with Curry Crackers (and likely any curries)

  • Lincoln Peak Ragtime Red with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

  • Poet’s Mead & Middle Eastern Flavors - Tahini-Rose Cookies and both Semolina Cakes (the flavors in the semolina cakes were cardamom, rose, mastic, mahleb; if you're baking at home try this recipe for the mastic & mahleb, this recipe for the cardamom & rose).

  • Boyden Vermont Ice Red and/or Lincoln Peak Cassis with Apricot & Olive Oil Cookies

  • Boyers Raspberry Ice Cider with Smoked Paprika Peanut Butter Cookies (kudos to the intrepid taster who managed to pair those)

  • Putney Mountain Cranberry Wine, Boyden Cranberry Wine - Von Trapp Mad River Blue Cheese, Blake Hill Apricots & Orange Jam, Strawberries 

  • Artesano Sparkling Cranberry Mead - Vermont Shepherd Invierno Cheese

  • When in doubt about pairing anything, the answer is Cabot Clothbound Cheddar  

  • When in further doubt about pairing anything, the answer is drink a bottle of Lincoln Peak Firelight and forget about pairing.


Featured Wines



Featured Foods



  • Cellars at Jasper Hill Cabot Clothbound

  • Vermont Shepherd Invierno

  • Von Trapp Farmstead Mad River Blue

  • Lazy Lady Farm La Roche



  • Babette’s Table Picante and Finochianno Salami

  • Babette’s Table Dry Cured Coppa

  • Von Trapp Farmstead Savage Salami


Other foods:

  • Blake Hill Preserves, including the Cheese Pairing and Spicy Pantry lines

  • Miss Weinerz Sweet Potato-Ginger Rolls

  • Tahini-Rose Cookies

  • Curry Crackers

  • Jalapeno Cornbread with Rosemary Buttercream

  • Apricot Olive Oil Cookies

  • Semolina Cookie with Date, Walnut, Cocoa filling

  • Semolina Cookie with Apricot, Walnut, Spice filling and Cardamom-Rose Icing

  • Smoked Paprika and Peanut Butter Cookies

Interested in recipes for some of these items? Check out this "highlights" post. 

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