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The Perfect Pair--Vermont Hard Cider

November 19, 2014

We asked William McNeil, co-owner of Hen of the Wood Waterbury and Burlington, for his expert opinion on pairing Vermont hard cider. Turns out, cider is a perfect partner to another Vermont specialty--cheese! Go find a new favorite local cider this Vermont Cider Week that you can pair and share at your holiday table.

Here's Wiliam's advice:

"Hard cider is a naturally pairing jack of all trades! It's pretty easy to find food that tastes great with cider, whether you're drinking at a midweek dinner or a celebratory feast. Cider's naturally occurring low alcohol & carbonation help tremendously! Cider can add a little light to heavy meal or great complexity to a light meal. Its natural fruitiness pairs as well with pork as it does with a green salad. Cider also plays extremely well with Vermont cheese! Many drier styles of cider pair beautifully with rich, buttery cheeses (think cheddar, gouda or a creamy blue), while the big apple flavors of semi-sweet cider is gorgeous with fresh or soft-ripened cheeses. The old 'rule of thumb' that was taught to us day one in culinary school is that if two things come from the same region, they will naturally pair together

Point: Vermont Cheese loves Vermont Cider!"

Find a Cider Week event near you! Complete listing at

November 19 - Hen of the Wood, Burlington. Cider and Oysters featuring Citizen, Eden and Windfall Cider
November 19 - Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Burlington. Vt Cider Tap Takeover. 5pm.
November 19 - Natural Provisions, Williston. Boyden Valley Winery Cider and Wine Tasting. 11am-2pm.
November 20 - Junction Restaurant, Essex. Cider Tasting by Boyden Valley Winery in the Lobby followed by a four course dinner featuring cider and stories from Boyden Valley Winery. Tasting from 5-6pm, dinner at 6pm.**    
November 20 - American Flatbread, Middlebury. Talkin' Apples and Tastin' Ciders with Rowan Jacobsen and Shacksbury Cider. 5:30-7:30pm. **
November 20 - Perfect Wife, Manchester. Four Course dinner featuring Woodchuck Hard Cider and Citizen Cider. ** 
November 21 - Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier. Windfall Orchard hard and ice cider tasting. 3-6pm.
November 21 - Healthy Living Market and Cafe, South Burlington. Citizen Cider Tasting. 4-6pm.
November 22 - Arts Riot, Burlington. Closing party featuring all the cidermakers of Vermont, live music and food! 6pm-9pm. **

Weeklong Events:
Morgan's Tavern, Middlebury - Each night will feature unique dinners with Woodchuck pairings and draft specials!
Woodchuck Cidery, Middlebury - Come check out the new Woodchuck Cider House!
Sweetwaters, Burlington - Running weeklong Citizen Cider and Woodchuck Cider specials on tap, as well as a variety of bottled hard ciders and sweet cider too!
Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center, Newport - Celebrate Vermont Cider week at the Tasting Bar!
Trader Dukes, South Burlington - Enjoy cider bar and food specials! 
Morse Block Deli, Barre - Weeklong special featuring a Vermont Cider Braised Pulled Pork Sandwich with Pickled Red Onions and VT Cheddar alongside a sweet or hard cider beverage, of course.

Boyden Valley Winery, Cambridge - The winery will be open daily for tastings and free tours at 11:30am & 1:00pm.

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