TOUR DE CIDER: Normandy, France

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For you non-wine-drinkers, first of all, we're so sorry - everything has been about wine so far... Second of all, this part of the France in not about vino. Le Tour is now passing through Normandy, so it's time to get your Cider on! 

Where Is It:

North coast of France.

What Do They Drink There:

Cidre!  And Calvados.  Aka apple brandy.  Glorious stuff.  The name Calvados, like Champagne, is tied to the region.  Anyone, anywhere, can make apple brandy, but if you want to make Calvados, you better be in Normandy, using apples grown in Normandy.  It must be aged for a minimum of two years, and can go for as long as 50 years.  It gains complexity and layers of spice and excitement from the time spent in oak casks, and it’s traditionally sipped post dinner, but the younger fresher stuff can be included in cocktails, or served on ice as a summery aperitif.

The cidre from Normandy is famed for  its complexity, and ‘champagne-like’ finesse and expression.  It’s among the best in France.  Much of it sealed under cork and muselet.  MOST RECOMMENDED.

Why We Love It:

Cidre, calvados, cheese, apples, seafood, cream, butter…. All the good things.  They all have a home in Normandy.  You know who is from Normandy?  Claude Monet.  The famous impressionist.  The father of the movement.  One of the most important figures in art history.

Oz Equivalent?

There’s plenty of good cider in Australia – we do not mean the high-volume stuff that lacks flavour and complexity.  Check out the cider section at your local next time you’re in.  For something different, try the ciders from Bress, in Victoria. 

Something to substitute for Calvados…? Nah.  Go try the real thing.  It’s an experience.