The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2017

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Page 24 of 116

24  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2017 THANKSGIVING PRIMERS FOR GETTING THE DAY STARTED IN STYLE The Ransom Note is a monthly column by The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor, David Ransom. Each month, David connects readers with some of the people, products, and events that are making news along the Eastern Seaboard. I f your family is like my family, then Thanksgiving dinner is pretty much a red wine affair. The brands, grapes, and styles likely change from year to year, but at least one of our offerings is always a good Beaujolais. But what about before everyone sits down? At our house it's an all-day affair, and everyone pitches in to help cook (and drink); as such, we like to vary what gets poured throughout the day. I recently had the chance to try three beverages perfect for your pre-Thanksgiving feast's "awaken- ing of the palate." First, I spent an evening in the heart of Hudson Valley apple country at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House in Walden, New York with Assistant Cider Maker Elyssa Bowen. Angry Orchard is owned by craft beer pioneer Samuel Adams of Boston Lager fame, and the Walden facility is their test lab for experimenting with different styles and apple types. Bowen, a veteran of the Michigan wine industry, works along- side Head Cider Maker Ryan Burk to craft some truly wonderful small-production ciders like The Muse, Maple Wooden Sleeper, and Walden Hollow from both eating apples and traditional cider apples all grown in the orchard out back. Next, I got to know the wonderful wines of Champagne Boizel during lunch at New York City's Ai Fiori with fifth-gener- ation producer Evelyne Roques-Boizel; Champagne Boizel, her family's House in Épernay, was founded in 1834. Longtime growers in some of Champagne's best- known crus—among them Avize, Aÿ, and Etoges—the wines of Boizel are defined by their finesse and elegance. A full range of cuvées are available in both vintage and non-vintage, including an exceptional Blanc de Blancs, Grand Vintage, and Joyau de France. The latter is their flagship cuvée with between ten to fifteen years on the lees (Palm Bay Imports). Lastly, I was re-introduced to Schiava during a couple of events. The dry red wine is light in both color and body, and serves as Alto Adige's go-to pairing with picnics and snacks like sausages, some good speck, and cheese. Also sometimes called Vernatsch (or Trollinger in Germany), Schiava is best served slightly chilled and is the reason Alto Adige makes almost no rosé. Delightfully fresh, it's my newest obsession (Schiava has various producers and importers). Fit for a Feast story and photos by David Ransom Schiava from Castelfeder in Aldo Adige. The lineup of wines at Ai Fiori from Champagne Boizel. The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor David Ransom with Angry Orchard Cider Maker Elyssa Bowen.

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