She'll be apples!

CHOICE taste test ranks cheap and cheerful Aussie cider in top three

A CHOICE taste test of 42 of the most popular and widely available apple and pear ciders on the market reveals a sparkling low alcohol French cider to be the pick of the bunch. 

Boulard Cidre de Normandie Doux ranked highest with testers saying its ‘dry aromas of firm cider apples offer a lot to novice and enthusiast drinkers’. 

When it comes to easy drinking ciders, the Australian Mercury Dry Cider has come in equal second with the crisp English drop, Aspall Draught Suffolk Cyder.

Forty-five new cider labels have been introduced into the Australian market in the past two years, almost doubling the number previously available. Sales of cider have increased by 35 percent in the past year¹.  

“Australian liquor sales are declining yet cider is showing a strong resurgence – it’s a product that appeals to a broad range of drinkers who will reach for a beer, wine or alcopop.” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just. 

In its review of ciders from Australia, France, England, Sweden, New Zealand and Ireland, CHOICE asked four recognised experts in the Australian wine and beverage industry to blind-test each label according to easy drinking and acquired tastes. The alcohol content of the ciders tested ranged between 2% to just over 8%.

“The results show that no single country has a monopoly on good ciders. There’s also an incredible range on the market, from the sparkling and sweet to the full flavoured and tannin-rich,” says Ms Just. 

“Consumers want variety, which could be one of the reasons why they’re also embracing more traditional cottage brewers. As one of our testers put it, ‘cider is the vinyl record of the alcohol industry.’” 

CHOICE’s top three easy drinking ciders are:

1. Boulard Cidre de Normandie Doux (France) – 2% alcohol, $12.99 per 750ml. “Dry aromas, fruit sweetness on palate with faint apple tang finish.” 

2. Aspall Draught Suffolk Cyder (England) – 5.5% alcohol, $6.90 per 500ml. “Straw yellow. Almost wine like aroma with some pineapple. Green, red apple on the palate. Clean, crisp.”

3. Mercury Dry Cider (Australia) – 5.2% alcohol, $4.79 per 750 ml. “Very clear, pale, green-yellow-platinum appearance. Fresh apple crunch. Light fizz and length.”

Read the full CHOICE cider review.

¹ Nielsen 2011 Cider Report – 

Media contact:  Ingrid Just, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669

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