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A #WorldWineTravel Preview: Hard Ciders, Apple-Kissed Mussels Plus Cidrerie Daufresne #WorldWineTravel #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with Winesellers, Ltd..
Samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links. 

This month, I am hosting the World Wine Travel bloggers as we look at hard ciders from Spain and elsewhere around the world. You can read my invitation here

I was able to line-up some samples for the group from Winesellers, Ltd.* So, several writers received bottles from Mayador (Sidra Asturiana), Dunkertons’ Organic Cider, and Cidrerie Daufresne. I can't wait to read the comparisons between those ciders from Spain, the United Kingdom, and France respectively as well as seeing other ciders that people sourced! I do know that I'm featuring a hard cider from Santa Cruz which is local to me in addition to the Spanish sidra I received.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump in on our live chat. We meet on Twitter on Saturday, July 24th at 8am Pacific time. Follow hashtag #WorldWineTravel and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here are the articles the writers are sharing about Spanish hard ciders or ciders from around the world...

 Cidrerie Daufresne

Because the #WorldWineTravel focus has been on Spain this year, I wanted to reserve my Spanish ciders for the actual event on Saturday, July 24th and decided to share my thoughts and pairing for the French Cidrerie Daufresne ahead of time.

In the lower part of Normandy, France, lies the Cidrerie DaufresneThe orchard for estate was planted in the mid-20th century by Philippe Daufresne who opted to produce cider and calvados instead of wine. 

When I was reading about the apple varieties in the estate orchards and the surround area, I realized that all were completely unknown to me, including  Germaine, Blangy Cemetery, Bisquet, St Martin, President Descourt, Windmill, Mettais, Rambault, and more. Have you heard of any of these apples?! In case, the different varieties are chosen each harvest to create a desired balance of tart and sweet.

This cider - Cidre de Normandie Brut from Cidrerie Daufresne - poured a rich amber color with a rim of gold. Because it was aged on the lees, there was a creamy undertone to the otherwise dry cider. Though its nose was unremarkable, as in very light aromas, this had layered flavors of apple, citrus, and caramel. I enjoyed this cider and thought that it well with the sweet brininess of the mussels.

Apple-Kissed Mussels

This is a riff on a classic French mussels recipe. I added diced apples and swapped in cider instead of wine. It was delicious.

Ingredients serves 3 to 4 as appetizer
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced apples
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup hard cider 
  • 2 cups chicken stock (you can substitute vegetable stock or fish stock if you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ½ pounds mussels, cleaned
  • organic lemon wedges and bread for serving


In a large mixing bowl, cover cleaned, fresh mussels with cold water and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. 


When ready to cook, drain the mussels and keep in a colander near the stove.

In a large pot, warm 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add in fennel, apples, and shallots. Cook until slightly softened, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add in minced garlic cloves and a pinch each of freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for a minute more.


Pour in 2/3 cup hard cider and cook until reduced by half. Add 2 cups stock, bring to a boil, and boil until slightly reduced, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat. And add 2 tablespoon of butter and the mussels to the pan. Cover and let the mussels steam for 7 to 8 minutes, until the mussels have opened.

Discard any mussels that do not open, then serve the mussels and their broth garnished with a squeeze of lemon and some nice bread.

Stay tuned for more articles about hard ciders! Salud.

Winesellers, Ltd. on the webFacebook, on Twitter, on Instagram
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. I had forgotten all about the French cider and only opened the other 3 for my tasting yesterday. Sigh....that means I need to do another tasting this week....the life of a food blogger is filled with trials and tribulation LOL.

    1. You are not obligated to open and post about them all! But feel free.

  2. we eat a lot of mussels -- lookingfrward to trying this!@b


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