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Traditional Spanish Sidra, a Tipsy Trickster, & Tanuki Cider #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 year the World Wine Travel bloggers are doing a deep dive into the wine regions of Spain. When I offered to host's July event, I had initially picked the topic of the Canary Islands. But wines were tough to source and, then, one of my contacts at Winesellers, Ltd. and I were discussing Spanish hard ciders. I asked the group's leadership if I could pick something still fermented, but not made with grapes; he agreed.

You can read my invitation here. And, through Winesellers, Ltd, some bloggers in our group received a variety of ciders to sample.

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...

Traditional Spanish Sidra

Due to the group's focus on Spanish wines this year, I wanted to feature the Spanish sidra that I received from Winesellers, Ltd. for the event. I already shared the French cider in this post - Apple-Kissed Mussels Plus Cidrerie Daufresne. So I am sharing a traditional hard cider from Mayador.

Sidra, or cider, has been produced in the Asturias region since ancient times. Part of the area known as 'Green Spain', Asturias is positioned between Galicia to the west, Cantabria to the east, and Castilla-Leon to the south. The north of the region borders the Cantabric Sea with miles and miles of coastline. Sidra is made from locally-grown apples. Due to its low alcohol content and slight effervescence, sidra is a refreshing libation during the hot summer months.

Manuel Busto Amandi founded Bodega Mayador in 1939 specifically to produce sidra. This one was made in the traditional en rama style which means it was fermented in chestnut barrels and bottled unfiltered. It poured a golden hue, slightly cloudy and completely still. While the aromas were subtle with hints of honeysuckle and citrus, on the palate, this was surprisingly bitter. I had anticipated it being sour; I love sour beers. But this was just plain bitter. I wasn't a fan.

A Tipsy Trickster

My older son is taking an East Asian History class at UC Santa Cruz this summer to fulfill some of his general education requirements. One afternoon he showed me an 1881 woodblock print of a tanuki by Yoshitoshiof and launched into the creature's story and role in Japanese folklore.


The tanuki has a large belly and even larger testicles; it is a shape-shifter who uses his testicles as makeshift raincoats, as weapons, and as drums. The tanuki can knead and massage its testicles into any desired shape, impersonating humans to buy alcohol and treats! The mischievous critter's antics are even featured in a Japanese children's song: 

Tan Tan Tanuki no kintama wa
Kaze mo nai no ni
Bura bura.

That translates to: "Tan-tan, the Tanuki’s testicles ring/the wind has stopped blowing/but still they swing-swing."

As he was talking, I remembered having a Tanuki cider at one of our favorite restaurants. I found a local store that carried it and picked up a bottle.

Tanuki Cider

Tanuki Cider is based here on the Monterey Bay - up north in Santa Cruz - and owner, Robby Honda, discussed the tanuki in an interview that I read awhile back. You can read the full article: "Tanuki Cider's Booze Philosophy" Good Times, November 2019. Honda had spent much of his childhood at the family orchard in Sebastapol; and he wanted to do something sophisticated with the bounty of apples in the county. In the article above he said, "I was interested in agriculture, apples specifically, and just kind of got lucky with the cider thing taking off. When I moved to town, there were zero cider commercial businesses. Now there’s like seven."

But no others have a well-endowed, trickster Japanese racoon dog!

This cider - Batch 2020 #0617717 - is a single varietal, made from Newtown Pippin apples grown by Five Mile Orchards in Corralitos. Fermented with wild yeasts, then finished on cultivated yeasts, this cider was dry, tart, lightly effervescent, and delicious! Jake was grateful to have an option other than the Mayador on the table that evening. Me, too!

On the Plate

Because this group is focusing on Spanish regions, wines, and foods, I decided to make some Spanish eats for this event and pairing. I served Papas Bravas (a recipe I've previously shared for a #WinePW Vinho Verde event), Tortilla Española made with zucchini instead of potatoes, and a marinated cucumber salad.

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 do like bitter and I love a bitter beer. I didn't notice that my bottle was bitter at all though. I wonder if yours was starting to turn a bit.

  2. Thanks for hosting this month and taking us in the cider direction. Funny as I jumped on ordering Canary Island wines. One of the benefits of living over here ;-) How great you found the Tanuki cider!

    1. I have enjoyed the Canary Island wines I've tried, too. I knew that it was going to be a challenge for the group to find though.

  3. OMG the story of the Tanuki! LOL. Definitely not a song that children could sing in the US! I did notice a bit of bitterness in the sidra, and Michael wasn't a fan, but I enjoyed it. I think you are a bit of a "super taster" and might be more sensitive than many of us.

    1. And then he made us watch "Pom Poko." OMG. Hilarious.

  4. So cool that you had local cider to taste. Also cool that you dig sour beers. Gawd, it's been forever since I've had Patatas Brava!

  5. I have never been a beer drinker, so the more bitter of the two I didn't like. The tapas sound so good, as does that cucumber salad. Its so hot here.

  6. Thanks for hosting. I really enjoyed the dive into Tanuki History here. LOL


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