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Not Beer, Not Wine, Hard Cider

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You might mistake this fruity effervescent drink for Belgian fruit Lambic, or a champagne cocktail made with pear liqueur. But this is neither beer nor wine, it's hard cider. It's only 4 percent alcohol, so it's just a little stronger than near beer. But the flavor isn't like you typical English pub hard cider.

Normandy cider maker Eric Bordelet was once a rock star on the Paris wine scene. As the sommelier at l'Arpége, a Michelin Three Star restaurant in Paris, he presided over one of the city's best wine lists. But everything he learned about the trend toward biodynamic wine made him want to return to his family's pear orchards in Normandy.

Bordelet began making apple and pear ciders, the traditional beverages of Normandy, with the assistance of the best minds in the French wine business. His pear cider is made with fruit from 300-year-old trees. And he waits until the fruit is so ripe it falls to the ground. The result is cider with the complexity of fine wine.

At $35 a bottle, this cider isn't cheap, but it's very interesting as an aperitif, or instead of wine with a cheese and fruit tray.

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