Cider Series: Interview with Roman Roth
Roman sits down and talks about what inspired him to make cider, the great partnerships that have come from it, and the ideal 3-course cider paired dinner.Why did you decide to start making cider?“I grew up drinking ciders in Germany. When I came to the States, I found the ciders to be: one, oxidized and flabby; two, reductive and stinky; three, artificial from concentrate; or four, cloyingly sweet. I knew there had to be a way to make something better. I wanted to make a pure, fruit-driven cider, hence, our selection of aromatic dessert apples.”What would Christian Wölffer [Founder of Wölffer Estate] think of these ciders? Did you ever drink ciders together?“When I started at Wölffer, Christian had 40 gorgeous apple trees on his Estate. I would make pasteurized apple juice for Joey and Georgina (Christian’s daughters).“He loved the idea of apple wine, so in 1997, we started a partnership with Halsey Farm (less than a mile away in Bridgehampton) because they had the best apples on Long Island. You could hear the crispness of biting into their bright, succulent apples from across the room. The place smelled like freshly peeled skins with aromas of apple-cinnamon pies. Apple juice would run freely from each bite down your face, you couldn’t help it. We knew these were the perfect apples to make our fruit driven apple wines.”Where do the apples for the ciders come from?“Now, more than 16 years later we continue this great partnership with John Halsey. Since adding the Dry Rosé cider, we have made another great connection with Dave DeFisher in Rochester, NY. These great partnerships, built on mutual respect for the other’s craft, a passion for quality and care of the land yield great friendships that make greater products.”How does Roman suggest you enjoy this next batch? Try this 3-course dinner specially paired with the ciders.Start with our Dry White Cider with Roman’s favorite salad (inspired by Grow NYC): - ¼ finely shredded raw beet root - ¼ finely shredded organic carrots - ½ coarsely shopped crisp, local apple - Top with fresh cilantro, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to tasteFor the main course, serve our Dry Rosé Cider with Golden Applesauce Pork Chops. Check out Rachel Ray’s recipe.Finish it off with either the White or Rosé Dry Cider and an upside-down apple tart with fresh-whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Roman loves Saveur’s recipe.For an after dinner drink, try the Dry White Cider with a splash of elderberry liqueur. Welcome to apple heaven.