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Chicagoist's Cider Of The Month: Eric Bordelet Poire Granit

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Jun 30, 2014 4:00PM

(Photo courtesy distributor Cream Wine)

For the first Cider Of The Month we highlighted an American cider. This month’s cider is from France and it isn’t even a cider, but still a similar breed. Eric Bordelet Poire Granit is actually a perry, cider’s neglected cousin made from pears rather than apples. If you’ve never had a perry, give this delicious variant a chance.

Perry has just as ancient a history as cider, but it hasn’t recovered the same popularity cider has. Perry made the old way is just as varied in flavor as cider and uses the pear equivalent of cider apples- bitter seedy pears that produce the necessary flavor complexity once fermented. That sets it apart from the usually way too sweet pear ciders, which are usually sweet apple ciders with an addition of some pear juice.

Not this one. Bordelet was once a notable wine expert who provided services to some of France’s greatest restaurants. Now he produces cider and perry in Northeastern France. Terroir and heritage define his production. The pears used to make Poire Granit grow on 300 year old trees in granite soil.

In the glass it would be easy to mistake it for a champagne. It has notable buttery notes on first sip, with a clear distinct pear background and a creamy finish with vanilla and spice notes as the light carbonation dissipates in the mouth. It’s kind of like a perfect pear crumble in a glass. It goes uncommonly well with grilled meats and vegetables, providing a refreshing slightly sweet and faintly tart balance to savory and smoky flavors. In the winter it pairs perfectly with roast chicken or cassoulet.

It can be found at Binny’s and Lush, though call ahead to ensure it’s in stock. If you know anywhere else that carries it, let us know. If you can't find Poire Granit, we suggest any of Eric Bordelet's excellent ciders.