30th May, 2017
The nationally-renowned Orchards and Cider exhibition at the Royal Bath and West Show (May 31 to June 3) lays on tutored cider-tasting sessions at regular intervals each day, led by some of the cider industry’s leading experts. They include the Chief Steward of the exhibition, Bob Chaplin, who won the inaugural British Cider Championships in 2015, well-known Shepton Mallet cider-maker, Alan Stone and, in a real coup for the Bath and West, the BBC Radio 2 food and drink expert, Nigel Barden, who will be leading his session at 4pm on Wednesday May 31.
And running throughout the show is “The People’s Choice”, in which cider afficionados can put their taste-buds to the test by making their assessments of some of the finest ciders in Britain. Each day, a different selection will be available for show-goers to judge: dry ciders on the Wednesday, mediums on the Thursday and sweets on the Friday, with Saturday being given over to a judge-off between the top two from each of the previous days.
Last year’s winner was a sweet cider produced by Rich’s Cider of Watchfield near Highbridge, an outcome which gives a pointer towards a subtle difference between what the expert judges in the show’s British Cider Championships are looking for, and the preferences of the cider-drinking public.
“Whilst there is always a close correlation between the ciders that do well in the Championships and those that turn out to be ‘the People’s Choice’, there does seem to be a preference for sweeter ciders amongst the public”, says Anthony Gibson, Chairman of Orchards and Cider.
“Giving people the chance to contrast and compare some of the finest ciders in the land is obviously a whole lot of fun, but there is also a more serious side, in that these are completely blind tastings, so they do give a genuine indication of where public taste does – or doesn’t – lie. And combined with the tutored cider-tastings, we are helping people both to understand and to enjoy what makes a really good cider, which is what Orchards and Cider is all about!”
For further information and comment: Anthony Gibson 07831 677144