Primarily known for their vinegars, Reinhart Foods in Stayner, Ontario recently entered the hard cider market with a sweet and light entry made from provincially grown Gala, Mcintosh and Cortland apples. Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider is a pale golden colour reminiscent of an American lager and yields a loose head that has surprising retention as a yarn-like collar.
This cider has a markedly sweet smell; like store bought juice and baked apple flesh. There really isn’t much subtlety here aside from faint impressions of earth and apple skin. Cortland & Macintosh are some of the sweeter cultivars of apple and that’s evident in the taste of Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider, with the more grounded tartness of Gala providing some balance and keeping it from the cloying side. Mild carbonation keeps sweetness at the fore and there’s a tangible stickiness to the cider.
The can that Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider comes in is an eye-popping fire engine red tone with an elaborate apple tree design done in gold and light beige. A brief description, ingredients list and declaration of sulphites are found on the back. There’s a coded date stamp on the bottom, but based on my shopping experience, this cider’s stock turns over quickly so it’s likely pretty fresh. This cider was developed in conjunction with the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre at Niagara College.
Though I prefer my ciders dry, I really appreciate seeing a lower alcohol option on Ontario Shelves and wouldn’t mind seeing it become a trend. Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider is particularly nice with charcuterie. Some of my recommended pairings are summer sausage, smoked gouda and crusty bread. I’ve also found it works well with desserts and pastries. You can find Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider listed at about 150 LCBO stores.
Type: Sweet Cider
Region: Ontario, Stayner
Brewery: Reinhart Foods Ltd.
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 3.8%