Colchester: Cider beats wine in dining contest

Henry Chevallier Guild

Henry Chevallier Guild - Credit: Archant

Cider pressed wine into second place at a diners’ contest held at the Thatcher’s Arms, near Colchester, last week.

Organised by Mitch Adams, landlord of The Thatchers Arms, and’s Susanna Forbes, wine was championed by Harpers Sommelier of the Year and River Café sommelier, Emily O’Hare, and Dan Probert, manager of Adnams’ Cellar & Kitchen store in Holt, while eighth-generation Debenham cider-maker, Aspall’s Henry Chevallier-Guild joined with Beer Writer of the Year and author of the forthcoming World’s Best Cider book, Pete Brown. Diners voted on how well the drink went with the dish.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to host the first Cider vs Wine event,” said Mitch. “While we were treated to some stunning wines from Adnams, there’s always something lovely about seeing the underdog triumph!” “I didn’t think we would win 4-1,” said Henry. “A few of the wines were knock-out wines. It’s not just about appreciating cider, it’s about changing perceptions.”

“Matching such tasty dishes was always going to be tricky,” said Susanna. “I’m thrilled that we managed to share the beauty and complexity of cider alongside top-drawer wines and champagne.”

“The food and drink was excellent, the company entertaining and the whole evening a resounding success,” said diner, Vivienne Maunder, editor of Flavours of Suffolk and Flavours of Norfolk. “Can’t say I agreed with the overall result – but there you go!”

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“There has been talk of a rematch,” says Mitch, “and possibly even a beer vs wine vs cider event – we’d obviously love to host it again.”

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