Aspalls Lady Jennifer

Stoke Newington’s Intercontinental Wines Supermarket fits in with the kebab shop and discount emporium feel of this part of London, but does actually live up to it’s name with a healthy – depending on your outlook – selection of wines and beers and – oh joyous day and happy wonder – ciders!

Looking along the interesting bottles, I see one, golden-brown with a long slender neck, elegant curves… I awkwardly shuffle towards her shelf, staring at her bottom, ‘Lady Jennifer’s‘, it says. By Aspalls.Lady Jennifer 2

I grab her by the neck, and move towards the shop-keeper. ‘I’ll take this one’, I say, before handing over a few dirty pound coins to the man, then shove Lady Jennifer in a bag and head home.

Back at home, the sun is pouring through the kitchen doors. I sit Lady Jennifer on my table. She is quite chilled for having spent the last two years on the shelf… of the wine emporium.

I decide that I will go and get my camera before I take her top off. I think we’ll have a picnic theme for this one, as she has a lovely picture on her front of an Edwardian couple sitting in a Suffolk field having a picnic (with a bottle of Lady Jennifers).

There’s sod all in the fridge, so with a slice of bread, a pear in a basket, some basil and some cleverly positioned books to pretend I’m cultured, we have a picnic right there in the kitchen, while the aroma of curry goat drifts in through the kitchen window from the Caribbean restaurant below.

As she slips into something more comfortable (a half -pint glass that i robbed from a local boozer), I see that she is pale and sparkling. I’ll have a sniff. Mmm, a delicate perfume, almost like a fine wine. And the taste… She’s actually a little tart, but hides it well with her sweetness and refreshing acidity. I’m almost thinking this is champagne. There are floral notes – this is the kind of cider where you could do that thing that the experts do and try to inhale with a mouthful and hope it doesn’t fill your lungs. But don’t spit, swallow. Well, waste not, want not.

Investigating her background, I find that Lady Jennifer is Mrs Chevalier Guild, the wife of the 7th generation of Aspall cider makers. If only he could see her now. This would be a perfect cider for one not accustomed to heavy ciders. At just 4%, one could happily chug away without getting off ones tits. Not like those west country ruffians, Lady Jennifer is probably aimed at ladies – all you lotharios out there should stock a few in your fridge, just in case. Makes a change from spiking Lambrini.

A nice balance of sweet and dry, light and refreshing and won’t have you making an arse of yourself after 3 pints. Not for big-side-burned cider drinkers, but perfect for a metrosexual picnic.

4/5

Now, off to the park, summer is forecast to finish at 7.39pm

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