Rose season has taken a little longer to get here than usual, but this week the temperatures look to be rising into the 70s again. Spring weather pairs great with pink wine, but when it comes to packing up for the beach or pool, my favorite portable option is Wolffer No. 139 (there's also a dry white cider), which made its debut in cans this month.
According to Rafa Distributing, South Carolina was the first market outside of New York to get Wolffer and has proven to be a great lover of the stuff. "South Carolina is consistently the highest selling market in the nation outside of New York, with 1/16th of the population of New York City," says Brie-Elizabeth Conway of Rafa, who adds that her team of four sales reps sells more than a team of 40 in Massachusetts. It shouldn't be a surprise that Charleston likes to drink.
At Edmund's Oast Exchange, Sarah O'Kelley says Wolffer is hugely popular. "Even though Wolffer is called dry rosé cider — it has a touch of sweetness," says O'Kelley. "That hint of sweetness along with the carbonation makes it very easy to drink. I can't lie, it's great with John Lewis BBQ — a perfect foil to the salt and smoke."
It's sort of like a newfangled wine cooler but made using traditional fermentation methods and New York-grown apples. The cider is crisp and dry, like traditional European styles, and can be found in bars and restaurants of Charleston. It's so akin to rose wine that I drank it several times before realizing it was actually cider.
The Palace Hotel will serve you a chilled bucket of Wolffer, nestling the pretty bottles in a bed of ice to keep cold during a hot summer night. The four-pack of cider retails for about $16 at Bottles.