Cider makers tout fruit ciders at wine event

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A handful of hard cider makers are peddling their potions in one corner of the Northwest's largest wine tasting event.

The Taste Washington wine and food sampling event in Seattle is in its 15th year of celebrating Washington's wine industry. Several producers of hard cider are also on hand alongside the many wineries pouring merlot and chardonnay.

Hard cider has experienced a surge in popularity in the past decade, making it the fastest growing alcohol market nationally.

But it's still a relatively small, niche market. Washington researchers are working to boost the state's cider industry by building a database of apple profiles to help cider makers develop new products.