A normal apple can be 1.050 to 1.060 (5% plus alcohol) and have a pH under 4.0. This is a better preservation system than beer has. From a microbiology point of view apple cider works. Oxidation is a secondary issue, developing burn in the back of the throat of flavor. Traditional cider has tannic varieties which are antioxidants. Off the shelf tannin could be added and potassium metabisulphite is used in modern cideries.
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Shelf life is partly due to having no microbiological contamination. Shelf life is partly due to having no oxygen. It is easy to remove microbiological contaminants by pasteurizing or sterile filtering. For us as wine makers, whether 12% or 5% alcohol, the oxygen problem is the biggest determinant of shelf life.