It's apple picking time and we couldn't let the season escape without heading to an orchard to pick apples. We usually eat as much as we pick, so it's a good bargain for us. We know of several orchards in the area, but Lin suggested the Nashoba Valley Winery and Orchard. Hmm... apple picking and wine tasting… a stellar combination for a Sunday afternoon and off we went.
The early morning fog burned off by Noon and the sun prevailed for the rest of the day. The orchard was crowded with apple pickers. 'Tis the season. The winery tasting rooms were filled to bursting. Still, we managed to enjoy ourselves. A couple of wine tastings and all was well with the world.
We sampled a Gravenstein dry white wine (pucker up!), an okay chardonnay and a passable pinot gris. The Dry Blueberry and Blueberry Merlot were tolerable, but the St. Croix won the day in the red department. Lin sampled a strawberry rhubarb semi-sweet and the Nashoba Mead. Okay, but not great. The Northern Comfort (their version of cognac) was not quite up to to cognac standards and David drank my Oak-Aged Apple Brandy preferring it to what he ordered. On a whim, I tried the Baerenfang, used 100 years ago by hunters to catch bears. It might have snared the bears, but it certainly didn't do anything for me. We didn't buy any wine to take with us, but we maintained a pleasant glow while apple picking.
Branches were bowed over with the weight of ripe apples. We wondered how some of the branches could support the weight with breaking. McIntosh, Cortland, Mutsu, Golden Delicious and Bramleys were ripe and available for picking. We were obligated, of course, to try one of each before committing to actually picking. At this time of year, standing in this beautiful orchard on a crisp, sunny autumn day, with the smell of apples in the air, sweet and rich, they all tasted good. We picked a half bushel before you could say “McIntosh”
I love apples, but I'm pretty persnickety about which ones I'll eat. I like apples to be hard, crisp and tart. Soft, mealy, sweet … no way. I take a bite out of an apple that's not up to my standards and well … let's just say, David eats a lot of apples he wasn't planning to eat.
We see lots of apple crisp, apple pies, baked apples and just plain old apple eating in our near future, not to mention dark rum and hot cider. It doesn't get much better in the autumn of year.