Apple wine, also commonly referred to hard cider, is one of the oldest fermented beverages in the United States. This crisp, sweet wine can be made from fresh apples, apple concentrate, or even apple cider. Even better, October is the perfect time to pick apples from your local orchard. Fall is a great time to make this wine. Read on to find out more about apple wine, along with our exclusive recipe and wine pairing tips.
Pick Your Apple
Similar to baking an apple pie or apple tart, different apples will yield different flavors. For a sweeter wine, we recommend using Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, or Fuji. A wine that is tart in flavor should use Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and McIntosh. Don’t be afraid of mixing different apples together to find your favorite combination of sweet and tart. You can also use a mixture of store-bought and orchard picked apples to balance flavors. With all the different apple varieties your options are endless.
When you’re looking for apples at an orchard or in the grocery store, opt for ripe apples that are not bruised or overly ripe. Do not use any apples that have mold and if you are at an orchard be sure to avoid apples that are on the ground. Before you begin the wine making process make sure you wash the apples thoroughly and remove the stems and leaves. It is important to remove any unwanted bacteria that could cause the taste of the wine to be unpleasant or even result in sickness.
Where and how can I find Apples?
If you’re heading to your local grocery store or market to stock up on apples, now is a perfect time. There will be an abundance of ripe apples in the produce section of your local grocery store from September to the end of November. However, apples are available in stores year-round.
If you would like the experience of picking apples at an orchard, apples are grown in almost every state in the US. However, you will find an abundance of orchards in the Midwest or Northeastern regions of the United States. Many orchards also sell apple related products such as cider or apple concentrate that can be used to make apple wine any time of the year.
What foods does Apple wine pair best with?
Apple wine can have a variety of flavors from sweet to tart, depending on the type of apple you use and sugar content of the wine. However, apple wines pair well some standard food offerings. Start off with a classic combination of apples and cheddar cheese. We recommend sharp cheddar or trying similar hard cheeses from other regions of England. For your main dish, opt for pork chops or ham. Pheasant and similar game birds also pair well with cider wine and are available in many states during apple season.
Are you a first-time wine maker? We have great starter kits, perfect for making your first batch of apple wine. Find our starter kits along with other helpful tips for wine making here.