How You Like Them Apples?

Even MIT wunderkinds endorse the virtues of spirited apple wine… in a bar in Boston, no less!

Finnriver’s Spirited Apple Wine Reveals the Magnificence of Washington Apples

We all need a change of scenery from time to time. Our palates need it, too. Man cannot live on wine alone, so when you’re tired of ink-stained teeth, saturated with sauvignon blanc and melancholy from merlot, consider this very appealing alternative for your liquor cabinet. (Yes, I will be writing about liquor periodically!)

Finnriver is one of my recent favorite discoveries. They are an organic farm located near Port Townsend, WA and they make first-rate hard ciders and liqueurs from farm-fresh fruit, using traditional artisan methods. (Brief, important tangent: try their dry-hopped pear cider for something truly refreshing and interesting!)

Their Spirited Apple Wine will shake up your taste buds. Even if you’ve tried other craft ciders and brandies, I don’t think you will have tried anything quite as deliciously different as this. Best of all, once you open it, since it’s a spirit it will keep for a long time in a cool, dark place. It’s great on its own or for mixing. Martinelli’s will soon be a bygone, a distant memory.

From the tasting notes: “The wholesome apple may surprise you with the sultry side revealed in this sumptuous spirited apple wine, handcrafted on our Olympic Peninsula family farm. After fermenting the fruit, we capture the tantalizing sweetness of the apples by fortifying with custom-distilled apple brandy. May this bottle of Finnriver Spirited Apple Wine bring you warmth and good cheer. Alcohol content 18.5%. Our Spirited Apple Wine won a Bronze Medal from the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition.”

Another reason I really like Finnriver is their insistence on the inherent star quality of the apple. Currently in Washington (perhaps Oregon, too), dozens of acres of prime apple orchards are being decimated to make room for vineyards, due to the explosion of winemaking, to meet the demands of the wine craze. This is understandable, to an extent; agricultural landscapes change to accommodate consumer preferences (remember when Red Delicious was one of only three types of apples at the grocery store?) Yet it grieves me to hear this. As a native Washingtonian, I have a special place in my heart for our state’s prized fruit… as any Floridian would have for oranges. I’m also reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life at the moment, so I’m extra wary of drastic changes in farming and the vanishing varieties of produce on our planet. It amazes me we can let things go so easily sometimes.

Fortunately, the tides are turning just a wee bit, and others are recognizing the massive potential of cider as a great tasting alcoholic beverage. Finnriver is one of the best cheerleaders for Washington apples that I know of, and I’m proud to jump on their bandwagon. I think you will, too.

*Note from Finnriver: “One interesting note: the Spirited Apple Wine is not classified as a liquor but as a fortified wine, so it can be purchased and sold at wine shops in WA state. (Of course that is all changing now…)”

© Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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