After grapes, Your Private Wineaux believes the best fruit for winemaking is the apple. The balance of sugar and cool climate acidity in the ripe fruit makes the apple one of the most versatile wine fruits. It’s capable of producing wines in a variety of styles, from crisp dry and off-dry table wines to unctuous dessert wines, and all are instant crowd-pleasers. And much like the company that took its name from the fruit, simplicity and innovation are what yield the best examples.
One of Your Private Wineaux’s favorite apple table wines hails from Pennsylvania’s Nissley Vineyards, located in Lancaster County. Nissley’s deceptively simple yet versatile Apple Wine is all that apple wine should be — full apple flavor with a touch of sweetness balanced with just enough of a backbone of acidity — with none of the adulterations (a.k.a. “spices”) that some producers insist on adding. Served well-chilled, it makes a great warm weather sipper on its own. A little closer to cellar temperature and it’s an excellent pair with a spring pork chop dish or roasted tenderloin. Nissley even provides a mulling recipe for those chilly autumn nights.
On the dessert side, the (literal) gold standard is set by the good people at Québec’s La Face Cachée de la Pomme. Their flagship product, Neige Première, was the world’s first commercial apple ice wine (or cidre de glace … made from extracted apple juice frozen naturally in the January Québec outdoors) and a rare true innovation in the wine world. A bright honey gold color with an intense caramel apple nose, it’s concentrated sugar is well-balanced by a tart acidic structure making it dangerously easy to swig. Take the advice of Your Private Wineaux and savor it with foie gras or sharp cheeses: much as you would a Premier Cru Sauternes. It’s that good.
Simplicity and innovation. Steve Jobs wasn’t the only one who knew what he was doing with an Apple.