October is National Apple Month! According to usapple.org, Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it was expanded to the entire month of October. National Apple Month´s mission is to increase apple industry sales, and to enhance consumer awareness and usage of apples and apple products.
As New Englanders, I think it’s a rite of passage to head to the local apple orchard for a day of apple picking with the family, and perhaps indulging in the freshly baked apple cider donuts and apple pies you can find in the orchard barn. Is there a place for wine pairing in this scenario? You bet there is!
There are almost as many varieties of apples as there are grapes. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch, but there are certainly a lot of them. I find the sweeter, less tart apples to be the best varieties to pair with wine when pairing recipes that include actual apple.
A lovely and easy appetizer would be apple, goat cheese and walnut crostini drizzled with honey. The goat cheese and walnuts add an entirely new flavor profile to the otherwise sweet apples and honey, offering a beautiful pairing with drier white wines, such as a drier style Riesling, a Viognier, or my personal favorite, Italy’s sparkling wine, Prosecco.
Photo cred: whatjewwannaeat.com
pple glazed pork chops, using either apple jelly or apple butter, would pair delightfully with a medium to full bodied Chenin Blanc, specifically from the Vouvray region of France, or if you prefer a red wine, a fruit forward Pinot Noir from Oregon or a Beaujolais from France would offer the perfect balance of fruit and structure without overpowering the apple.
Photo cred: Midwestliving.com
As for desserts, two popular favorite autumn indulgences; fresh, warm apple cider donuts and steaming hot apple crisp. Both of these delectable desserts pair beautifully with semi-sweet or sweeter style white wines, such as Moscato or a sweeter style Riesling. Because both of these desserts have a significant amount of sugar, you want to match that level of sweetness in your wine of choice to ensure it won’t appear bitter on the palate.
Photo cred: Sally’sBakingAddiction.com
Apple season wouldn’t be complete without enjoying an apple wine cocktail. Enjoy this simple yet delicious recipe courtesy of Delish.com:
Apple Pie Sparkler
1 c. sparkling cider
1 c. moscato
6 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1/4 c. cinnamon sugar
Apple slices, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Wet rim of glasses with a slice of apple and dip rim into the cinnamon sugar. Pour 2 oz. vanilla vodka into each glass, then fill halfway full with moscato. Top with sparkling cider. Serve with apple slices and cinnamon stick.
About the Author
CSW, WSET3, FWS, BWSEd | Executive VP of Sales and Aquisitions at VINOvations
Missa holds various positions in the wine industry, each of which brings her incredible fulfillment. She is the EVP of Sales and Acquisitions at VINOvations in Sharon, MA. She also teaches students of all levels of experience and interest in wine classes, lifestyle experiences, and leads wine dinners all around Massachusetts.
She is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) with the Society of Wine Educators, a certified French Wine Scholar (FWS), certified with the Wine and Spirits Trust, Level 3 Advanced (WSET), and a certified educator with Boston Wine School (BWSEd). Her unique combination of talent allows her to translate the nuances of wine for the everyday wine drinker in an accessible and fun way. Demystifying wine and removing the intimidation is her passion when sharing wine with others.