Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Oliver Winery & Vineyards Apple Pie Wine

This unusual apple wine had us scratching our heads and asking for another glass.

A Taste Of Fall In The Bottle

As a rule, our palate gravitates toward dry or off-dry wines. In general, we prefer wines made from grapes. There are more than 10,000 different varieties out there, after all.

We received a sample of Oliver Winery’s limited release of their Apple Pie Wine. Why not, we said.

A cook-out with the neighbors was scheduled for the weekend, and Tom and Debbie have a sweet tooth when it comes to wine. This was the perfect opportunity to try a “slice” of the Apple Pie Wine.

The Leading Indiana Winery

Oliver Winery and Vineyards is the leading winery in Indiana. It was founded in 1972 and is the oldest and largest winery in the state. They host thousands of visitors each year at their Bloomington winery and have a lineup of wines that run the gamut from dry to very sweet.

In the Midwest, states like Indiana, Ohio and Michigan not only have award-winning wineries, but bountiful fruit harvests. For several years I served as a wine judge at the Wood County Fair in Ohio and tried scores of fruit-based wines. Some were quite good.

So its only natural that Oliver has been producing apple wine and cider for decades. Winemaker Dennis Dunham came up with the idea for Apple Pie wine, but he was greeted with skepticism. In the end, he convinced the sales team – and we’re glad he did.

Does It Really Taste Like Apple Pie?

To accompany a delicious barbeque of ribs and corn on the cob, we opened the Apple Pie. I took a tentative sip, not knowing what to expect. There was a nice, but not overpowering, sweetness. Being made from apples, the wine was halfway home. The apple batch includes Ida Red, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Gala apples.

The secondary flavors really made the difference. There are hints of cinnamon and vanilla. After several glasses it wasn’t hard to imagine a warm slice of apple pie with a flaky crust and some whipped cream on top.

Oliver says this is a wine designed to share around a holiday table. We’ll agree with that. This won’t replace Cabernet Sauvignon – but then again, it isn’t intended to. It’s a nostalgic wine that evokes memories of frost on the pumpkin and a warm fireplace.

This has 7.3% residual sugar, certainly sweet, but much less so than an icewine or late harvest wine. The alcohol level is 10%, a lower level than a typical wine which allows Apple Pie to pair well with dessert or a meal with hearty flavors.

Apple Pie is available September through November in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Missouri, Texas, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. It is also available from Oliver online. The cost is a tasty $8 SRP. Pie anyone?

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