On to County Cider. Our next stop wasn’t quite as busy as Fifth Town — although there were people there, it was a bit more of an open space, and maybe people weren’t into sampling the wares so close to noon on a weekday. Whatever. It was our weekend and it was raining.
A quick reconnoitre of the shop, and then we lined up over at the tasting bar, and sampled the different types of cider that are available.
Feral Cider. This one is quite sweet and fruity. Actually, too sweet and fruity for our tastes. On to the next item.
County Premium Cider. This one is a nice cider for a hot day. Nothing really unusual about its taste that makes it stand out, but it’s a good, workaday cider, and it’s a lot closer to Toronto than BC cider houses are, if you’re considering carbon footprint.
There was one in little brown bottles that I didn’t get a picture of: Waupoos Premium Cider. It had a nice taste: richer than the others, a little spicier. The woman running the tasting said it works well in a 50/50 with beer (sort of like a shandy, but… different). We all enjoyed this one. Susan bought some of it.
Then we tasted the most wonderfully strange and different item they had. All I can do is quote Miranda “Oh brave new world!” Prince Edward County Ice Cider. This is made from varieties of apple that continue to hang from the tree branches after freezing weather. It’s then aged in some really innovative barrels made in the county by Carriage House Cooperage: each barrel is made of four woods — ash, maple, hickory, and oak, which is then toasted, and then the cider gets to age in the barrel. It’s winning awards, and I’m not surprised. The taste was complex, and first made me think of sherry, then cider, then got some Scotch-like notes from the barrel.
Each of us bought a bottle of it, and it’s laying down, waiting for an occasion. The County Cider website recommends pairing it with foie gras, and my toes are curling in delighted anticipation. Yes, I’ll blog about it.
Learning about the barrels (and then we made a trip out to the Carriage House Cooperage (I’ll be writing about it soon), and seeing some of the local products for sale in the shop, made me realize that there is a cross-breeding happening between businesses in Prince Edward County that we would do well to emulate in other places. It’s something we’ve lost with importing everything from everywhere instead of doing our own manufacturing.
In cheese stores they sold other food items, soaps, candles, chocolates. In County Cider, there were some clothes, some soaps, some goods from elsewhere.
Our visit here ended with a quick peek out back, with vineyards sloping down to the lake. Alas, we didn’t try any of their wines, and the rain was still coming down, so we didn’t sit out and enjoy the view for a long time, either.
More to follow with the trip to Black River Cheese, then to Carriage House and an interview with one of the proprietors!