I love fall. The weather is crisp and cool and warm enough to still sit out on the deck or patio sipping some vino. Not only do we have the opportunity to harvest some venison but there are also some great fruits and nuts ready to harvest!
I remember as a child working the cider press with Dad to make fresh apple cider. My mother would freeze the cider to have throughout the winter. Fresh apple cider beats store bought apple juice any day. As I got older I begin to really enjoy having mulled cider during the holidays, and spiking it! Actually just the aroma of mulled cider is worth all of the hard work making it.
One of the fresh fruits that is often overlooked, and waste, is pears. My mother never did too much with the pears despite my parents having small pear orchard that rendered quite a few pears. I do love eating a fresh pear from the tree, especially the oriental variety. After eating fresh pears, you will never want to eat another canned pear again.
I see my brother a lot this time of the year when he comes home to my parents’ house to deer hunt. One of my brother’s other hobbies is wine making. My brother has been making wine for the last couple of years, and the wine is pretty dang good. He has made merlots, chardonnay, and fresh fruit wines, such as strawberry and blueberry. Wine making is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. For best results, you must follow the process. This year, my brother decided he would try his hand at pear wine and asked me to assist.
So this is the first in a series of posts about our attempt at pear wine. My brother was in this past weekend to deer hunt with my husband, so we got started. We picked about a wheelbarrow full of pears then hit the apple orchard and ended up mixing apples and pear. So we will have an apple and pear mixture. This made approximately 3 gallons of freshly squeezed apple and pear cider. We taste tested through the process and the cider was amazing! It was tart, full-bodied and flavorful……some of it might have had a little whisky! We bottled the cider and my brother headed home with it for the next step of the process. But if the taste of the cider is any indication of the flavor of the wine, I can’t wait!