Thursday, February 4, 2010

Boyden Valley Winery

Prior to attending the Boston Wine Expo, I knew that one of the booths I had to visit belonged to the Boyden Valley Winery, located in Vermont. Boyden was my Favorite Vermont Winery of 2009 and their Vermont Ice Red was on my list of 2009 Top Ten Wines Over $50.

I wanted another taste of their Vermont Ice Red, as well as to see what else they might be pouring. Besides enjoying once again the Ice Red, I also got to taste their Vermont Ice Cider and new Vermont Ice Apple Creme.

Their Vermont Ice Cider is made from only Vermont grown apples, including Northern Spy, Macintosh, and Empire. It actually takes over 400 gallons of cider to make one 60 gallon barrel of ice cider. The ice cider is fermented in stainless steel, aged in French oak for about six months and has an alcohol content of about 12%. The ice cider is sweet, though not cloyingly so, and has a prominent crisp, apple flavor. It is a very pleasant drink, just right for a New England winter day, and would also pair well with cheese as well as some fruit-based desserts, including apple pie.

The Vermont Ice Apple Creme was a surprising delight. It is made from Vermont Ice Cider, apple brandy and cream. It also has a higher alcohol content at 15%, though you would not notice that in the taste. It is lighter and more delicate than other cream liqueurs, reminding me a bit of a thinner version of egg nog, but with apple flavors. The creaminess combined well with the apple flavors, and the sweetness was once again under control, and did not overwhelm. Though it can be enjoyed on its own, I think it might also make for an interesting sauce, maybe drizzled over ice cream or an apple pie.

Once again, Boyden Valley Winery has impressed me. I really like the fact they grow their own grapes, and use local Vermont apples. You should give their wines a try, or even visit their winery. I may try to visit there in the spring.

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