Monday, October 5, 2009

Farm Boyz - A Guest Appearance

I haven't had a request for a guest appearance before. Isn't this exciting?! The fact that the guest blogger is Boo (the S.O.) doesn't diminish the novelty - but it might lead to the realization that he at least reads this blog enough that he's not altogether uninterested (except of course, when my blogtime takes away from house chores - which is far too often). Too bad the bottle won't count on The List since I couldn't participate.

Take it away Boo...

Autumn is my favourite time of the year, partially because that is the time for which all the hard labours bear fruit. In this case literally - as I play farm boy to help my mom with her apple and pear harvest. Mom lives in the West Kootenays which is about 750 km East of Vancouver. The drive there is spectacular, even in the winter when the drive can add a few grey hairs going through the mountain passes. One of those passes actually skirts the Southern end of B.C.'s largest wine region. If the timing is good, I can usually pick up a decent bottle to bring home.

Mom's place is pretty remote , I sometimes think it is a fairy tale place. There
are so many wild animals who seem to enjoy the property as much as we do. She has Cougars (rarely seen), Bears (often seen ), Deer (always seen), Elk (rarely seen), as well as a plethora of smaller animals. Eagles are also a common sight and there are so many other species of birds that are not commonplace, it makes the bird guide pages all utilized.

Mr. D . has gone with me two to three times a year for the past 10 of 12 years. Some people believe Mr. D. to be my other half, I just say he is my brother. We both share the appreciation of a good wine but sometimes we differ on what we want with dinner at the end of the day.

After picking the apples , they have to be washed. Mr. D . engineered a contraption that made it easier and allowed the water to drain after the wash.

In the rural areas of B.C. there are Government liquor stores scattered about. however the selection can leave something to be desired. Mr. D. had sampled this wine: " Angus" 'The Bull'. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Southeastern region of Australia. This wine was designed to accompany red meats. However, apples and pears were in larger numbers and hence pork was the meal paired. This wine had intense purple hues which promised a fruity characteristic. We found this to be of a medium body and firm tannins with some nuances of cedar. Not exactly a perfect pairing - but the wine tasted better by itself .

The next night, we tried a bottle of Red Rooster Bantam. This wine is already on The List and it is a blend of four grapes: Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer. That is a mouthful for names. Muller-Thurgau is a cross of a Riesling and Sylvaner. Nonetheless, this little Bantam provided a light body with fruity aromas.

After the washing of the apples it is time to press. Mr. T . and son J. designed a nifty pressing apparatus. Up to 5 tons pressure. Beats a hand crank to press. The finished result is done after sterilizing the bottles and decanting. Voila ! Organic apple juice. Just one thing to remember. Drink it or freeze it because in a few days you could have hard apple jack instead of juice. Either way this makes for a great martini mix.

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