New Brunswick apple wine crowned cider champ
ARLINGTON — A deluge of rain may have kept the crowds away, but the few who braved the elements to attend Applelicious on Friday were treated to sweet ambrosia — apple cider in all its (mostly) alcoholic glory.
© Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
Judges Jeff McCourt, left, Jean-Sébastien Morin and Erica Wagner ponder their decisions during the inaugural Applelicious Cider Championships in Arlington Friday evening.
This was the first year Applelicious has done a cider championship and it attracted eight verities from the Maritimes and beyond.
Ticket holders were treated to a live band, samplings of the various ciders, oysters and ADL cheese and watched the three guest judges make their pick.
Barry Balsom, owner of Arlington Orchards, played host to the event in a big tent set up on his property.
He was also on the Applelicious steering committee that organized the competition and a contestant, having started his own line of cider called Malpeque Cider
Despsite the low turn out, which Balsom attributed to the heavy rain, he was pleased with the event.
“Beer is celebrated, wine is celebrated, but real beverage of the Maritimes used to be cider. It’s done so well here that we wanted to promote and tell people about the different kinds of cider. Like wine, there’s all kinds of different flavours, there’s all kinds of different ways of making it,” said Balsom.
“Anything that raises the profile of the Island apple is great … and anything that raises the profile of cider and its different styles is great for all of us.”
After about two hours of savouring and pondering their decisions in a blind taste test, the judges finally handed the trophy to Belliveau Sparkling Apple Wine from Verger Belliveau Orchard of Memramcook, N.B.
The evening’s three judges were Jeff McCourt, Jean-Sébastien Morin and Erica Wagner.
McCourt said he’s been a chef for a long time but this was his first tour of duty as a cider judge. He enjoyed the experience immenselyid.
“There all kind of different, and it’s not necessarily like comparing apple to apples so you have to take that into consideration,” said McCourt.
“I’m a lover of cider, so I’ve tasted a lot, but it was very interesting to see all eight side by side.”
Applelicious was part of the Fall Flavours festival on P.E.I., which continues throughout the month of September.
For a full schedule of events go online to www.fallflavours.ca.