The ranking results are in for the October 22 Apple and Cheese Tasting! For the first time in years we have a contemporary apple variety as our winner!
On a picture perfect fall day last month, more than 150 guests joined us for a unique opportunity to taste heirloom and conventional apples and learn about the history of this fine fruit from our featured guest speaker – Charlotte Shelton of Albemarle CiderWorks.
Back by popular demand, a curated selection of cheeses was provided and paired with the apples by our good friends at Wegmans 5th Street Charlottesville Grocery Store.
8 heirloom and contemporary varieties tasted
A modern apple out of the PRI (Purdue, Rutgers, Illinois) breeding program from the later 20th century. In quality, flavor, and multiple usage, it rivals the Albemarle Pippin and stores extremely well.
2nd place…Father Abraham
This apple originated before 1755 – possibly in Virginia or South Carolina. May also be an old German variety, Danziger Kantapfel, that was brought to Virginia by early German settlers. Grown extensively in Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina, it was prized as an excellent keeper and was useful for cider.
3rd place…Albemarle Pippin (always a fan favorite)
Right on the heels of the Father Abraham, the Albemarle Pippin originated in the early 1700s in Queens, New York and is known elsewhere as the Newtown Pippin. It has been hailed as perhaps the finest dessert apple ever grown. Sweet, tart and vinous, it is a splendid culinary apple that makes a brilliant cider.
6 varieties tasted
1st place…Wegmans Fromage des Jacques
Carefully crafted in the deep, cool caves of the Santenberg mountain a few miles from Lucerne, Switzerland’s Alpine Valley. Sweet and unassuming at first, this semi-firm cheese deliciously insists you return for another bite.
2nd place…Wegmans Brand 26-month Aged Cheddar
Made exclusively for Wegmans, this cheese is made from premium milk from local herds just south of Albany, New York. Produced for Wegmans in New York City’s Flatiron District, the cheese presents a robust, nutty flavor and creamy texture.
3rd place…Wegmans Aged Goat Cheddar
This goat milk cheddar is aged 12 months for a rich and creamy texture. A perfect balance of nuttiness and fruity sweetness with a slightly tangy finish.
Apple and Cheese Pairing Winners
1st place…it’s a tie! Father Abraham paired with Wegmans Fromage des Jacques AND Goldrush paired with Wegmans Aged Goat Cheddar
2nd place…Albemarle Pippin paired with Wegmans’ Brand 26-month Cheddar
3rd place…Ralls Genet paired with Wegmans’ Extra Creamy Gorgonzola
Wegmans’ Extra Creamy Gorgonzola: Bring your spoon for this luxurious Italian legend – so creamy, it has to be scooped! Melt the cheese over pasta to enjoy the buttery, subtle blue flavor (or just dig in).