Bonjour, and happy Tuesday! Only a few more days until we have a long weekend, and I am ready for it. Can we NOT have a hurricane, earthquake, or blizzard this weekend?
I hope you enjoyed the photos from our visit to the Eastern Townships of Quebec yesterday. Our journey was cut short by the hurricane threats, but I am ever-so-grateful we listened to our instincts. Most of the roads we drove to get home were under flash flood warnings, rock slides, and were in forests. It would have been a deadly attempt on Sunday.
We still thoroughly enjoyed the time we had in the Eastern Townships, including our first ever visit to a producer of ice cider, Domaine Pinnacle.
Domaine Pinnacle is famous for its cider made from apples allowed to hang on the trees into December. They offer a variety of products, and on our visit, we were able to taste through them.
First, we marveled at the beautiful orchards, accented by blue skies, and surrounded by mountainous landscape. The setting of Domaine Pinnacle is breathtaking.
Once inside, we waited for a tasting to start, received our glasses, and started to listen to a description of each of the ciders we were tasting. We tasted the Ice Cider, Sparkling Ice Cider (my favorite, of course!), Reserve Ice Cider, Maple Ice Cider (YUM!), Reserve 1859 which was more like a brandy (but lacking that burning, unpleasant feeling some brandies have), the Pinnacle Cream, and the Maple Cream.
Each sip of each of Domaine Pinnacle’s products was a treat. I expected the ice cider to be sweet and syrupy, and I was surprised at the depth of flavors each item offered. The ciders themselves were rich, golden, with a touch of sweet but were very well balanced and had a pleasant apple taste as opposed to the sugary taste I anticipated. Both the Pinnacle Cream and Maple Cream were akin to a Bailey’s but with apple and maple flavors, respectively. Both would be outstanding in coffee and would make a wintry meal a little more special.
During our tasting, we learned of food pairings, and I could almost taste the ice ciders with certain cheeses or dishes. Domaine Pinnacle offers a variety of recipes on their website for dishes made with their ciders. We picked up a bottle of the sparkling ice cider, and I can’t wait for the weather to be a bit cooler to open it. I think a splash would be delicious in a glass of Champagne!
Our visit to Domaine Pinnacle was really enjoyable. We wish we had purchased more but were concerned about bringing alcohol across the border. Next time, we’ll do our research so that we know what we are allowed to bring.
One thing I should note is that when we arrived, we joined a tasting being conducted entirely in French. Not wanting to interrupt, we followed along as well as we could. When it comes to food and wine, I understand, it’s just the rest of the words I don’t get! (But I really do wish I did!) When the staff member pouring heard me speak to my husband, she was apologetic and started also explaining the ciders in English for us. I would definitely recommend bringing an English-French dictionary when visiting this area of Canada. Everyone was incredibly kind and went out of their way to help us in English, but as awful as I might sound, I like to at least try to speak the local language when traveling.
On a similar note, I have to say just how much I loved listening to people speaking French all weekend and how much I loved the European feel of the Eastern Townships. It’s wonderful how, literally a mile from the US border, you can feel like you have traveled an ocean away.
Have you ever had ice cider?