All of the products are available at the Barrel Room-Nordic Center, a high-ceilinged room filled this time of year with the mingled aromas of mulling cider and wood smoke from the fireplace. As we pushed in from the cold, we found other visitors had tipped back their knit caps and opened their parkas as they bellied up to the bar to taste some of Furnace Brook’s wines. Mostly vinted from grapes grown on the North Fork of Long Island (though Furnace Brook does buy shiraz and zinfandel grapes from California), the wines range from a plummy merlot to a perfumed dry riesling, and even include a sweet mead and an even
sweeter apple ice wine. Most of the wines have won medals at the Big E Northeast Wine Competition. So have the two estate-grown hard ciders: the original Johnny Mash and a more recent introduction, a French-style cidre.
Rich and luscious with a hint of spice and just enough residual sugar, the cidre is our favorite of the Furnace Brook Winery drinks. “It’s made with Golden Russet apples. They have skin like a pear,” Martell told us, explaining that, like a red wine, the cidre is pressed, crushed, fermented on the skins, and aged in oak barrels.
We took a couple of glasses and settled on the big leather couches in front of the fireplace. The cidre, we discovered, is a perfect pairing with the farm’s fresh apple cider doughnuts.
That’s what we mean by Snowshoe Plus.
Patricia Harris and David Lyon can be reached at email@example.com.